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Berkshire Weekend: Buffett, Munger on Current Bear Market versus 1973/74

|Includes: Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.A), BRK.B

Liz Claman of Fox Business Channel quotes or paraphrases the Berkshire chairman and vice chairman:

Question: Are you still buying? How would you rank the recent market downturn in terms of opportunities in stocks?

Buffett: Not as dramatic as the 1974 period was .  I’m gonna be buying investments the rest of my life. I would much rather pay half of x than x. On a personal basis - I like lower prices. I realize that’s not the way all of you feel. It just makes sense that when things are on sale you should be more excited about them. That’s when I believe in buying.

Munger: If stocks off 40% on average -they’re obviously closer to an attractive price than before. And interest rates have gone down a lot. But it’s nothing like 1973-74 - I knew we would never get another time like that. Unfortunately I had basically no money then. If I were you I wouldn’t wait for 1973-74.

Buffett: We don’t try to pick bottoms. To sit around and not do something sensible because you think there might be something better…. doesn’t make sense. Picking bottoms is not our game. Pricing is our game. And that’s not so difficult. Picking bottoms is, I think, impossible.  After I wrote NYTimes Op/Ed - things got cheaper and I bought some bonds for Berkshire and some things for myself.