Berkshire Hathaway 2013 Annual Meeting Audience Question # 58

The thing to do in investing is just find a good business at an attractive price and buy it

Warren Buffett:

OK. Station 10.

Audience Member:

Hi, Warren and Charlie. This is Andy Ling from Shanghai, China.

Thank you very much for what you have said and what you have done. People around the globe have benefited a lot from your philosophies, so you have fans… even a lot of fans… even in China.

My question is: how did you see investments in emerging markets where Berkshire is spend its investments in places like China? If yes, what kind of industries and companies you are interested in? Thank you.

Warren Buffett:

Yeah. We don’t really start out looking to either emerging markets or specific countries or anything of the sort.

We may find things, you know, as we go around, but it isn’t like Charlie and I talk in the morning and we say, you know, it’s a particularly good idea to invest in Brazil or India or China or whatever it may be. We’ve never had a conversation like that, have we, Charlie?

Charlie Munger:

No.

Warren Buffett:

It just won’t happen.

We don’t think that’s where our strength is. We know that our strength is not there. And we think, probably, most people’s strength isn’t there either. I mean, it sounds good, but I don’t really think it’s the best way to look at investments.

If you told me that we can only invest…

We’re perfectly willing to do it. We owned a lot of PetroChina at one time. We own some BYD now. We’ve owned securities outside the United States and will continue to.

But if you told us that we could only invest in the United States the rest of our lives, we would not regard that as a huge hardship, would we, Charlie?

Charlie Munger:

Yeah. It’s a great way to sell investment advice, to have a whole lot of different categories, lots of commissions, lots of advice, lots of action.

And a lot of things we just… we don’t feel we’ve got enough of an edge so that we want to play.

Warren Buffett:

Yeah. When we hear somebody talking concepts, of any sort, including country-by-country concepts or whatever it might be, we tend to think that they’re probably going to do better at selling than at investing.

It’s just such an easy way… I mean, it’s what people expect to hear when… you know, when somebody comes calling that, you know, today we think you ought to be looking at this or that around the world.

The thing to do is just find a good business at an attractive price and buy it.

Charlie Munger:

Our experts really like Bolivia. And you say, “Well, last year you liked Sri Lanka.” It’s just… we’re not comfortable with that.

Warren Buffett:

Yeah. And we usually think it’s a lot of baloney, but…

Charlie Munger:

That’s why we’re not comfortable.

Warren Buffett:

Yeah.

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