Tren Griffin @trengriffin I work for Microsoft. Previously I was a partner at Eagle River, a private equity firm established by Craig McCaw. I am on the board of directors of Kymeta. Dec. 03, 2019 1 min read

1/ "If the price of a painting goes from $250 to $50 million in one hundred years, what's the annual rate of return? Buffett's answer was instantaneous: '13.0 percent.' The astonished Stavrou asked, "How did you do that?"

Robert Hagstrom writes in
"The Warren Buffett Portfolio"

2/ Buffett pointed out a compound interest table revealed the answer. (He's a walking interest table? Maybe.) Another way to approach the problem was "to go by the number of times it doubles ($250 doubles about 17.6 times to get to $50M, a double every 5.7 years, or about 13%."

3/ "I asked him whether he ever used a calculator." Buffett replied, "I never owned one and wouldn't know how to use one."
"But how do you do more complicated calculations?" Stavrou pressed. "Are you gifted?"
"No, no," Buffett said.

4/ Buffett said. "It's just that I've been working with numbers for a long time. It's number sense."
"Can you give me an example? Like what's 99 times 99?"
Without missing a beat, Buffett replied, "9,801."
Stavrou asked Buffett how he knew that. "I read Feynman's autobiography."

5/ A story I was told: A drives up to a group of people including Buffett. Buffett asks A what he paid for the car. A replies: "127,500." Buffett immediately: "You could have bought X instead for $45,250. At 12% in Z years that difference would be worth [insert correct answer].

You can follow @trengriffin.


Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Enjoy Threader? Sign up.

Threader is an independent project created by only two developers. The site gets 500,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Running this space is expensive and time consuming. If you find Threader useful, please consider supporting us to make it a sustainable project.