What Warren Buffett would say about today’s share market outage

A number of system glitches have interrupted regular trading on the local share market today.

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX XJO) experienced a delayed opening and the market operator was the subject of plenty of criticism for delaying the opening of the group of companies with names starting with letters N to R in a staggered return to trade. The market was again halted later in the afternoon, much to the dismay of day traders.

Source: ASX, Twitter

Source: ASX, Twitter

As frustrating as it may be for some investors, it will remind others of a famous quote by legendary investor Warren Buffett:

“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”

Buffett also said:

“I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”

That’s not to say the ASX will be closed for the next five or ten years. But today’s outage should at very least act to remind investors of the importance of investing in high-quality businesses that they plan to hold onto for the long-run.

One company that may come to mind is Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL), which is the second-oldest surviving company on the ASX. As an investment conglomerate, Soul Patts, as it is known, is often regarded as the closest thing to Berkshire Hathaway (of which Warren Buffett is CEO) we have here in Australia.

Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) is another business that has withstood the test of time. As the owner of businesses such as Coles, Bunnings Warehouse and Officeworks, Wesfarmers could be another business for conservative long-term investors to consider buying.

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The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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