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My first notable stock market investments came during the financial crisis. I was terrified.

Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting 2016

Everywhere I turned and everyone I talked to was warning about the end of the world. People were selling left and right.

Key takeaways from Warren Buffett’s 2016 letter to shareholders

And prices just kept plummeting. But by conquering that personal fear and doing my best to catch some of the raining gold pouring out of dark economic clouds, I was able to build up a portfolio of deeply discounted stocks. Those stocks eventually rebounded and then some. In extreme cases, such as claims arising from exposure to asbestos, payments can stretch over many decades.

Meanwhile, insurers get to invest this float for their own benefit. But those venturesome pioneers [early Americans] crafted a system that unleashed human potential, and their successors built upon it.

Thoughts on Value Investing

This economic creation will deliver increasing wealth to our progeny far into the future. Yes, the build-up of wealth will be interrupted for short periods from time to time. It will not, however, be stopped. Only one investment professional was brave enough to take on the challenge of simply beating the index fund. For decades, Jack has urged investors to invest in ultra-low-cost index funds. In his crusade, he amassed only a tiny percentage of the wealth that has typically flowed to managers who have promised their investors large rewards while delivering them nothing — or, as in our bet, less than nothing — of added value.

In his early years, Jack was frequently mocked by the investment-management industry.

7 Enlightening Lessons From Berkshire Hathaway’s 2016 Annual Report

Today, however, he has the satisfaction of knowing that he helped millions of investors realize far better returns on their savings than they otherwise would have earned. He is a hero to them and to me. The best choice for those of us wanting to maximize our stock market returns is also the simplest, just invest in the index fund already!

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10 Things I Learned from Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter to Berkshire Shareholders

It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. On share repurchases: It is puzzling There, price would always factor into a buy-or-pass decision. Make the trade!

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But we have made no commitment that Berkshire will hold any of its marketable securities forever. On investment fees: When trillions of dollars are managed by Wall Streeters charging high fees, it will usually be the managers who reap outsized profits, not the clients.

Both large and small investors should stick with low-cost index funds.