Investigative Journalism and Investing

Basically news people and I are in same business.   I mean I go out and I try to report essentially on a company.  I try to evaluate, I try to evaluate its management, I try to evaluate its competition, its product, its service, its prices, its costs.  Everything.  I’m trying to do a reportorial job on a business.  I may have never heard of it before and that is my job.  I assign myself a story and every morning when I come to work,  it may be triggered by some event, but I assign myself a story.  The story always happens to be, what is X worth?  But that’s a story.

-Warren Buffett speaking at the Omaha Press Club, September 2, 1992

After reading a lot of books about Warren Buffett, I always thought that he likely took a journalistic approach to investing.  Buffett obviously loves the newspaper business, however this is the first quote I have seen from Buffett indicating he directly thinks of his investment process in terms of journalism.

Instead of Buffett merely reporting the sales and earnings of a company in a way you might see in a business publication, he investigates every aspect of the company that he can.  Like an investigative journalist, he may study a company for years before he submits his final report in the form of a bid to buy the company’s stock or even the entire company.  Indeed, he studied IBM for over fifty years before buying stock in the company.

I will be submitting my reports in the form of case studies.  It is not a lack of conviction when I post a case study that results in a decision to do nothing but rather a strong conviction that inaction is a valuable decision.  The value in studying company after company that results in taking no action is not measurable but the value counts extensively as they become building blocks that form a strong foundation for future action.

I attempt to write as a reporter for my audience, no matter how small, out of respect for the time they take to read my work.  Good writing not only communicates succinctly and clearly to the audience but also helps the author to better understand the subject.

This blog is a serious project but I try not to take myself too seriously.  I’m serious about taking the time to study, investigate and value a company.  I’m serious about writing well about a company as if I’m reporting on it.  Why be serious about it?  I am fulfilled by doing something well and in the case of investing, doing it well can make a lot of money.

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4 Responses to Investigative Journalism and Investing

  1. George Pica says:

    Time is a precious commodity. When I can post on also error on the side of quality over quantity. Your posts are worth taking the time to read. Keep it up!

  2. Student says:

    I’d be glad to read them.

    I also find it hard to post frequently. So I try to compensate by making it worth readers’ while.

  3. George Pica says:

    I’m glad you agree Student! Thank you for the comment. I have been enjoying reading your blog. I’m working on some ideas so hopefully I can keep the posts going!

  4. Student says:

    I second that!

    You are doing a great job with your blog.

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