Good old Jim Cramer. His provocative ways have brought a lot of eyeballs and ears to his Mad Money show on CNBC, and he draws attention elsewhere, too. Daily Show host Jon Stewart, for example, recently clobbered him in a high-profile fashion. Stewart enjoyed showing clips of Cramer saying some regrettable things. Well, now it's my turn to bring up some of Mr. Cramer's words.

It seems that during a recent appearance on The Today Show, Cramer suggested that Warren Buffett should be "attacked" more than the "little guys" who report on the stock market on TV. He said: "You know, Warren Buffett, I could run tapes [of things he's said] -- he would look like a complete fool."

Of course I sat up at that. Buffett, a Fool? Like us? Why, that would be great! So I went looking for some of Buffett's words to support such a proposition. Here are some I found in Janet Lowe's book, Warren Buffett Speaks:

  • "[L]ook at stocks as small pieces of the business." Here, Buffett cites value investor Benjamin Graham. This is how we at The Motley Fool have long viewed stocks. While others may simply study stock-price movements and trends, we've focused on the companies behind the stocks, looking for long-term winners.

  • "You pay a very high price in the stock market for a cheery consensus. Uncertainty actually is the friend of the buyer of long-term values." Several of our approaches thrive on uncertainty. For instance, our Rule Breaker investing approach (meant to help you seek aggressive growth with a portion of your portfolio) actually likes to see stocks that the mainstream considers to be overvalued, in part because that creates uncertainty among the investing public that can mask their true value. Meanwhile, the approach of our Inside Value newsletter team includes companies that are currently scorned due to temporary troubles, such as American Express (NYSE:AXP).

  • "The three most important words of investing: 'margin of safety.'" When we invest, we like to look for a margin of safety, too. If you buy a company that seems worth $50 per share for $45, it may be a good buy. But if you can buy it for $35 or $40, you'll enjoy a greater margin of safety. Even the entire market is offering a greater margin of safety right now -- to many people, it seems a great time to buy. (Even Buffett himself took to the op-ed page a while back, saying he was buying American stocks.)

  • "We like stocks that generate high returns on invested capital [ROIC] where there is a strong likelihood that it will continue to do so." We respect ROIC, too. Here are some companies with good returns on invested capital that have also earned the respect of our 130,000-member strong Motley Fool CAPS community, having earned a top rating of five stars:



Western Union (NYSE:WU)


Noble (NYSE:NE)


Accenture (NYSE:ACN)


Cognizant Technology (NASDAQ:CTSH)


Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL)


Agrium (NYSE:AGU)


Sources: Capital IQ, a division of Standard and Poor's; Motley Fool CAPS.

  • "Never ask the barber if you need a haircut." Our entire company was founded on the premise that we were like Shakespeare's dramatic Fools -- here to tell you the truth, unlike the professionals on Wall Street, who faced conflicts of interest and often profited from your trading.

Teaching and sharing
There are other similarities, too. For one thing, Buffett has spoken admiringly of his mentor Ben Graham's generosity in teaching others about investing, and also about how open he was with his stock ideas. Buffett himself keeps his stock trading as secret as he can (he's obligated by law to make some regular disclosures), but he does actively carry on the Graham tradition of teaching, hosting many groups of students who visit Omaha and also teaching the rest of us through his annual letters to shareholders and appearances in the media.

We at the Fool have similar impulses, having founded our company with the mission "to educate, amuse and enrich." Since our early days, we've aimed to teach our readers (and learn from them, as well), and we've shared our investing ideas. These days, we offer our research through newsletters -- which you can always try for free for a month, including access to all their recommendations.

So there you have it -- Warren Buffett does indeed look like a complete Fool. Of course, he's been delivering his messages since well before the Fool was born. So maybe it's more a matter of us looking rather like Buffett.

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Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of American Express. American Express, Accenture, and Western Union are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. The Fool owns shares of American Express. Try our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.