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THE ENEMIES IN INVESTING

From 1977 to 2015, Buffett used the term “enemy” six times in his letters. And everytime he used the term, he taught something useful.

1. Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the ENEMY of the mediocre (1989)

2. The most common cause of low prices is pessimism – some times pervasive, some times specific to a company or industry. We want to do business in such an environment, not because we like pessimism but because we like the prices it produces. It’s optimism that is the ENEMY of the rational buyer. (1990)

3. A fat wallet is the ENEMY of superior investment results. (1994)

4. Bad terminology is the ENEMY of good thinking. When companies or investment professionals use terms such as “EBITDA” and “pro forma,” they want you to unthinkingly accept concepts that are dangerously flawed. (2001)

5. Haste is the ENEMY of accuracy. My thinking is that the SEC’s recent shortening of reporting deadlines will hurt the quality of information that shareholders receive. (2002)

6. When investing, pessimism is your friend, euphoria the ENEMY. (2008)

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