By The Open University
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Additional resources for Study Calendar 2008
Be guided by your own talents and passions. From early boyhood, Buffett was interested in money and numbers, and he drew his conclusions from the facts of any case - to the point where he began to doubt his religion when he figured out that the writers of hymns weren’t blessed with longer-than-average lives. Work hard and save your money. Buffett never counted on windfalls or lucky breaks (although he got a few) to build up his stake. His success is based on energy, initiative, and dogged hard work.
Buffett was pummeled by writers now eager to find tarnish on his halo, and the value of Berkshire’s stake in Coca-Cola dropped by a third. And over the next few years, Ivester’s replacement Douglas Daft proved to be no improvement. Sales kept falling, and Coke stock, which had been in the $80 range, fell below $50 a share. When a whistle-blower accused the company of accounting fraud, Federal investigations took aim, and the stock fell to $43. Finally, in 2004, Daft resigned, and the board discovered that he and Ivester had been exaggerating the company’s earnings for years and hiding their misdeeds from the directors as well as from government regulators.
And along the way, we’ll assess his principles and precepts to see which ones can be applied by investors who aren’t Warren Buffett. An Early Focus on Money Buffett’s father Howard, a grocer’s son, became a stockbroker in the Roaring Twenties. After the Black Tuesday crash of October 1929, Howard went four months without making a single sale. His wife Leila would go on his calls for moral support, patiently waiting outside the homes of potential clients until her husband emerged to be consoled yet again.