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Warren Buffett on Sex

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Besides being the world's greatest investor, Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE: BRK-A  ) (NYSE: BRK-B  ) Warren Buffett is a Michelangelo when it comes to drawing analogies.

He is a master at distilling complex concepts into humorous one-liners that we can understand. And we tend to trust him because he only invests and speaks about what he knows. He develops decades-long relationships with portfolio holdings including Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) , Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC  ) , and American Express (NYSE: AXP  ) ; while he's been known to sneak a peek at companies outside his circle of competence, you'll never see him stray to Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) or Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) .

What does all this have to do with sex, you ask? Well, we already know that Buffett tends to stick to stuff he understands in and out. We also know that his analogies frequently involve sex. Ahem. You can connect the dots yourself. To help you, here are our favorite Warren Buffett thoughts on sex!

Buffett's advice seems to be to start early ... and we ain't talkin' retirement planning:

On being active: "It's nice to have a lot of money, but you know, you don't want to keep it around forever. I prefer buying things. Otherwise, it's a little like saving sex for your old age."

On career advice: "A few months ago I was talking to another MBA student, a very talented man, about 30 years old from a great school with a great resume. I asked him what he wanted to do for his career, and he replied that he wanted to go into a particular field, but thought he should work for McKinsey for a few years first to add to his resume. To me that's like saving sex for your old age. It makes no sense."

On loving your job: "You want to have a passion for what you are doing. You don't want to wait until 80 to have sex."

All this bedroom talk may have you wondering if Buffett is straying too far outside his primary circle of competence. Not to worry:

On ninja-like focus: "You know, if I'm playing bridge and a naked woman walks by, I don't ever see her."

On due diligence: "Other guys read Playboy, I read annual reports."

On over-diversification: "If you have a harem of 40 women, you never get to know any of them very well."

Of course, maybe we're underestimating how large his circle is:

On internal yardsticks: "Would you prefer to be the greatest lover in the world and known as the worst, or would you prefer to be the worst lover and known as the greatest?"

Sometimes opportunity knocks -- gather ye rosebuds while ye may:

On investing in 1973: "I feel like an oversexed guy on a desert island. I can't find anything to buy."

On investing in 1974: "I feel like an oversexed man in a harem. This is the time to start investing."

An indecent proposal: 

On selling your business to Berkshire vs. private equity: "You can sell it to Berkshire, and we'll put it in the Metropolitan Museum; it'll have a wing all by itself; it'll be there forever. Or you can sell it to some porn shop operator, and he'll take the painting and he'll make the boobs a little bigger and he'll stick it up in the window, and some other guy will come along in a raincoat, and he'll buy it.''

Buy and hold ain't dead:

On becoming a true investor: "We believe that according the name 'investors' to institutions that trade actively is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one-night stands a 'romantic.'"

Some insights into the current economic situation that make us wonder which of these he's tried:

On the first stimulus package: "[It was like] half a tablet of Viagra and then having also a bunch of candy mixed in -- it doesn't have really quite the wallop."

Solicited to buy Bear Stearns, and asked if he wanted more information (from the book Street Fighters): "It was sort of like having a woman standing in front of you who had taken half her clothes off and then asked whether she should continue, [Buffett] thought. Just as he'd want the woman to finish the job, he was certainly curious to hear what was happening that weekend with the embattled Bear."

On the speed of economic recovery: "You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant. It just doesn't work that way."

Buffett knew a girl who knew a guy who knew a credit default swap:

On financially transmitted diseases: "Derivatives are like sex. It's not who we're sleeping with, it's who they're sleeping with that's the problem."

We showed you ours. Now show us yours (Buffett quotes in the comments section, that is).

More Buffettisms:

Fool contributors Morgan Housel and Anand Chokkavelu both own shares of Berkshire Hathaway, but don't own shares in any other companies mentioned in this article. They have no more publishable Buffett boudoir puns, but reviewers say the outtakes reel is hilarious. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Berkshire Hathaway is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. American Express, Berkshire Hathaway, and Coca-Cola are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of American Express and Berkshire Hathaway. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (10) | Recommend This Article (151)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 13, 2009, at 1:44 PM, h2ound08 wrote:

    haha excellent article, thanks for a good laugh. and he really is quite a wordsmith. thanks again for this.

  • Report this Comment On July 13, 2009, at 4:41 PM, inphluence wrote:

    This was an entertaining article! Buffet has made my day once again with this quote: "Derivatives are like sex. It's not who we're sleeping with, it's who they're sleeping with that's the problem."

  • Report this Comment On July 14, 2009, at 11:55 AM, joaquingrech wrote:

    I have so many Buffett quotes that I love, these ones are also good:

    "We don't go into companies with the thought of effecting a lot of changes. That doesn't work any better in investments than it does in marriages."


    "We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds, though I have learned to live with those also."

    I could give you 20, but then it would be spamming :)

    Joaquin Grech

  • Report this Comment On July 14, 2009, at 12:25 PM, JGBFool wrote:

    "You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant. It just doesn't work that way."

    Man, someone should have told Travis Henry that. Actually, there are a LOT of things that Travis Henry needed to hear. Too late now, though.

  • Report this Comment On July 14, 2009, at 12:38 PM, TMFEditorsDesk wrote:

    Great quotes, Joaquin.

    We'll save the first one for the USA television premiere of "Buffett: Marriage Counselor."

    The second one could have definitely made it into the article...out of context.


  • Report this Comment On July 14, 2009, at 8:42 PM, kellogg9 wrote:

    Hilarious article...i actualyl learned something new in it too despite its humours tone.



  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2009, at 9:19 PM, CAPTAINWACK wrote:

    God bless the old fart. I still think he should have cashed out last year and spent his golden years with Hugh Hefflips banging those hot babes at the playboy mansion.

    Perhaps he'll send me a cool billion and I'll take his place.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2009, at 10:15 AM, intune22 wrote:

    Socrates said:

    "I mock those who recommend temperance; why don't they just have the courage to conquer their desires."

    Socrates made it clear that to cave in to the 'tyranny of desire or of the senses' is greatly lessened by that of personal morals.


    "We don't desire things because we find them good, we judge that something is good because we desire it."

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2011, at 5:48 AM, drum1234 wrote:

    Something not discussed enough... Buffet may be brilliant, but he's also a dirty ol' man.

  • Report this Comment On May 02, 2012, at 3:46 PM, veritasvincit wrote:

    "A girl in a convertible is worth 5 in the phone book."

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