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  • Writer's pictureEric Williams

Business buyer advice from Benjamin Graham

Benjamin Graham, who had a strong influence on Warren Buffett’s investment philosophy, believed in self-reliance and not making decisions based on what others think (whether that be "Mr. Market", or advisors). The following quote from Graham provides good food for thought for buyers of small businesses:

“Have the courage of your knowledge and experience. If you have formed a conclusion from the facts and if you know your judgment is sound, act on it – even though others may hesitate or differ. You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right.”

Many small business buyers make the mistake of relying on advisors to tell them whether or not they should buy a business. The problem with this is that the reason that many attorneys, CPAs, management consultants, and money managers do what they do rather than buy and run businesses is that they are not comfortable with general entrepreneurial risk. Consequently, they may not be the best people to ask “should I buy this business or not?” Rather, a better use for these professionals is to have them help you better understand a prospective acquisition, its risk factors, and its pros and cons. Then armed with that information YOU can make a decision about whether it makes sense or not for your situation, objectives, and risk tolerance.


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