At Burgundy, we often celebrate the accomplishments of Warren Buffett – quoting his famous quips, sharing takeaways from Berkshire’s annual letter, and drawing inspiration from his remarkable investment success. In his 2023 Forum speech, however, Burgundy CEO Rob Sankey takes a slightly different approach, choosing instead to look at what the Oracle of Omaha has never done.

After outlining seven instances of avoidance, we find some enduring lessons for investors.

For an alternate format, access the transcript via the “Download PDF” link at the top of this post. The transcript has been edited for clarity.


  • 02:48: Never lost his long-term perspective. Buffett has chosen progress over pessimism.
  • 03:59: Never let the path get interrupted. Buffett’s discipline has kept him invested and helped him avoid big losses.
  • 05:31: Never abandoned his core investment beliefs (but he’s evolved). Buffett has adapted without straying from his approach.
  • 06:31: Never made it harder than necessary. Guided by his circle of competence, Buffett has avoided applying false precision to his approach.
  • 08:30: Never invested in non-productive assets. Buffett has aligned his investment approach with productive and adaptable assets.
  • 09:26: Never followed the herd. Buffett has followed his own advice to: “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.
  • 09:55: Never forgot about ‘The People’. Buffett has kept Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholders top of mind.
Rob Sankey

Robert Sankey, CFA

Chief Executive Officer

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