This is a guest post from J. Money, the blogger behind Budgets Are Sexy. If you like his post, please visit the blog above and check out his other work!
As we all have come to know, Warren Buffett is a rock star. He can out-invest you, out-donate you, and even out-school you any day of the week. But *why* is that?
Does he drink a fancy potion every morning at 5a.m.? Is he related to both Chuck Norris AND Jack Bauer? Unfortunately I don’t know the answers to these. But what I DO know is that he lives a simple life, with some pretty simple rules.
I base this conclusion from an email forwarded around by none other than my father. Amongst the old-man jokes and viral beer commercials, he does tend to slip in a few thought-provoking nuggets every now and then (probably to see if I’m paying attention). The lessons listed below are based off a PowerPoint slide my father sent over, which was inspired by an interview with CNBC. (PowerPoint slide here).
1. He bought his 1st share at age 11, and he regrets he started too late!
2. He bought a small farm at age 14 with savings from delivering newspapers.
3. He still lives in the same small 3-bedroom house in mid-town Omaha that he bought after he got married 50 years ago. He says that he has everything he needs in that house. His house does not have a wall or a fence.
4. He drives his own car everywhere and does not have a driver or security people around him.
5. He initially resisted travels by private jet; although he owns the world’s largest private jet company.
6. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns 63 companies. He writes only one letter each year to the CEOs of these companies, giving them goals for the year. He never holds meetings or calls them on a regular basis.
7. He has given the CEOs only two rules: #1 – Do not lose any of your shareholders’ money. #2 – Do not forget rule #1. (Rule #3: Fight Club is Awesome!)
8. He does not socialize with the high society crowd. His past time after he gets home is to make himself some popcorn and watch TV.
9. Warren Buffett does not carry a cell phone, nor does he have a computer on his desk. (WHAT? crazy!)
10. His advice to young people: “Live your life as simply as possible.” He also had the following to add:
a) Money doesn’t create man, but it is the man who created money.
b) Don’t do what others say – listen to them, but do what you feel good doing.
c) Don’t follow brand names; just wear those things in which you feel comfortable.
d) Don’t waste your money on unnecessary things; just spend on those things you really need.
Though some may wonder if all of this is applicable to everyone, what’s important is that if you follow some simple rules, you will certainly be ahead of the pack. Live below your means, invest early, don’t listen to everyone all the time, don’t go in debt, and don’t blow your money on fancy-pants stuff (or on fancy pants).
If you can master just a few of these you’ll be a LOT better off financially. For me, I’ve been trying to uphold the “live below your means” lesson and so far so good. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have some friends who think I make minimum wage — but that’s okay! All that matters is how I feel about it, and what I want out of life (Mrs. Budgetsaresexy included, of course). It’s not always going to be easy, but I guarantee you it’ll always be financially sexy!
J. Money writes for Budgets are Sexy – A laid back finance blog of a guy just trying to spice things up a bit. He realizes you may have A.D.D., and thanks you for making it this far.