When the great recession struck in 2008, many companies desperate for help turned to Warren Buffett, the world's only well-liked rich guy. He spent the next few years spreading around tens of billions of dollars of investments in distressed companies. How's that working out for him?
Fucking great. The Wall Street Journal adds up Buffett's recession-era investments (when he poured money into blue chip companies that were languishing at low prices) and calculates that he's earned a neat $10 billion so far—a return of 40%. How could you, the common man, ever hope to approach the hefty returns of this great industrialist?
"In terms of simple profitability, an average investor could have done just as well investing in the stock market if they bought during the panic period," Mr. Buffett said in an interview Saturday.
MORE LIES FROM THE RICH. You would not have earned a 40% return just by investing in the stock market in those panic-filled months after the recession. In fact, if you'd invested in the S&P 500 in early March of 2009, you would have now earned a return of well over 100%.
The lesson I guess is to buy, when the prices of things are low—and then, later, to sell, when the prices of those same things are high. Someone write that down.