Why Don’t More Companies and Investors Copy Berkshire Hathaway? It’s a good question. Our approach has worked for us. Look at the fun we, our managers and our shareholders are having. More people should copy us. It’s not difficult, but it looks difficult because it’s unconventional—it isn’t the way things are normally done. We have low overhead, don’t have quarterly goals and budgets or a standard personnel system, and our investing is much more concentrated than is the average. It’s simple and common sense.1
The priority is that all of us continue to zealously guard Berkshire’s reputation. We can’t be perfect but we can try to be. . . . We can afford to lose money—even a lot of money. But we can’t afford to lose reputation—even a shred of reputation. We must continue to measure every act against not only what is legal but also what we would be happy to have written about on the front page of a national newspaper in an article written by an unfriendly but intelligent reporter.2
I think we have a very good culture virtually everyplace in Berkshire. I hope it’s everyplace. This is what we are looking for, and it’s more a question of culture than controls. If you have a good culture, I think you can make the rules pretty simple.3
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Our long-avowed goal is to be the “buyer of choice” for businesses—particularly those built and owned by families. The way to achieve this goal is to deserve ...