The day before Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger headed to Borsheim's, the massive Omaha jewelry store owned by Berkshire. They answered questions, mingled with shareholders, and signed autographs. (As Buffett noted in Berkshire's latest annual report, Charlie only smiles if the paper he signs is a Borsheim's sales ticket.) After an afternoon press conference, Buffett and Munger slipped into the office of Susan Jacques, the CEO of Borsheim's, for some one-on-one interviews. Morningstar quizzed the two men on their investment philosophy.
What is it that really piques your interest in a stock? What tells you that it could be interesting?
Buffett: We’re so limited now because we can only go into very big companies. Charlie and I are probably familiar with every company in the United States--in a general way--that we can have the kind of position we would need to have [to make a difference in Berkshire Hathaway’s performance]. We look for the ones where we think we know what they’re going to look like in 10 years. If the price gets attractive and we know a little about the management, and we’re quite sure--within a range--what they’re going to look like in 10 years, we’re in our area. We buy them when the prices are right, like Coca-Cola was some years back.