Thursday, January 3, 2008

Now That's What I Call Moneyball

A study of Warren Buffett's plate discipline:

The theory behind [Ted] Williams' runaway success was quite simple. He split the strike zone into 77 cells, each of which made up the size of a baseball, and rather than swing at anything that made its way into the strike zone, he would swing only at balls within his best cell -- the ones he knew he could hit. If balls didn't enter his best cell, he simply waited for the next one -- even if it meant striking out now and then.

How does this relate to investing and Buffett's success? Buffett, like Williams, will "swing" only at investments that come right down the center, at just the right speed, straight into his best cell. As Buffett describes, the analogy works out better for investors than for baseball hitters because investors can never be struck out. Patient investors can wait around as long as they wish until they are served exactly what they demand.

Funny how no one ever criticizes Buffet for clogging up the basepaths.

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