Then he said in 2005: “Yes, I would still say the same thing today. In fact, we are still earning those types of returns on some of our smaller investments. The best decade was the 1950s; I was earning 50% plus returns with small amounts of capital. I could do the same thing today with smaller amounts.”
How did he do it? He said this:
“You have to turn over a lot of rocks to find those little anomalies. You have to find the companies that are off the map - way off the map.”
“When I got out of Columbia the first place I went to work was a five-person brokerage firm with operations in Omaha. It subscribed to Moody’s industrial manual, banks and finance manual and public utilities manual. I went through all those page by page.”
So Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio)’s secret to making 50% a year is working hard flipping through the Moody’s manual, looking at every company that is covered and finding “the companies that are off the map - way off the map.”
In order to help our subscribers find the companies that are “way off the map,” GuruFocus developed the Manual of Stocks, which aims to cover every stock traded worldwide. Currently it covers all of the 78,000+ stocks.
GuruFocus' Manual of Stocks covers each company in one page. It consists of all of the key valuation parameters, financial indicators such as profitability and financial strength, dividends, and the last 10 years of financial data. You can download a Free Sample here.
If you are a Premium Member, you can download the Manual of Stocks for S&P 500 companies. If you are a PremiumPlus member, you can download the Manual of Stocks for any region or sector in the region to which you have subscribed.
Now you can flip through the Manual of Stocks and “find the companies that are off the map - way off the map.” Like the young Buffett did.