Warren Buffett is the third wealthiest man in the world, with estimates worth around $ 82 billion. Yet he lives more frugally than most of us. As a kid, Warren Buffett would go door-to-door selling chewing gum & coke. He would buy six bottles for a quarter, then sell them for a nickel each. At the age of 10, during his visit to New York City, he first visited the New York Stock Exchange. After one year, an event profoundly impacted his life. He bought some shares of Cities Services at $38 but after getting scared of volatility, he sold them at $40 in a hurry. After just a few days the prices went up to $200. It was then he realized the value of patience and long term investment.
Warren Buffett name is practically synonymous with SUCCESS. He lives a modest lifestyle despite his high net-worth. He still lives in a five-bedroom house in Omaha, he bought in 1958. He doesn’t like spending too much. In one of the interview, he gave to CNBC when asked what the personal success and luxury means to him. Buffett said. “Success is really doing what you love and doing it well”. He has a clear strategy for making money. He says “The first rule of investing is don’t lose money, the second rule is don’t forget Rule # 1”.
Here are the few life lessons from Warren Buffett we can follow to succeed :
Reinvest Your Profits: There is a popular story of Warren Buffett. When he was in high school he bought a pinball machine along with his friend and set it up in a barbershop. They started getting a good return on that machine. They didn’t take out the profits instead bought more and more machine with the money they earned and placed them in different shops. After selling the venture, he invested the funds from the sales to start another business and buy stocks. By the time he was 26 years old, he had USD 174,000 or USD 1.4 million in today’s term after inflation adjustment. Now, when we make a profit on our investments we are tempted to take it out and spend it. Don’t instead, reinvest the profits.
Save first, spend second: “Do not save what is left after spending; instead spend what is left after saving.” So, most of us try to save/invest what is left after all the bill payments and necessary or exuberant purchases. Warren Buffett recommends that one should set a particular amount of money aside first then spend the rest for monthly expenses. I know many may find this practice difficult to follow but after some time they will get used to this way of managing income and find its result to be fruitful.
Don’t invest emotionally: We generally takes most of our important investment-related decisions emotionally and the result of this is mostly reduced investment return. Most of us make mistakes in our investment approach, due to our biases, greed, fears, egos, and emotions. We think about risk more when things are already gone bad and mostly be ignorant about them when prices are up. By contrast, Warren Buffett is a very rational person. His investment decisions are shielded from such emotions. He has said he’d never give up a good night’s sleep for a chance at a slightly better return. He thinks long term and so he doesn’t panic when the market dips. He trusts the fundamentals behind the initial buying decision.
Limit your borrowing and what you owe others: Living on handouts, loans and credit cards will not make one rich. In 1991, during question & answer session with students at Notre Dame. He put up an example of current US President Donald Trump. He said “I’ve seen more people fail because of liquor and leverage – leverage being borrowed money. Donald Trump failed because of leverage. He simply got infatuated with how much money he could borrow, and he did not give enough thought to how much money he could payback”.
Know when to exit/quit: Warren Buffett once told in an interview, “I bought a company in the mid-’90s called Dexter Shoe and paid $400 million for it. And it went to zero. And I gave about $400 million worth of Berkshire stock, which is probably now worth $400 billion. But I’ve made lots of dumb decisions. That’s part of the game.” He is, however, quick to add: “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.” By sticking with the bad apple purchased and being under false illusion of them turning into fresh ones. One damages the fresh lots also.
The thing is, whatever one may think personally about Warren Buffett, it is quite hard to argue with his successful track record. So, one should not obsess over speed, the pursuit to create wealth is a marathon, not a 100-meter race. It’s about making the right investments and the right choices. Adopt the mindset and lifestyle outlined in these points and one will be well on their way to building a secure financial future.