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Why Warren Buffett Calls Himself 15% Phil Fisher

If you follow Warren Buffett’s Q&A session at the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meetings, you have probably heard the Berkshire Hathaway CEO describe himself as as 85% Benjamin Graham and 15% Phil Fisher. The useful examination that follows is: In what regard is Buffett 15% Phil Fisher, and would it be wise for us to emulate likewise?

My view is that Phil Fisher’s appeal comes from plugging in answers to the limitations of Benjamin Graham’s philosophy and offering one superior edge.
The two limitations of Graham’s philosophy are that the types of bargains he found during the days of “Security Analysis” do not exist any more. Warren Buffett found an insurance operation in the 1950s trading in the $30s that was worth over triple the amount that he paid. The percent of publicly traded stock trading at a 70% to 90% discount is dramatically less than what Graham could find when he was scouring the detritus of The Great Depression.

Secondly, Graham made his money by purchasing under…

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