Warren, Warren you teach me so much about life, and stocks also. Below are 6 lessons I learned from the documentary Becoming Warren Buffet.
Warren Buffet reads financial statements everyday. He’s been doing it for over 60 years. Every day. That adds up. He doesn’t take a day off every now and then. He’s not procrastinating his reading. He gets it done.
What do you do EVERY day?
Warren tap-dances to work every morning. He can’t wait to get started. Does this mean we should follow our passion?
Not if you believe Cal Newport. In his book So Good They Can’t Ignore You he argues for another route to the same destination. With mastery comes passion. If you become really great at something, you’ll love to do it.
You don’t have to start a yoga center if yoga is your favourite hobby. You could practice programming and after a few years have the same passion for that, according to Cal.
So, if you don’t have a passion to follow — Pick something and start a deliberate practice. Then you’ll be tap-dancing to work too.
Bill is one of Warrens best friends. Bill is also successful. He built Microsoft and started a big foundation.
Once they were both asked to write down one single word to describe why they are successful. They both wrote “Focus”. Then they showed each other their answers.
Then warren started reading financial statements again.
Focus and consistency goes hand in hand. If you want to accomplish a lot of things, don’t do them all at the same time.
Do one thing for one month, or one year. Don’t be a donkey, stuck between the food and water — Dying from both thirst and hunger.
When Warren works he closes the door to his office. It’s quiet in there. He sits there, by himself, reading and thinking. He reads for 5-6 hours every day. And thinks about investments. He’s not checking his email every 30 minutes. He’s not updating Snapchat. He’s not in meetings all day.
Warren reduces noise. So he can focus.
Having ethics in business is important. Warren does not want to trick people. He wants to buy great companies at fair prices. And hold them forever. He said in the documentary that “A reputation takes 20 years to build and 5 minutes to destroy”.
He made an investment in a bank called Salomon Brothers. Soon after the transaction the bank was in big trouble. They had 150 billion dollars in debt, more than any other business in America at the time. And they lost their right to trade obligations, which apparently is a big deal for a bank.
Warren took the seat as chairman and pleaded to the authorities that they should give them the right to trade obligations again.
Warren gave his word that he would make sure everything would be done ethically from now on. He had a great reputation. They trusted him and he saved the bank.
Warren is worth $100 Billion.
He has 15 butlers, takes a drone-taxi to work and eat a $280 Fugu (Puffer fish) for breakfast.
At least thats what I thought before I saw the documentary.
Actually he lives in a house he bought 50 years ago. He drives himself to work. And he get his breakfast at McDonalds every morning.
His company Berkshire Hathaway has a market cap of $430B — And has 25 employees. They have no HR-department, no PR-department.
Warren has optimised his life to do what he loves. He’s famous for being calm when others are panicking over the market.
I don’t think he could be so calm if he was flying around in drone-taxis. Then he would be scared to loose the drone-taxi. Now he’s just calm. And worth $100 billion.