At the 2018 shareholders meeting, Warren Buffett said that he would rather hire someone who understands Benjamin Graham's book: The Intelligent Investor.
Graham > MBA
At the Berkshire Hathaway 2018 Annual Shareholders Meeting, Warren Buffett said that he would rather hire someone who truly understands Benjamin Graham's book — The Intelligent Investor — over a top business school graduate.
"I would rather have a person... if I could hire somebody among the top five graduates of number one, two or three of the business schools, and my choice was somebody that had — was bright — but had chapter eight of The Intelligent Investor absolutely... it just was natural to them, they had it in their bones basically, I’d take the person from chapter eight.
This is not... what we do is not a complicated business. It’s got to be a disciplined business, but it is... it does not require a super IQ or anything of the sort... and there are a few fundamentals that are incredibly important, and you do have to understand accounting.
But it just doesn’t require advanced learning."
Buffett ended this year's talk on a more generous note though, saying:
"I don’t know whether I would have done better or worse if I’d just quit after high school, you know, and read the books I read and all of that.
If you run into a few great teachers, and they really change the way you see the world to some degree, you know, you’re lucky... and you can find them in academia and you can find them in ordinary life."
Munger, however, was less generous with his closing comments on the subject and said:
"I finally figured out why the teachers of corporate finance often teach a lot of stuff that’s wrong.
When I had some eye trouble very early in life, I consulted a very famous eye doctor and I realized that his place of business was doing a totally obsolete cataract operation. They were still cutting with a knife with better procedures and I said why are you in the great medical school performing absolute obsolete operations. He said it’s such a wonderful operation to teach.
Well that’s what happens in corporate finance, they get these formulas and it’s fine teaching experience. You are given a formula, you are presented with a problem, you apply the formula, you get a real feeling of worthwhile activity. There is only on problem, it’s all balderdash.
Buffett and Munger have expressed similar views on academic theories in the past as well.