Warren Buffett: Financial institutions

“If you’re analyzing something like WD-40, or See’s Candy, or our brick business, or whatever…they may have good or bad prospects but you’re not likely to be fooling yourself much about what’s going on currently. But with financial institutions, it’s much tougher. Then you throw in derivatives on top of it, and…no one probably knows perfectly — or even within a reasonable range — the exact condition of some of the biggest banks in the world…. I just think you have to accept the fact that insurance, banking, finance companies — we’ve seen all kinds of finance company…frauds and just big mistakes over time — just one after another over the years. It’s just a more dangerous field to analyze. It doesn’t mean you can’t make money in it. We’ve made a lot of money on it. But it’s difficult.” —Warren Buffett.

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