5 Timeless Lessons From The World’s Greatest Investor
You don't want to miss advice from the Oracle of Omaha.
Happy Tuesday. You’re joining ~19k+ readers who trust me with their inbox. If you want these stories sent to your email, subscribe here.
Warren Buffett’s current net worth is $125 Billion. He is 91 years old. His nickname, very rightly, is the Oracle of Omaha. The father of value investing, Benjamin Graham was Buffett’s mentor.
Buffett is a fountain of wisdom. In business and life alike.
He has shared his accumulated wisdom in multiple talks, letters and papers.
My friend and a master of Twitter threads, Chris Hladczuk distilled 12 ideas from Warren Buffett in one of his wildly famous threads.
Here are 5 insights you should tattoo on your gray matter:
Build Something That Outlives You
A question I often ponder upon is: “Why am I doing what I’m doing?”
You should too.
Play the game where you can live forever. Most people optimize for gratification, fame or comfort, or materials.
Warren Buffett optimized and continues to optimize for longevity.
He once expressed,
“Berkshire is my first love and one that will never fade.”
At Harvard Business School last year, a student asked me when I planned to retire and I replied,
“About 5 to 10 years after I die.”
Patience Is A Power Unlike Any Other
In a 1999 interview with BusinessWeek, Warren Buffett stated:
“Success in investing doesn't correlate with IQ -- once you're above the level of 25. Once you have ordinary intelligence, what you need is the temperament to control the urges that get other people into trouble in investing.”
The important question to ask yourself is, “Can you be content with stillness? With doing nothing?”
It fits quite aptly with a quote from Blaise Pascal,
“It has struck me that all men’s misfortunes spring from the single cause that they are unable to stay quietly in one room.”
This idea can be branched into multiple aspects:
Most good things take time. You just have to make sure you give them time.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is to let the problem sort itself out. “What happens if this doesn’t get fixed immediately?” – is an important question to ask.
What happens if you pause for a while and just be? Is life passing you by?
Always Aim To Be The Dumbest In The Room
“If we hire people who are smaller than us, we become a company of dwarfs.
But, if we hire people who are bigger than us, we become a company of giants.”
– Warren Buffett
The same goes for the friends you hang out with. The challenges you take on. The company you apply to work for. The product you are building.
You have to be willing to look foolish for a really long time if you want to do something great.
Performance >>>> Results; Applies To You & The People You Work With
We judge performance on the basis of the result. But the two aren’t mutually inclusive.
Warren’s philosophy on this is incredibly sophisticated:
“Good performance should be rewarded whether Berkshire stock rises or falls.
Average performance should earn no special rewards even if our stock soars.”
Celebrate your effort and that of others, not the result. You’ll be happier.
Be Rooted In The Basics
We often get entangled in complexities.
Entrepreneurship’s biggest hurdle is – sticking to the absolute basics.
“Why do you do what you do?”
There is always a lot to accomplish and figure out but if you stay focused on your goals and simplify your execution – you’ll be much more successful.
Buffett's GEICO Principle (his best investment) is:
An exec team achieved the most elusive goal: “Keeping things simple and remembering what you set out to do.”
Your most important task is to keep your eyes on the goal.
💡 Riff of the Day
One of the coolest resources out there is https://www.insanelyusefulwebsites.com/. You’ll find chrome extensions that tackle cookies, a website that helps you identify a word when right on the tip of your tongue and so much more. Go check it out.
(PS: This isn’t an ad.)
Thanks for reading. I try hard to make it worth your time. Got feedback? Let me know.
Stay outta’ trouble and catch you next week.