Source: 1989 Letter to shareholders
This is one of Buffett's more famous quotes, and it reflects one of the basic tenets of his investment strategy: He sticks with companies he can fully comprehend, and ones for which the intrinsic value is self-evident, regardless of the current state of their finances. It's a philosophy that has served him well, making him one of the richest men in the world (he was the single-richest, in fact, in 2008, according to Forbes' annual list).
Buffett's interest in moneymaking began early. As a boy growing up in Omaha, Neb., he would sell chewing gum and magazines door to door, and he filed his first tax return at age 14 (marking deductions for his bicycle and watch, used on a paper route). In high school, Buffett and a friend bought a pinball machine and put in a local barber shop; they quickly expanded that enterprise to include several pinball machines around town.
Today, Buffett's personal net worth hovers right around $55 billion and his investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, owns a number of notable American companies outright, including: GEICO, Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds, and half of Heinz.