Warren Buffett On The Similarities Of Underwriting And Investing by Greg Speicher, Ideas for Intelligent Investing

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In 1999 Warren Buffett wrote, “In Ajit, we have an underwriter equipped with the intelligence to properly rate most risks; the realism to forget about those he can’t evaluate; the courage to write huge policies when the premium is appropriate; and the discipline to reject even the smallest risk when the premium is inadequate. It is rare to find a person possessing any one of these talents. For one person to have them all is remarkable.”

It is interesting that these qualities parallel those required to be a successful investor.

A successful investor must:

  1. properly assess the future prospects of a business;
  2. quickly pass on those businesses he cannot understand;
  3. have the courage to make a large bet when the odds are in his favor;
  4. not invest if the margin of safety is too small.

You can infer from Buffett’s comments that finding (or becoming) an investor with these traits is difficult.

Warren Buffett On The Similarities Of Underwriting And Investing