Q: What is your latest idea of investing in China? And if you are going to do some investments in China, which industries will be your priorities and why?
巴菲特: China is a huge market and there are more possibilities because of its size. My partner Charles Thomas Munge looks at China a lot. We focus on not price but valuation of companies. We do close research on the companies and try to buy the whole business when we invest. During the last 50 years, the population grew rapidly in China and it was full of talent and people resources. Some interruptions will not disturb its development. China and the US will become two superpower economies in the future. We do appreciate big investment opportunities in China as this country has more chances.
中国是一个很大的市场，具有非常多的可能性。我和我的合作伙伴Charles Thomas Munge有很多关于中国的讨论和研究，我们注重公司的价值而非股票价格，希望购买下整个企业以进行运营。在过去的50年，中国人口飞速发展，人口红利巨大。一些波折并不会影响中国发展的脚步。中、美将来会是两大经济强国。如果在中国能找到合适的行业、合适的时间、合适的管理团队，我们会毫不犹豫的投资。
Q：You are one of the richest men in the world, as well as one of the most generous. What is your view of wealth? Is it established at the very beginning at a young age, or is it developed through different phases of your life?
A：This is a good question, about money. Money can buy most things, but it cannot buy time and love. I have only one thing that can count as luxury—a private jet. Other things are the same as yours. Money has no utility beyond certain point and the usage is the same to everyone. Charity can change life of many people. My wife and I both agree that we should spend money to solve the important societal problems. For example, universities in the US have external funding, but the diseases curing in Africa may not have funding.
Money can bring many interesting experiences. I enjoy this game of investing. However, more stuff does not mean happier. Money cannot buy love. When people try to control their kids through money, it may bring disasters. I believe taking care of family is very important.
Q:Bill Gates once said you are the most optimistic person he has ever known. Do you think you are optimistic, and why? Is it born with or learned later?
A: Optimism is a very important quality for a good investor. The result of life is getting better and stronger. Compared to Age of Jefferson (like back to 1776), people did not make a lot of progress. In less than 3 life times, significant changes and developments happened. Why? Human are not smarter, nor working harder, but we hung on with our potential. The economic system and government policies are delivering unbelievable results. Compared to old times when people died, and had fewer choices, everyone in the room live a better life. Our children, younger generations will live even better. Optimistic is realistic.
Q：If you were president, how would you make the immigrant policy?
A：Welcoming immigrants is a grand American tradition. The country couldn’t be here without the contributions from immigrants.
In 1939, two Jewish immigrants, Albert Einstein and Leo Szillard, wrote a letter to President Roosevelt, alerting him to Germany’s undergoing research of "extremely powerful bombs of a new type" and recommending that the U.S. begin similar research. The letter saved US. Steve Jobs was son of immigrant. When people comes, the market comes.
President Trump is reaching to the clear present danger. However, U.S. would be a better country 50 years from now if it keeps the great tradition.
Q：You have picked many successful companies previously. And the market will see your purchase of the stock as signals of confidence, how does this influence on your positions?
A：I have signed some confidential treatments with the SEC, but not for my portfolio. We still need to disclose our portfolio holdings 45 days of the end of the quarter. However, I think there should be intelligence properties behind the idea of what stock to buy and these ideas should be protected.
Management like the announcements though. But it will cost us a lot of money and it is negative to our investment. I have made attempt to not disclose what I am buying. We keep in mind to minimize the effects on market from our investment decisions.
Q: What is your view of the struggling newspaper industry?
A：In the old time, the advertisements on newspaper were source of information and it spread everything. Nowadays, the industry is declining and the classified sections do not help anymore. They lose print circulation, and thus the advertisement revenue. The internet accelerates the change of newspaper and news need to be in time. New York Times’ and Wall Street Journal’s digital part allows them to keep some print circulation (joint cost synergy). Washington Post increased online activity a few years ago. Most newspapers have not found a feasible way of paid online subscription.
Q：What is the most important improvement you make during the investments?
A：I was focusing on technical analysis when I was young. The intelligent investor, the book written by Benjamin Graham, reset my whole investment thinking. It taught me how to think about stock market. From my perspective, there are two courses that should be taught in all business schools: how to think about stock market and how to value stocks. Margin of safety is always the principle of investment.
The formula of investing never changes. First, how sure you are? Second, how soon it will to get you there? Third, what to do to achieve it?
Investing is buying a piece of business. You could buy business with one million dollars in Omaha. What will you invest? Maybe a fast-food restaurant since people need to have food every day. Go through the ideas in your mind, look at things, and grab information. That is why investing is amazing: you only need to make decisions rather than do it by yourself. Since the market prices change every day, opportunities are always there. Mr. Market is there to serve you. You should utilize it when he goes crazy rather than let him take pressure on you.
本杰明•格拉罕（Benjamin Graham）的《聪明的投资者》(The intelligent investor)对我的影响很大。我刚开始投资的时候一直侧重技术分析，而这本书彻底改变了我的投资思路，教会我如何理解股票市场。在我看来，商学院教投资只需要两门课：一是如何思考股票。二是如何对股票进行估值。投资策略的准则就在于安全边际(margin of safety)。
Q：What is the best investment, favorite investment and learned-most investment in your life?
A：The best investment is in yourself. On my wall in the office, there is a certificate degree of Dale Carnegie Course, which I signed up for giving public talking. This is the best investment ever in my life.
Also we should invest in right friends. Associating with important friends will shape your life. Right friends or a spouse can make a huge difference in your life, such as my partner Charlie Munger.
When I was a student, I went to an insurance company, GEICO, in Washington DC downtown on a Saturday afternoon. And I pounded on the door and the custodian let me in. He introduced me to the only person at the office at that time and he gave me a 4 hour brief about the insurance business, which changed my life.
When I want to know about coal industry, I would ask people in coal companies, which competitor’s stock you will buy and which you will short and why? That is very useful for marketing research since people love to talk about their competitors.