One of the most successful investors in the world, business magnate, third richest person in the world, “Oracle of Omaha” –is that all there is to the great legend? No! There is the great philanthropist to him as well. His wisdom not only covers the realm of business and finance, but real life—where people live and face situations and have to learn to cope with them. As you read these quotes from Buffett, you will find in an eerie way that he is speaking to you about your real life situations and offering insight and practical solutions to them! Here is just some of the financial and personal wisdom that people connect with:
“A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful….And most certainly, fear is now widespread, gripping even seasoned investors.”
While everyone was enjoying the boom of the stock market, Warren Buffett was busy strategically investing his money in Treasury Bonds and strengthening his fort, so to speak. When the long financial rainy day has set in, he can buy at great prices what foolhardy investors have had to give up! The lesson here is to not go so much by what the crowd is doing, which is a sureshot way to being just average. Instead one has to be willing to be different and willing to take farsighted and calculated risks. Don’t disguise fear and inaction as being sensible! Learn the pedals well so when you take the jump finally, you know exactly where you are going to land.
“Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.”
You might ask, if Buffett himself lost close to $23 billion in 2008 while his company, Berkshire Hathaway, lost its AAA ratings, how can he advise everyone else not to lose money? Well, he is talking about the mindset and not so much the intellect of it. He is asking people to not be impetuous, or show gallantry, or look for a quick-fix strategy. It’s all about playing your cards right, educating yourself with adequate research, studying trends, analyzing and collating all the research to understand the companies one is going to invest in. Do all the homework and stay informed. Be a sensible investor rather than a cavalier when it comes to investing!
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
It takes just one bad decision or miscalculation to make all the uphill work go downhill and snowball into a full-blown disaster. Being successful is actually easier than maintaining it and staying at the top. Play the market wisely and invest sensibly. One crucial thing to learn from Buffett is that he does not change his long-term strategy no matter how the market pitches and rolls.
“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.”
Again it’s about keeping the mindset right. For this, you need the right tribe, a set of proactive people around you whose energies are in tune with achievement and moving forward. A lot changes when you “hang out” with people who have accomplished great things and who are doing better than you. They inspire us into action and show us how it’s done. Unfortunately, people usually do the converse and stick to their comfort zones—which they find in surrounding themselves with peers who are at par or who have accomplished much less than themselves. However, this is a first class ticket to failure! If you want to better yourself, grow personally, as well as grow your business, you need to surround yourself with greater people than yourself, seeing whom you feel that twinge of pain of wanting to do as well as them and emulate them.
“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”
People often become drastically attached to their businesses and investments and simply do not know when it’s time to change. To top it all they have no contingency plan. That is plain suicide! You should diversify your investments and literally never put ‘all eggs in one basket,’ and be ready to change course when the signs are clear that your current investments or business is going down the Titanic way! Not just finances, this applies to all aspects of life! When Buffett imparts wisdom, one can learn and apply it to all aspects of life, even personal ones.