Buffett Coca Cola
Source: Coca-Cola Stories. 

Warren Buffett is one of the best known, and most successful investors on the planet. But he admits how he determines where he should put his money is a "pretty simple," process.

One of the best known investments Buffett has made through Berkshire Hathaway is in Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) which he first began buying in 1988 and stopped 20 years ago in 1994. By then he had more than quadrupled the value of his $1.3 billion investment. And it has only continued to skyrocket over the last 20 years:

Source: Company Investor Relations. 

As shown above, when you consider just the value of the investment itself -- which excludes dividends paid each and every quarter -- Berkshire Hathaway has had an astounding gain of more than $16 billion.

So how has Buffett made such remarkable money through an investment Coca-Cola?

As he explains in the video below, his decision to invest extended well beyond the value of the company on its financial statements. He looked at the product it provided, its brand, its leadership, and much more. Although it wasn't necessarily complicated, it was absolutely thorough, as he gauged its future income potential relative to its price.

Buffett wants us to see "the important thing is to be in the right business with the right people," so long as long as, "you don't go crazy in terms of what you paid for it."

At times, we think we should only be concerned about the underlying numbers of a company. And at other times, we only think about its broader business prospects. But we must see -- as Buffett did -- the key consideration is a balance of both.

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Patrick Morris owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Coca-Cola. The Motley Fool recommends Berkshire Hathaway and Coca-Cola. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and has the following options: long January 2016 $37 calls on Coca-Cola and short January 2016 $37 puts on Coca-Cola. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.