In an interview with Warren Buffett in 1993, Adam Smith, author of Supermoney, asked how the small investor can find good investment ideas.
Buffett said, “I’d tell him to do exactly what I did 40-odd years ago, which is to learn about every company in the United States that has publicly traded securities, and that bank of knowledge will do him or her terrific good over time.”
Smith asked, “But there are 27,000 public companies! Where should one start?”
Buffett replied, “Well, start with the A’s.”
Fifty years ago, when Buffett was starting out as a new investor, he was not the go-to guy if you wanted to sell your company or raise capital for your failing bank.