The Berkshire Hathaway 2018 Annual Shareholders Meeting moved into its afternoon portion as Warren Buffett and Charlier Munger turned to answering questions about the business world at large and general best practices when it comes to investing.
One of the subjects that was broached touched on the importance of higher education, particularly business school — which Buffett has notoriously viewed as unnecessary and unimportant in the past.
Buffett, who attended three business schools himself, started by validating his experiences there through the educators he encountered and clarified that Berkshire Hathaway isn’t outright against higher education:
“Each [school], I found a teacher or two that everyone got a lot out of … we’re not anti-business school here at all.”
And it was those teachers that were the true vehicles of learning for Buffett, a nod to what has come to be one his most well-known beliefs among those familiar with his business practices: There are many ways to become educated in the investment sphere that have nothing to do with formal education at all.
One of these is through literature, as Buffett often refers to the book that he swears by, ‘The Intelligent Investor’ by Benjamin Graham.
Chapter 8 of the book (‘The Investor and Market Fluctuations’) has become the basis of Buffett’s fundamental investing philosophy.
In short, the chapter reflects Buffett’s attitude towards being patient when buying or selling stocks, even if that means looking at the bigger picture over time (instead of watching the stock market intently with every fluctuation as they occur in real time).
Buffett is firm on the notion that getting into the investing business “just doesn’t require advanced learning” and that’s the reason why higher education and business school degrees aren’t the only attractive quality in looking for someone to hire:
“I would rather have a person, if I could hire someone among the top five graduates of the number one, two or three business schools, my choice [would be] somebody who was bright.
But [if there was someone who] had chapter eight of ‘The Intelligent Investor’ absolutely memorized, it was just natural to them, they had it in their bones basically, I’d take the person from chapter eight honestly.”
Buffett is proud to say that he’s been “extraordinarily lucky in having great teachers, including Charlie [Munger].”