When someone takes their existing business and tries to transform it into something else - they fail. In technology that is often the case. Look at Kodak: it was the dominant imaging company in the world. They did fabulously during the great depression, but then wiped out the shareholders because of technological change.
I'm used to people with very high IQs knowing how to recognize reality, but there's a huge human tendency where it may be instructive to think that whatever you're doing to succeed is all right.
Gold is a great thing to sew into your garments if you're a Jewish family in Vienna in 1939, but I think civilized people don't buy gold, they invest in productive businesses.
There's danger in just shoveling out money to people who say, 'My life is a little harder than it used to be.' At a certain place you've got to say to the people, 'Suck it in and cope, buddy. Suck it in and cope.'
A banker who is allowed to borrow money at X and loan it out at X plus Y will just go crazy and do too much of it if the civilization doesn't have rules that prevent it.
I believe Costco does more for civilization than the Rockefeller Foundation. I think it's a better place. You get a bunch of very intelligent people sitting around trying to do good, I immediately get kind of suspicious and squirm in my seat.
Everyone has the idea of owning good companies. The problem is that they have high prices in relations to assets and earnings, and that takes all of the fun out of the game.
If all you needed to do is to figure out what company is better than others, everyone would make a lot of money. But that is not the case. They keep raising the prices to the point when the odds change.