Usually the best opportunity to buy a disaster comes some time later to the disaster — not when it happens and is in the limelight
On industry bottom
When there are a number of bankruptcies in the industry: “Bankruptcy is a sign of the bottom not the top.”
On getting rich
"Take your money; put it in Treasury bills or a money-market fund. Just sit back, go to the beach, go to the movies, play checkers, do whatever you want to. Then something will come along where you know it's right. Take all your money out of the money-market fund, put it in whatever it happens to be and stay with it for three or four or five or ten years, whatever it is.
You'll know when to sell again because you'll know more about it than anybody else. Take your money out, put it back in the money-market fund and wait for the next thing to come along. When it does, you'll make a whole lot of money."
“Henry Ford never diversified, Bill Gates didn't diversify. The way to get rich is to put your eggs in one basket, but watch that basket very carefully. And make sure you have the right basket."
On buying and selling
“Historically, you buy stocks when they're yielding 6% and selling at eight times earnings. You sell them when they're at 22 times earnings and yielding 2%.”
On government GDP numbers
“I do not pay attention to that sort of thing for the following reasons:
- They are always revised.
- Every government has different methodologies.
- Most governments have no clue so they just make up the numbers.
- The numbers are backward looking.”
On political strife
Unfulfilled expectations are what tend to cause political revolt, not grinding poverty and harsh conditions. Case in point: The revolts in Egypt and Libya will not result in a happy ending whoever wins the battle.
On the way societies revolve
”Plato said in The Republic that the way societies revolve is they go from dictatorship to oligarchy, to democracy, to chaos and back to dictatorship.”
Judging from the universal way politicians handle both good and bad news—they accept credit for the good and blame others for the bad—it must be a skill taught in the first year of politicians’ school.
On break ups
Throughout history the breakup of empires has reverberated in strife for decades. Even today we see ongoing repercussions from the break up of the British Empire in the fight between India and Pakistan and the African borders drawn by the British.
On economic turmoil
Historically, economic turmoil almost always leads to political turmoil.
Shopenhauer put it well, "Hope is the enemy of the businessman."
On war casualties
The first casualty when war comes is truth.