"There are no called strikes in investing” is a statement attributed to investor Warren Buffett, but Buffett’s exact words on the television show Adam Smith’s Money World in 1984 were slightly different:
“There are no called strikes in this business. The pitcher just stands there and throws balls at you....You sit there and they throw U.S. Steel at 25 and they throw General Motors at 68, and you don’t have to swing at any of them. They may be wonderful pitches to swing at, but if you don’t know enough, you don’t have to swing. And you can sit there and watch thousands of pitches, and finally you get one right there where you want it, something that you understand—and then you swing. I might not swing for two years.”
The baseball analogy means that an investor can “wait for his pitch” (wait for the best investment) and need not “swing” (buy) at every pitch in the strike zone.
Wikipedia: Warren Buffett
Warren Edward Buffett (pronounced /ˈbʌfɨt/; born August 30, 1930) is an American investor, industrialist and philanthropist. He is widely regarded as one of the most successful investors in the world. Often called the “legendary investor, Warren Buffett”, he is the primary shareholder, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest people. He was ranked as the world’s second wealthiest person in 2009 and is currently the third wealthiest person in the world as of 2010.
Buffett is called the “Oracle of Omaha” or the “Sage of Omaha” and is noted for his adherence to the value investing philosophy and for his personal frugality despite his immense wealth. Buffett is also a notable philanthropist, having pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes, primarily via the Gates Foundation. He also serves as a member of the board of trustees at Grinnell College.
22 April 1985, New York magazine, “Aw, shucks, it’s Warren Buffett: Meet the smartest investor” by Bernice Kanner, pg. 64, col. 2:
“There are no called strikes in this business,” he told Adam Smith on Money World last year. “The pitcher just stands there and throws balls at you....You sit there and they throw U.S. Steel at 25 and they throw General Motors at 68, and you don’t have to swing at any of them. They may be wonderful pitches to swing at, but if you don’t know enough, you don’t have to swing. And you can sit there and watch thousands of pitches, and finally you get one right there where you want it, something that you understand—and then you swing. I might not swing for two years.”
Google News Archive
19 November 1985, Gadsden (AL) Times, “Making investment choices in face of deficit” (New York Times News Service), pg. C7, col. 1:
But investors never find circumstances exactly to their liking—if all uncertainty were removed there probably wouldn’t be much opportunity for profit, anyway—and money must be deployed here and now. Remember that there is always a host of individual securities or other outlets for investors’ money and no need to rush. “There are no called strikes in this business,” observed Warren Buffett, an Omaha-based billionaire who may be the country’s most successful living investor.
From Graham to Buffett and Beyond
By Bruce C. N. Greenwald, Judd Kahn, Paul D. Sonkin and Michael van Bierma
New York, NY: Wiley
The standard response of value investors has been expressed by Warren Buffett in his frequently cited baseball analogy. The investor can take pitches all day long and not have to swing because there are no called strikes in investing.
More Mortgage Meltdown:
6 Ways to Profit in These Bad Times
By Whitney Tilson and Glenn Tongue
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Don’t swing often—but when you do, swing hard. The market is very efficient, so it’s rare to find a stock that is truly deeply undervalued. Buffett points out that there are no called strikes in investing and says to swing only at the “fat pitches” and ignore the rest.
The Motley Fool
One Stock to Buy Today?
By Tim Hanson and Brian Richards
January 21, 2010
Of course, the stock has stayed volatile. It had nearly doubled through the summer of 2008; then it got caught up in the whole market meltdown, bottoming around $10 last March; but it has doubled since then, as energy prices rebounded. Still, there are no called strikes in investing.
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Wednesday, January 12, 2011 • Permalink