So You Want to Be Like Warren Buffett? Hows Your Writing?VW Staff
Mark Sellers on Warren Buffett: First of all, I want to thank Daniel Goldberg for asking me to be here today and all of you for actually showing up. I havenít been to Boston in a while but I did live here for a short time in 1991 & 1992 when I attended Berklee School of Music. I was studying to be a jazz piano player but dropped out after a couple semesters to move to Los Angeles and join a band. I was so broke when I lived here that I didnít take advantage of all the things there are to do in Boston, and I didnít have a car to explore New England. I mostly spent 10-12 hours a day holed up in a practice room playing the piano. So whenever I come back to visit Boston, itís like a new city to me.
One thing I will tell you right off the bat: Iím not here to teach you how to be a great investor. On the contrary, Iím here to tell you why very few of you can ever hope to achieve this status.
If you spend enough time studying investors like Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett, Bruce Berkowitz, Bill Miller, Eddie Lampert, Bill Ackman, and people who have been similarly successful in the investment world, you will understand what I mean.
I know that everyone in this room is exceedingly intelligent and youíve all worked hard to get where you are. You are the brightest of the bright. And yet, thereís one thing you should remember if you remember nothing else from my talk: You have almost no chance of being a great investor. You have a really, really low probability, like 2% or less. And Iím adjusting for the fact that you all have high IQs and are hard workers and will have an MBA from one of the top business schools in the country soon. If this audience was just a random sample of the population at large, the likelihood of anyone here becoming a great investor later on would be even less, like 1/50 th of 1% or something. You all have a lot of advantages over Joe Investor, and yet you have almost no chance of standing out from the crowd over a long period of time
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