Even back then, Warren Buffett had it.
I think I finally dug up the earliest known video footage of Warren Buffett, and it looks like it was an interview with an Omaha TV station that never actually managed to hit the airwaves.
For me, that’s the fun part to speculate: What was it that made KMTV desire to interview Warren Buffett in 1962, yet, upon actually conducting the interview, decide not to air it? My guess is that Buffett was too rational, sober, and precise in giving his opinions, and some executive producer decided that would not be appealing to a mass audience.
That’s the unfortunate thing about stock market investing—if CNBC’s editorial decisions are indicative of mass tastes, then it means that people are much more interested in *stock prices* over the next twelve months than trying to figure out the relationship between current profits, current prices, and whether future profits have a high likelihood of increasing at a high enough clip to make it worth parting with your hard-earned dollars to make the investment.
My favorite line from the video clip is at the 1:05 or so mark, when Buffett says, “So maybe the stock market is really correcting a previous incorrect forecast this time, rather than making a new correct one.”
I just love how. . .timeless all of this is. Over the past twelve months, Johnson & Johnson stock has increased 34%. It’s not because its future prospects are 34% brighter, but rather, the other people trading the stock are really correcting a previous incorrect forecast by overestimating the hit to earnings that all of the recalls would cause.
The stuff Buffett was talking about 52 years ago does not feel at all out of place when discussing investing today. The medium changes—you don’t have to call a broker up on the telephone—who would have thought the telephone itself could be used to make a trade (???), but the principles of sound investing remain the same.