Collection: Warren Buffett - #203 'EVA'

Video Link: https://youtu.be/f1lhGlHtd9s

In this episode, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger were asked to comment on EVA (Economic Value Added).

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Charlie Munger on EVA.

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(Source: https://buffett.cnbc.com/2000-berkshire-hathaway-annual-meeting/)

~ Please visit the site above for full video of Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.


Hi, my name is Jason Tang (PH) from Traverse City, Michigan. Before I ask my question, I want to know that it’s true that you guys are going to be here tomorrow at 9:30 to answer more questions. (Laughter)

My question, I just recently read the book, “Quest for Value,” by — I think the author is Bennett Stewart, from Stern Stewart consulting firm.

And I want to talk to you a bit about — just ask you about different valuation methodologies, and EVA in particular, and how that may or may not be more valid than, let’s say, other benchmarks of value, like P/E, or price-to-book, or price-to-sales.

Is that something closer? I noticed that the language that was used in this book was real similar to the type of language you guys use in your writings. So I’d like you to talk a little bit about EVA, if you could.


Charlie, why don’t you take EVA?


I think there’s an awful lot of twaddle and bullshit. (Laughter)


I knew that’s what he was going to say. And I thought it deserved it, so I — and I didn’t want to say it myself.


In EVA, we keep stating, over and over again, that the game is to turn the retained dollars into something more than dollars.

And EVA tends to incorporate cost of capital ideas that just make no sense at all. They make it sound very fashionable.

And, God knows, it’s correct that a corporation that earns a huge return on capital and keeps retaining it for a long time has a great record in terms of EVA. But the mental system, as a whole, does not work. It’s like medieval theology. (Laughter)


I like that second term better than the earlier one. (Laughter) Number 2.

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