Warren Buffett often uses baseball to describe investing concepts. His no called strikes analogy is a reminder that doing nothing is an important option. Of course, it’s more important than ever in a world dominated by noise, that drives actions, in an industry that profits from transactions.
Unlike baseball, there are no limits to the number of investment pitches you see. There’s no umpire judging the quality of the pitches you see and pass up either. But the peanut gallery still exists in some form — clients or the media — pressuring you to swing at anything.
Here’s the thing. If you don’t like the pitch, don’t swing. You can stand at the plate, with the bat on your shoulder, doing nothing but waiting…for the perfect pitch.
He used the analogy in a Fortune interview in 1974 to explain his style of investing. I can’t say if it was the first time he used it, but the timing was impeccable. He had walked away from his partnership in 1969 at the market peak, only to reappear at the ’74 bottom. Then he relayed a simple message of patience. Continue Reading…