4 Habits That Make Warren Buffett Great | Exploring Markets

4 Habits That Make Warren Buffett Great

Warren Buffett's biographer, Alice Schroeder, once did a Q&A on Reddit and she revealed some of the brilliant skills, habits, and things Warren Buffett does each day. Here they are:

1.) Time Management:
"Warren is a master of time management. He knows how to ease people off the phone without making them feel dismissed. He is great at saying no and I learned a lot about saying no tactfully. That's an important time management technique. Also, he manages his energy, reading when it's optimal, talking on the phone when he's got the right energy for that and so forth. It's fairly compartmentalized and he does not multitask through his day. That was a useful lesson."

2.) An Incredible Memory:
"Warren seems to have been born with a near-photographic memory. He exercised it a lot (memorizing the population of all fifty states etc.) I consider it genetic for the most part."

3.) Nearly Everything Is Literal:
"The main thing is that Warren is extremely literal. You need to listen to what he says, and read his words, very carefully. People extrapolate and read things that aren't there. As just one example, he invited a bear to ask questions at this meeting. Then it was revealed there would be no bear. What got reported was that he "couldn't find a bear" or "no bear showed up" and the like. That's not what he said. There would not be a bear, however, it isn't because nobody volunteered. So you have to be careful not to read more into what he says than is there."

4.) He Reads A Ton:
"Warren does his reading in the morning. He had cataract surgery not long ago and it's made things much easier for him. He starts with the newspapers. He looks at them page by page but doesn't read every article. He is very interested in news about companies and less interested in general news. Warren is outstanding at pattern recognition and prefers to do his own synthesis so when he reads he's looking more for data points rather than other people's conclusions. 
The annual reports -- he reads them for the most part as they are received. He's been following some companies for fifty years or longer and as noted earlier he's got quite a memory, so the process of reading annual reports is pretty efficient for him. He can go through one in an hour or less and get what he needs. On the other hand, say when Google went public, he spent more time on their filings because it was new information. He reads a lot of annual reports of companies he would not buy to expand his knowledge. 
The filtering is informal. His friends will send him something they think he will find interesting. Or he will read something in the paper and ask for the report. He isn't systematic nor comprehensive. That's today though. When he was younger, he filtered using Moody's, Value Line etc. reading everything about every company, then got the reports for the ones he was interested in. That's probably more relevant to you than what he does today."
Source: All the quotes were discovered reading through this Reddit Q&A


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