When you combine ignorance and leverage, you get some pretty interesting results.
If you’ve been playing poker for half an hour and you still don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.
If book knowledge made great investors, than the librarians would all be rich.
What we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history.
The greatest investment a young person can make is in their own education, in their own mind. Because money comes and goes. Relationships come and go. But what you learn once stays with you forever.
You’ve got to understand accounting. You’ve got to. That’s got to be like a language to you. You have to know what you’re reading. Some people have more aptitude for that than others, but that’s one thing I learned by myself. Now, I took courses afterwards, for example. But I learned it myself, and largely. So, you have to do that.
Talking at business schools, I always say students would be better off if, when they got out of school, they got a ticket with 20 punches on it. And every time they make an investment decision, it uses up a punch. You’ll never use up all 20 punches if you save them to the great ideas.
The intelligent investor is still the best book on investing. It has the only 3 ideas your really need :
1. The Mr. Market analogy
2. A stock is a piece of a business
3. Margin of safety
To invest successfully, you need not understand beta, efficient markets, modern portfolio theory, option pricing, or emerging markets. You may, in fact, be better off knowing nothing of these. That, of course, is not prevailing view at most business schools whose finance curriculum tends to be dominated by such subjects. In our view, though, investment students need only two well-taught courses – How to Value a Business, and How to Think About Market Prices.