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Warren Buffet takes to the field at Fenway

Photo: Red Sox Photos

This Sunday is the first day of baseball.

At 1:05 pm ET, the St. Louis Cardinals will take on the Pittsburgh Pirates to kick off the 2016 MLB season.

Warren Buffett is a big baseball fan. He owned a minority interest in the minor league Omaha Storm Chasers team for 21 years (he bought the team to keep them in Omaha) and allegedly recently considered buying a stake in the Chicago Cubs.

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But Buffett also often uses the game as a metaphor for the way he invests.

So in honor of opening day, here are my favorite Warren Buffett quotes about baseball and investing:

The stock market is a no-called-strike game. You don’t have to swing at everything – you can wait for your pitch. The problem when you’re a money manager is that your fans keep yelling, ‘swing, you bum!'”

“Ted Williams described in his book, ‘The Science of Hitting,’ that the most important thing – for a hitter – is to wait for the right pitch. And that’s exactly the philosophy I have about investing – wait for the right pitch, and wait for the right deal. And it will come… It’s the key to investing.”

Side Note: Buffett is a big fan of former Red Sox player Ted Williams and even has a rare photo from Williams’ first game with the Red Sox hanging up in his office.

What’s nice about investing is you don’t have to swing at pitches. You can watch pitches come in one inch above or one inch below your navel and you don’t have to swing. No umpire is going to call you out.You can wait for the pitch you want.

“In investing, just as in baseball, to put runs on the scoreboard one must watch the playing field, not the scoreboard.

“I’ve never swung at a ball while it’s still in the pitcher’s glove.”

Translation: Warren Buffett doesn’t buy start-up companies or companies that don’t have a long history of stable earnings.


So what can you learn from these quotes?

Well it’s easy – when you’re investing, just remember that you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to. Don’t be scared to wait for the perfect opportunity to come around. It’s much better to bet big on sure things and win big on sure things, than to force your money into an investment that isn’t right for you.

So let the pitches around the corners of the plate go by you. Wait for the pitch that is right down the pipe, and – when it comes – swing for the fences.

by Ted Williams and John Underwood


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