Monday, June 1, 2009

The Warren Buffett Quiz

So you call yourself a Warren Buffett fan? Think you know the Oracle of Omaha like the back of your own hand? Take the below quiz, then answer the above two questions again.

1. What two virtues do Warren Buffett and his business partner Charlie Munger prize most highly?

a. justice and productivity
b. humility and integrity
c. rationality and honesty
d. integrity and generosity

2. Buffett routinely refers to his work at Berkshire as analogous to...

a. taking candy from babies
b. painting the Sistine Chapel
c. dancing the Charleston
d. writing for the New York Times

3. In the early days of the Buffett Partnership, Buffett would read...

a. Moody's Manuals exclusively--and from cover to cover--which could be up to 10,000 pages.
b. Business Week, Moody's Manual and Barron's. He didn't have resources beyond that, though he did talk to management teams a lot, as well as other investors.
c. Balance sheets of the leading companies of the day, written in stone, and brought down from Mt. Sinai by Benjamin Graham.
d. The Pink Sheets, one of his favorite sources, and the National Quotation book, which listed companies too minuscule to even make it onto the Pink Sheets. These were in addition to a variety of other sources.

4. In school, Buffett would often...

a. Graciously put up with stupid questions that came from all the pretty girls.
b. Doodle Mae West's name, always surrounded by a heart, in the margins of his notebook.
c. Impress students by quoting long passages from the textbook, along with page numbers. He also would correct teachers on their text citations--telling one, "You missed a comma."
d. Ignore the teachers, focusing instead on the latest Moody's Manual or Wall Street Journal edition.

5. In a class he himself taught on stocks...

a. Students would toss out names of stocks, asking him whether to buy or sell, and Buffett would speak from memory for about five to ten minutes on any stock they named, giving them a clear--but conservative--answer.
b. Buffett used a biography of Mae West as a supplementary textbook.
c. Buffett was said to be terribly shy by students at the start of the course and supremely confident at the end.
d. Students learned above all that it was the quality of companies one bought that mattered most.

6. Warren Buffett's childhood nickname was...

a. Tornado
b. Whirlwind
c. Firebolt
d. Brains

7. During the early Buffett Partnership days, the kind of companies Buffett researched were often in the...

a. 1-10 million dollar range
b. 10-50 million dollar range
c. 50-100 million dollar range
d. 1-10 billion dollar range

8. Buffett thinks about his time...

a. as the common person does--and gives freely to any person who makes a claim of it.
b. selfishly. He's often a "lousy sport" at doing anything he doesn't want to do and he never lets others waste his time.
c. on earth as a preparation to enjoy the riches waiting for him--and everyone--in another life.
d. comfortably. He often fills in his Franklin Covey planner while getting a back massage from his wife Astrid and a foot massage from his best friend Bill Gates.

9. Buffett would finish the sentence "you are neither right nor wrong because people agree with you" by saying...

a. you are right because the stock market says so.
b. you are right because your reasoning is correct.
c. you are right because your margin of safety is large enough.
d. you are right because your facts and your reasoning are right.

10. Buffett accumulated a portfolio of great companies and great friends by...

a. learning and thinking about all kinds of companies and people, focusing on the promising one's (as determined by the context) and holding on to the great one's.
b. giving money to companies that had proven poor allocators of it and giving compliments to people that did not at first deserve them.
c. sheer luck. He is an Outlier, and his success in both areas is analogous to a coin-flipping monkey.
d. being free with his time, never wasting the time of another, and--as he himself would say--getting a little lucky at the right times.

Answers are in the comments section. But don't peak before you've written down your own, slackers!

1 comment:

  1. 1. A
    2. B
    3. D
    *According to The Snowball, the Pink Sheets was one of Buffett's favorite sources.
    4. C
    *It's only after he became a frequent guest on CNBC that Buffett graciously put up with stupid questions from the pretty girls.
    5. A
    *Jim Cramer would probably say he was the one who wrote Buffett about this style of teaching. But it'd be a lie.
    6. C
    *Tornado was the nickname of Buffett's son, and present-day board member on Berkshire, Howie Buffett. Brains was Charlie Munger's nickname.
    7. A
    8. B
    9. D
    *As opposed to what you might have learned in college, one can know facts and one can reason properly from them to a non-contradictory conclusion.
    10. A
    *The "twenty punches" approach that Buffett often shares with regards to financial decisions is useful in every area of one's life. Buffett seems to have applied it throughout his own--from the food on his plate to the friends he keeps and the companies he owns.