Learning from Warren Buffett
If you haven’t seen the HBO documentary, Becoming Warren Buffett, I highly recommend it.
The “Oracle of Omaha,” legendary for his investing prowess, is an amazing person from whom, and from whose example, much learning is available.
A couple of my favorite takeaways from the film:
- If you were given a car, but the catch was it was the only car you would ever own, how would you take care of it? Buffett’s point: think about that relative to how you take care of your body and your brain–this is the only body and brain you will ever own.
- Part of why Buffett continues to be bullish on the United States is because the U.S. has had amazing results despite great barriers to more than half its people. Women have been excluded from many things and things can only improve exponentially as more women break through the glass ceilings. (Buffett didn’t say so, but the same can be said for minorities who have been excluded and underrepresented.)
- It’s important to recognize and acknowledge your privilege. Buffett didn’t put it exactly that way. What he said was he knows how much he owes to the luck of birth: He was born in the United States, as a (white) male, to a set of parents who encouraged him to become the person he is today.
After watching the documentary, I read a list of quotes attributed to Buffett. I believe the list to be accurate, but even if it isn’t, these are great quotes:
- It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. (Particularly sage advice in the social media era.)
- If you buy things you don’t need, you’ll soon have to sell things you do need.
- Don’t save what you have left after spending; spend what you have left after saving.
- Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
- It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.
- Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.
- I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars: I look around for 1-foot bars I can step over.
- Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.
- In the business world, the rear-view mirror is always clearer than the windshield.
- If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.
Have you seen the Buffett documentary? If so, what did you think? Please join the conversation with your comments…