Warren Buffett lecture to Notre Dame students from 1991. Three separate speeches can be found in this 48 page scribd document.
Keys to Investment Success
I found some strange things when I was 20 years old. I went through Moody’s Bank and Finance Manual, about 1,000 pages. I went through it twice. The first time I went through, I saw a company called Western Insurance Security Company in Fort Scott, Kansas. They owned 92%,at that time, of the Western Casualty and Surety Company. Perfectly sound company. I knew people that represented them in Omaha. Earnings per share $20, stock price $16. (garbled) …much more than that. I ran ads in the Fort Scott, Kansas paper to try and buy that stock – it had only 300 or 400 shareholders. It was selling at one times earnings, it had a first class[management team]..
.. Incidentally, I would say that almost everybody I know in Wall Street has had as many good ideas as I have, they just had a lot of [bad] ideas too. And I’m serious about that. I mean when I bought Western Insurance Security selling at $16 and earning $20 per share, I put half my networth into it. I checked it out first – I went down to the insurance commission and got out the convention statements, I read Best’s, and I did a lot of things first. But, I mean, my dad wasn’t in it, I’d only had one insurance class at Columbia – but it was not beyond my capabilities to do that, and it isn’t beyond your capabilities.
Now if I had some rare insight about software, or something like that – I would say that, maybe,other people couldn’t do that – or biotechnology, or something. And I’m not saying that every insight that I have is an insight that somebody else could have, but there were all kinds of people that could have understood American Express Company as well as I understood it in ‘62.
Full Warren Buffett lectures embedded below: