18 Invaluable Alice Schroeder Quotes

Alice Schroeder is a well known American author, columnist and former insurance analyst. Contributing to Bloomberg News, Schroeder’ is the author of the New York Bestselling book, ‘The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life.’ Her work was considered one of the top ten best books of the year. Here is a look at some of the best Alice Schroeder quotes from her works.

“Do what you love and work for whom you admire the most, and you’ve given yourself the best chance in life you can.”

“Everybody wants attention and admiration. Nobody wants to be criticized. The sweetest sound in the English language is the sound of a person’s own name. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly. Let the other person save face.’”

“Gold standard,” which the United States had dropped in 1933. Ever since, the Treasury had been printing money freely to finance first the New Deal and now the war. Howard feared that someday the United States might wind up like Germany in the 1920s, when people had to cart wheelbarrows of money down the street to buy a head of cabbage—the direct result of Germany being forced to deplete its gold stock to pay reparations after World War I.1 The economic chaos that resulted was one of the major factors that had led to Hitler.”

“He added one catch: She must sign a noncompete agreement, a contract designed so that she could never again compete with him. This was something he wished he’d done before. The absurdity of imposing a noncompete agreement on a ninety-nine-year-old woman was far from lost on him. Nevertheless, Buffett was taking no chances.”

“He flaunted obnoxious feats of memory by quoting page numbers and passages back in class and correcting his teachers on their text citations.14 “You forgot the comma,” he said to one.”

“He has a really consistent routine. He comes in in the morning at around 8:30. He reads five newspapers. He reads The Financial Times, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Omaha World Herald. Then he has a stack of reports on his desk from the companies Berkshire owns, and some trade press like American Banker or oil and gas journals, and through the rest of the day, he alternates between flipping through this stuff and then talking on the phone to people either who call him or who he calls. He never calls his managers; they can call him. He is really accessible, but he leaves them alone.”

“He thought of partners as people who had come together out of a complex set of shared values and interests, not out of short-term economic convenience.”

“I feel like I’m on my back, and there’s the Sistine Chapel, and I’m painting away. I like it when people say, ‘Gee, that’s a pretty good-looking painting.’ But it’s my painting, and when somebody says, ‘Why don’t you use more red instead of blue?’ Good-bye. It’s my painting. And I don’t care what they sell it for. The painting itself will never be finished. That’s one of the great things about it.”

“I had these Whitman coin boards with slots for the coins. I said to Don, ‘It looks to me like we could take these coin boards and use them as molds for casting slugs.’ “Danly was the brains of the operation. And so, sure enough, he learned how to pour these molds for casting slugs, and I supplied the coin boards. We would try to use the slugs for vending machines for soda pop and things like that. Our basic formula was to have our income in currency and our outgo in slugs.”

“I was in this Charlie Munger–influenced type transition—sort of back and forth. It was kind of like during the Protestant Reformation. And I would listen to Martin Luther one day and the Pope the next. Ben Graham, of course, being the Pope.”

“It was always something what we did or said, and there would be this flash, and then it didn’t subside. all your past sins would be brought up, it was just endless. and my mother attributed it sometimes to having neuralgia, but she never showed that outwardly.”

“On me personally what has been the most important was to understand the value of time — and this is something that has come from observing him, learning his story and that time compounds. What you do when you are young (and as you use time over your life) can have an exponential effect so that if you are thoughtful about it, you can really have powerful results later, if you want to.”

“Stocks are the things to own over time. Productivity will increase and stocks will increase with it. There are only a few things you can do wrong. One is to buy or sell at the wrong time. Paying high fees is the other way to get killed. The best way to avoid both of these is to buy a low-cost index fund, and buy it over time. Be greedy when others are fearful, and fearful when others are greedy, but don’t think you can outsmart the market. “If a cross-section of American industry is going to do well over time, then why try to pick the little beauties and think you can do better? Very few people should be active investors.”

“The big question about how people behave is whether they’ve got an Inner Scorecard or an Outer Scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an Inner Scorecard.”

“The Buffetts followed the trail blazed by earlier SUVs a few miles onward from the airport to the tiny town of Ketchum, near the turnoff to the Elkhorn Pass. A few miles later, they rounded Dollar Mountain, where a green oasis appeared, nestled among the brown slopes. Here amid the lacy pines and shimmering aspens lay Sun Valley, the mountains’ most fabled resort.”

“The Keoughs were wonderful neighbors,” he said. “It’s true that occasionally Don would mention that, unlike me, he had a job, but the relationship was terrific. One time my wife, Susie, went over and did the proverbial Midwestern bit of asking to borrow a cup of sugar, and Don’s wife, Mickie, gave her a whole sack. When I heard about that, I decided to go over to the Keoughs’ that night myself. I said to Don, ‘Why don’t you give me twenty-five thousand dollars for the partnership to invest?’ And the Keough family stiffened a little bit at that point, and I was rejected. “I came back sometime later and asked for the ten thousand dollars Clarke referred to and got a similar result. But I wasn’t proud. So I returned at a later time and asked for five thousand dollars. And at that point, I got rejected again. “So one night, in the summer of 1962, I started heading over to the Keough house. I don’t know whether I would have dropped it to twenty-five hundred dollars or not, but by the time I got to the Keough household, the whole place was dark, silent. There wasn’t a thing to see. But I knew what was going on. I knew that Don and Mickie were hiding upstairs, so I didn’t leave. “I rang that doorbell. I knocked. Nothing happened. But Don and Mickie were upstairs, and it was pitch-black. “Too dark to read, and too early to go to sleep. And I remember that day as if it were yesterday. That was June twenty-first, 1962. “Clarke, when were you born?” “March twenty-first, 1963.” “It’s little things like that that history turns on. So you should be glad they didn’t give me the ten thousand dollars.”

“There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up and through every class that rests upon it.”

“Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre.”

Here is an inside look at Alice Schroeder as she discusses her writing about Warren Buffet. In this special About the Money Segment, Schroeder goes one on one with Josephine Cheng.

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