Warren Buffetti avalik kiri 2008. aasta oktoobrist

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Warren Buffetti kiri avaldati NY Times-is 16. oktoobril 2008. Turu põhi saabus 2009. aasta märtsis. Tagantjärele tarkusena tuleb tunnistada, et hea ajastus!

THE financial world is a mess, both in the United States and abroad. Its problems,
moreover, have been leaking into the general economy, and the leaks are now turning
into a gusher. In the near term, unemployment will rise, business activity will falter and
headlines will continue to be scary.
So … I’ve been buying American stocks. This is my personal account I’m talking about,
in which I previously owned nothing but United States government bonds. (This
description leaves aside my Berkshire Hathaway holdings, which are all committed to
philanthropy.) If prices keep looking attractive, my non-Berkshire net worth will soon be
100 percent in United States equities.
A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when
others are fearful. And most certainly, fear is now widespread, gripping even seasoned
investors. To be sure, investors are right to be wary of highly leveraged entities or
businesses in weak competitive positions. But fears regarding the long-term prosperity of
the nation’s many sound companies make no sense. These businesses will indeed suffer
earnings hiccups, as they always have. But most major companies will be setting new
profit records 5, 10 and 20 years from now.
Let me be clear on one point: I can’t predict the short-term movements of the stock
market. I haven’t the faintest idea as to whether stocks will be higher or lower a month —
or a year — from now. What is likely, however, is that the market will move higher,
perhaps substantially so, well before either sentiment or the economy turns up. So if you
wait for the robins, spring will be over.
A little history here: During the Depression, the Dow hit its low, 41, on July 8, 1932.
Economic conditions, though, kept deteriorating until Franklin D. Roosevelt took office
in March 1933. By that time, the market had already advanced 30 percent. Or think back
to the early days of World War II, when things were going badly for the United States in
Europe and the Pacific. The market hit bottom in April 1942, well before Allied fortunes
turned. Again, in the early 1980s, the time to buy stocks was when inflation raged and the
economy was in the tank. In short, bad news is an investor’s best friend. It lets you buy a
slice of America’s future at a marked-down price.
Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United
States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the
Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and
the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.
You might think it would have been impossible for an investor to lose money during a
century marked by such an extraordinary gain. But some investors did. The hapless ones
bought stocks only when they felt comfort in doing so and then proceeded to sell when
the headlines made them queasy.
Today people who hold cash equivalents feel comfortable. They shouldn’t. They have
opted for a terrible long-term asset, one that pays virtually nothing and is certain to
depreciate in value. Indeed, the policies that government will follow in its efforts to
alleviate the current crisis will probably prove inflationary and therefore accelerate
declines in the real value of cash accounts.
Equities will almost certainly outperform cash over the next decade, probably by a
substantial degree. Those investors who cling now to cash are betting they can efficiently
time their move away from it later. In waiting for the comfort of good news, they are
ignoring Wayne Gretzky’s advice: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where
it has been.”
I don’t like to opine on the stock market, and again I emphasize that I have no idea what
the market will do in the short term. Nevertheless, I’ll follow the lead of a restaurant that
opened in an empty bank building and then advertised: “Put your mouth where your
money was.” Today my money and my mouth both say equities.

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