How Buffett learned to buy great businesses by Patricia Sellers @FortuneMagazine November 8, 2013, 6:21 PM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons When Warren Buffett began investing more than 60 years ago, he tended to buy mediocre businesses at mediocre prices. Then someone gave the Berkshire Hathaway CEO the best advice he says he ever got. That is: Pay up for really good businesses like American Express and See’s Candies. Buffett’s adviser: Charlie Munger, who is now 89 years old and Berkshire Hathaway’s vice-chairman. Munger convinced Buffett, 83, to learn to “make silk purses out of silk.” And that philosophy has turned out to be a key to the two men’s extraordinary investing success. “Forget the sow’s ears,” says Buffett, who applies the “silk purse” credo to all his relationships in life.