The chairman and CEO of multinational conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway today explained in his annual letter (pdf) to shareholders that some of the best market advice can be found in the words of 19th-century British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling.
When the market throws him for a loop, Warren Buffett looks to poetry. No, really.
Buffett’s letter to shareholders is a much anticipated annual event for anyone who wishes to gain insight into what the so-called “Oracle of Omaha” is thinking about the economic climate. In this instance, with his letter coming so soon after a sudden US stocks correction, Buffett reminded shareholders that market crashes are unavoidable, noting four instances since 1973 in which he took a hit himself. “Your mind may well become rattled by scary headlines and breathless commentary,” the letter states. “And an unsettled mind will not make good decisions.”
In particular, Buffett said he consults these lines from Kipling’s 1895 poem, “If”: