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Do people pay too little or too much attention to Warren Buffett's investment decisions?

Monday, 7 May 2007 | 11:50 AM ET
Warren Buffett
AP
Warren Buffett

"If you are interested in the same sectors he is that makes a good place to start your own research, but you must decide if the investment meets your criteria."
-- Frank, VA

"Strange, when he is up and right; he is an oracle. Otherwise, who cares; the truth is that his advice and method is the same as has always been advocated by most serious professionals. It is just now when many amateurs are investing their own hard earned dollars on the whim of a comment or news bite that people look towards Mr. Buffett as something he doesn't profess to be."
-- Andy M.

"Not enough. Americans are fickle and have often seen Buffett as eccentric.
They love it when he makes money but is quick to criticize him if he isn't following the norm (he didn't follow the technology craze because it didn't make sense). He is a reasonable man who lives frugally for the type of money he has access to. Can you imagine most Americans living this way? They should."
-- Stephanie E., Virginia

"Warren Buffet's investment style is to buy and hold forever. Most investors have neither the patience nor the financial means to use his strategy as their mantra for investing."
-- Rory C.

"Too much. He has been hyped so much that he can do no wrong. I haven't run the numbers but I am fairly sure his 5 year average return does not place him in the top 50 percentile of all money managers."
-- F.M.

"Way too much! He says not much of anything."
-- Daniel L., Florida

"Of course people pay attention to Warren Buffet. And, although he is the pre-eminent long term investor, unfortunately, many buy what he buys, looking for short term results. There is no quick fix to investment results. Patience is the primary virtue in the investment world, and Warren has that in spades."
-- Joe S., Nevada

"Buffett benefits from a snowball effect. People invest in what he does, thus his investments gain in value. I wonder how well he'd do if his investments were totally secret?" -- Neil B.

More comments...

"Too much. I wish Berkshire Hathaway owned companies manufactured and assembled in the U.S. exclusively, thus leading the way to the elimination of America's budget and trade deficits." -- Fred S.

"People pay ways to much attention. The guy can lose a million here and there and never blink a eyelid."
-- Gene, Illinois

"When a single person has the ability to influence markets, the question remains as to who gave him the attention to begin with? Mr. Buffett has continuously made sound decisions, sought value for his shareholders and been honest in his approach. Whatever attention is paid to Mr. Buffett is perhaps more of a fascination with the man and his money and less on the sound business decision he has made throughout his life."
-- R.D.

"Too much!"
-- C.K.

"I understand that he is arguably the best ever, but maybe part of that is because of the 10% filing rule, he gets a price break. If he had to file at 5%, he would have to purchase stock at the same price as everyone else, i.e. when he filed the 5% holdings, the equity would begin to rise faster than the 10% and his returns would be smaller." -- Jeff H., Ohio

"Too much and on too many issues. The same goes for Bill Gates. You realize of course that these two wanted to eliminate the floor on inheritance tax." -- Donald P.

“Warren actually looks at business as something he would own himself, and the actual present and future value of the business. …Warren is basically honest, drives a hard but fair bargain, and is willing to work for the long haul. Most of the companies he owns still have worker loyalty and the basic social contract of employer-employee. He does his arithmetic and wants his companies to win in competition because the make better products at a fair price -- a revolutionary concept in American business today.” -- Maureen S.