Doug Kass has been reading Warren Buffett‘s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway ($BRKB) shareholders since the 1970’s. I’ve been reading Doug since 2003 and while he may be only an amateur Buffettologist, but I can vouch for his grasp of the Oracle’s perspective.
He pulled out his favorite pearls of wisdom from this weekend’s 2009 letter on TheStreet.com this morning…
And here are some pearls from this year’s letter:
“Our defense has been better than our offense, and that’s likely to continue.”
“Charlie and I enjoy issuing Berkshire stock about as much as we relish prepping for a colonoscopy.”
“All I want to know is where I’m going to die, so I’ll never go there.”
“Its managers — fine people and able bankers — not unexpectedly began to behave like teenage boys who had just discovered girls.”
“Sing a country song in reverse, and you will quickly recover your car, house and wife.”
“When it’s raining gold, reach for a bucket, not a thimble.”
“Too big to fail is not a fallback position at Berkshire.”
“An old Wall Street joke gets close to our experience:
Customer: Thanks for putting me in XYZ stock at 5. I hear it’s up to 18. Broker: Yes, and that’s just the beginning. In fact, the company is doing so well now, that it’s an even better buy at 18 than it was when you made your purchase. Customer: Damn, I knew I should have waited.”
“Are we supposed to applaud because the dog that fouls our lawn is a Chihuahua rather than a Saint Bernard?”
My favorite Buffett quip this year was his also – when he asked shareholders to “Come by rail” to this year’s annual stockholders’ meeting. Brilliant!