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Warren Buffett on opportunity cost

Opportunity costs have been in the forefront of our minds during the last 18 months. It’s tougher to calibrate A, versus B, versus C in a fast-changing environment. Tougher and possibly more profitable. We got lots of calls [for potential investments]—most we ignored. We were called by Goldman Sachs on a Wednesday for $5 billion, and we [already] had a $5 billion commitment to Constellation Energy, $3 billion on Dow Chemical, $6.5 billion on the Wrigley Mars deal.

We never want to get dependent on banks. It’s a good sign that we haven’t had the flurry [of phone calls] like last year. Normally, we would not have sold Johnson & Johnson if it were 10 – 15 points higher, [but we wanted to have a comfortable amount of cash on hand]. Our definition of comfortable is very comfortable.

Source: Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting
Time: 2009

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