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If you didn’t wake up at 6:45AM on Sunday morning and tune into Yahoo Finance’s special broadcasting of Warren Buffett’s (aka the Oracle of Omaha) address to his shareholders (held online, because of the threat of the coronavirus), then you’re probably very normal and not excessively committed to making money and getting richer over the years.
I know you’re probably thinking: why would anyone want to watch an 89-year-old money guy talk about his life and how it was paralleled with major stock market developments?
Well, I know a lot of people who broke their slumber, and in this isolated coronavirus-affected world we’re all living in, had a buffet breakfast in bed and tuned into the Oracle. I did!
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A bit about Warren Buffett
It could make you marginally interested if you know the following about Warren Buffett:
His net worth is around $US72 billion, of which he inherited zero.
According to Forbes.com, he’s the fourth richest person on earth behind Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (US $140 billion), Microsoft’s Bill Gates (US $102.4 billion) and LVMH Moët Hennessy’s Bernard Arnault ($US92.5b).
The Berkshire-Hathaway A share is worth – wait for it – US $264,280. That’s right, that’s for one share!
He lives simply and gives away a lot of his fortune.
Before the recent stock market crash, this share was worth around $300,000.
That means that $1,000 invested in Berkshire Hathaway back when Warren Buffett took over in 1964 was worth around $16 million!
That would have shrunk to about $14.6 million because of the coronavirus, but it will come back over time, and anyway, it’s still pretty damn good.
This chart of Berkshire’s share price kind of proves that you can rely on Warren’s track record:
I don’t think I need to say much more about why anyone, who’d prefer to be richer rather than poorer over time, should show a fair bit of interest in someone like Buffett.
Of course, you might find Chris Hemsworth and Kim Kardashian more interesting but unless you plan on being an actor or a curvaceous brand builder, then these two role models will have little impact on your future wealth.
And I know, “money isn’t everything” but it’s handy if you want stuff, want to do stuff and you don’t want to look back on your life and the wealth you’ve built and say “stuff that!”
The Buffett Sunday morning catch-up was really significant for my wife and I, as we had flights and hotels booked to attend the Berkshire Shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.
We even bought some B-shares, which were only a couple of hundred dollars a share, so we could attend the meeting. And I planned to report and film what the media has christened ‘Woodstock for capitalists!’
OK, Warren isn’t as cool as Jimi Hendrix or Santana, but he sings a ‘song’ about how to make money out of stocks that a lot of cool people, who appreciate money, have tuned into.
And this is my point: if you want to be wealthier and more comfortable than the average Aussie, you have to do stuff that the average Aussie doesn’t do.
Anyone who has seen the documentary on Michael Jordan called The Last Dance can’t help but be impressed about how committed to self-improvement he was. One of his college teammates, who also went on to becoming an NBL star, talked about how he was better than Jordan, “for two weeks!”
Noting this guy’s relative greatness, Jordan practised with him day after day until he became better than him. And that’s an extraordinary commitment to winning. This is a lesson for all of us.
Gerry Harvey of Harvey Norman fame said hanging out with older and smarter people in his early days of retail was a big reason for his success.
So if you want to build wealth — and buying stocks now after a crash and waiting for a few years is a great way to do that — then reading, watching and listening to smart money people like Warren Buffett is a great start.
But I guess if you are reading this, then I might be talking to the converted!