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Warren Buffett's book collects words of wisdom from the oracle

December 23. 2012 7:09PM

If the idea of buying up newspapers sounds like a crazy idea, you don't know much about Warren Buffett. It's not as wild of a gamble as it seems.

Berkshire Hathaway's recent $321 million investment to buy 80 newspapers amounted to less than two-tenths of 1 percent of the company's total market value, according to Bloomberg News. And it's the kind of conservative long-term investment Buffett has made throughout his career: finding companies with a steady income stream that are undervalued.

Buffett isn't shy about touting his disciplined approach to making money. "The Oracle Speaks: Warren Buffett in His Own Words" (David Andrews, Agate B2 Books, $10.95) collects Buffett-isms on investing, wealth, Wall Street, life lessons and other subjects. The slim, pocket-sized volume clocks in at just under 200 pages. A stocking stuffer for the investor in your family.

Here are a couple of highlights:

"Wall Street makes its money on activity. You make your money on inactivity. If everybody in this room traded their portfolio around every day with every other person, you're all going to end up broke. The intermediary is going to end up with all the money. On the other hand, if you all own stock in a group of average businesses and just sit here for the next 50 years, you'll end up with a fair amount of money and your broker will be broke."

(Colloquium at the University of Florida on Oct. 15, 1998.)

"A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful."

(New York Times on Oct. 16, 2008.)

"When you get to my age, you'll really measure success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. I know people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is nobody in the world loves them. If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don't care how big your bank account is, (your life) is a disaster."

(Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, Winter 2003).

- Mike Cote,?Union Leader Business Editor


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