We are sending along this column as we admire Warren Buffett for his investment skills and some of his common sense advice. Enjoy!
Despite all his success, Warren Buffett still manages to remain humble and approachable. Here are 12 lessons everyone can learn from the respected businessman.
- Invest wisely.
Buffett chooses to invest in ideas, not the people behind them. He once famously said that he chooses companies that are so wonderful, even an idiot could run them, mentioning the likelihood that someday one will.
- Don’t forget your roots.
When he was in high school, Buffett landed a job delivering papers for The Washington Post. He has extended that early job into a lifelong relationship with the newspaper, with his company serving as its largest shareholder.
- Live below your means.
Despite a net worth of $39 billion, Buffett lives in a surprisingly modest home. He bought the Omaha, Nebraska, house for $31,500 in 1958 and today he calls it the best investment he ever made. Instead of risking bankruptcy by spending every dime he makes, Buffett has chosen to live frugally and reap the rewards.
- Save first, spend second.
Many people save what is left over each month after paying bills and making purchases. Buffett recommends instead that you set a certain amount of money aside each month for savings, then spend the amount that is left.
- Research your investments.
Buffett advises carefully researching stocks before putting money into them. After thorough research, an investor shouldn’t be afraid to invest generously in a stock that has proved to be a strong one.
- Hone your speaking skills.
In the early days of his career, Buffett was terrified of public speaking. Recognizing that it would be necessary to achieving his goals, he enrolled in a renowned course taught by Dale Carnegie. Today, he regularly tells young entrepreneurs that the ability to communicate effectively is essential to success.
- Protect your reputation.
Money comes and goes but damage to a person’s reputation is irreversible. Buffett emphasizes the importance of protecting the reputation of both yourself and your business.
- Keep good company.
Parents frequently warn their children that they will be judged by the company they keep. He advises professionals to hang out with people who are better than they are, saying that by doing so, it will inspire them to be better.
- Resist fads.
You won’t see Buffett investing in trendy stocks like social media sites and hot technology. While sites like Facebook may be hot today, Buffett’s issue is that there’s no way to know that they’ll be just as hot five years down the line.
- Minimize meetings.
Instead of regular meetings, Buffett chooses to send a letter each year to each of his companies. The letter outlines his goals for the year and celebrates the past year’s successes. He avoids bogging his companies down with long meetings and unnecessary phone calls, instead letting his workers spend their time doing their jobs.
- Don’t give up.
When Buffett purchased Berkshire Hathaway, it was a failing textile firm, specializing in lining for men’s suits. Buffett saw promise, however, noticing price patterns connected to the company’s mill closings. Through his leadership, the company was able to grow to a multinational conglomerate.
- Enjoy your work.
Buffett has expressed disbelief at the fact that people take successive jobs they dislike to advance their careers. He believes life is too short and we should all spend our time and effort on work we love.
Warren Buffett serves as proof that when a professional has the right goals in place, he can accomplish anything. Through carefully researching his life, professionals can learn lessons that will help them as they build their own businesses and invest their earnings.
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