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1990 NYT article on Buffett


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Thanks for the link. I found this part to be interesting:


''I did not want to be running any vehicle where my implicit obligation was to earn the highest return I could every year,'' Buffett says. He wanted to be free to make long-term investments. Moreover, there was a personal factor involved. ''I was developing relationships with the operating people in our owned businesses,'' he says, ''and I simply didn't want to have their duration determined by whether I got an exceptionally good bid that morning.''



It's the clearest expression of his unwillingness to sell certain companies despite valuations.

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The question is... did his attitude actually lower his long run returns?  I would wager not.


In certain circumstances, yes, and others, no.  For example, he held onto things like newspaper companies, shoe companies, etc. when they probably should have been sold because of changes in the economics.  But I would think that in many ways, he benefited far more than he lost...permanent capital, rather than at the mercy of limited partners emotions...enormous competitive advantage formed because business owners wanted to sell to Buffett...leverage of insurance float was huge.  Overall, I not only think you are correct that it didn't hurt his results, it probaby improved them significantly.  Cheers! 

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