この逸話を振り返るのは重要だ。というのは弱気相場で起こったこと、つまり「けっこう割安なものでさえも、それよりずっと割安になった」事態を強力に思い起こさせるからだ。 またそれは、その知恵を悟った証しでもあり、力を残しておく必要性を示すものでもある。バフェットがワシントン・ポスト社の株式を早い時期にずっと高い値段で買ったせいで、1974年や75年に一時的な損失が出たことを気に病んでいたら、どうなっていただろうか。同社の株を買い増しできなかっただけでなく、ことによればパニックに陥るか、あるいは株価が順調に転落する間に持ち分を処分してしまったかもしれないのだ。しかし彼がそうしなかったことには、ひとりのバリュー投資家が持ち得る正当な信念が反映されている。それは、安値で買うことによって手にできる安全余裕に対する自信である。


Bear Market Memory

Recalling this episode is important because it powerfully evokes the memory of what happens in bear markets: Good bargains become even better bargains. It is also inspirational testimony to the wisdom and necessity of staying power: Had Buffett worried about the interim losses in 1974 or 1975 from his earlier and more expensive purchases of Washington Post shares, he might have not only failed to add to his holdings but, conceivably, might also have panicked or been forced out of his steadily dropping position. That he didn't reflects the well-founded conviction a value investor is able to have, confident in the margin of safety that a bargain purchase is able to confer.

Back in 1974 and 1975, when the shares of Washington Post were declining so sweetly for Buffett, what might his daily experience have been like? As confident as Buffett was back then, projecting out his future wealth from currently depressed point A to future point B, there were almost certainly times that a bit of fear rose in his throat, too. He wouldn't be human or risk-averse if the near-daily markdowns of his bargain purchase didn't create room for reflection.

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