Warren Buffett’s Failures: 5 Investing Mistakes He Regrets

By Laura Woods

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Despite his investing prowess, Warren Buffett admits there have been a few mistakes over the years. Below he describes some of his investment missteps.


Warren Buffett is quite possibly the greatest investor of all time. A stock market player since age 11, he has a lifetime of stock-picking experience that has served him well.

For decades, the Berkshire Hathaway CEO, nicknamed the “Oracle of Omaha”, has shown his ability to read Wall Street like a book. He has a net worth of nearly $75 billion, according to Forbes. That makes him one of the richest people on the planet.

Despite his investing prowess, there have been a few Warren Buffett mistakes over the years.

Unlike some executives who try to pass the blame to an underling, however, Buffett owns his errors and assumes full responsibility when he fails to deliver to shareholders.

If you’re trying to sharpen your investing game, you can glean a lot from both Buffett’s wins and losses. Take a look at five Warren Buffett failures to see what went wrong, and what you can learn from his hard-earned wisdom.

In a 2010 interview with Becky Quick on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Buffett said, “The dumbest stock I ever bought was, drum roll here, Berkshire Hathaway.”

Buffett explained that he first invested in Berkshire Hathaway in 1962, when it was a failing textile company. He thought he would make a small profit when more mills closed, so he loaded up on stock.

He met with company management and agreed on a price to tender stock. But later, the firm tried to chisel Buffett out of more money. Angry, a spiteful Buffett bought control of the company, fired the manager and tried to keep the textile business running for another 20 years. Buffett estimated this vindictive move cost him $200 billion. He would have been better off buying a good insurance company, he said.

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