LESSON 15

If You Want to Marry, Don’t Tarry

WARREN HAS a penchant for fast deals.

When he bought 90 percent of the gargantuan Nebraska Furniture Mart from Rose Blumkin—the famous Mrs. B—for $55 million in one day, Warren learned a valuable lesson. He explained his mistake six years later in his 1988 letter to Berkshire shareholders.

“Your Chairman blundered then by neglecting to ask Mrs. B a question any schoolboy would have thought of: ‘Are there any more at home like you?’ Last month I corrected the error: We are now 80 percent partners with another branch of the family.”

When the opportunity presented itself, Warren did not hesitate to obtain the stake in Borsheims, the 25,400-square-foot Omaha jewelry and tabletop furnishings store run by ...

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