There seem to be so many mixed opinions on what’s ahead.
And clearly, there is no shortage of people with opinions on what we should be doing with our lives, be it in savings, spending, or investing.
However, over the years I’ve learned a lesson that I return to and that I recommend you bear in mind.
Regardless of your age or experience, as you continue to navigate your life and try to figure out which direction you should go on different things, including your investing, I think you should also keep the following quote in mind:
“Don’t take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade shoes with.”
So, who is someone we can all probably agree is the person we might all consider taking advice from?
Now I don’t know about you, but if Mr. Buffett were sitting right in front of me dishing out investing advice, I would be listening very intently to him.
But since it is unlikely you’ll have the opportunity of sitting at the dinner table with Mr. Buffett anytime soon, I’ve compiled a list of some of his classic pieces of advice.
Take them or leave them as you wish.
Maybe they apply to your situation and maybe they don’t, but I’d venture to say they are certainly worth a quick consideration.
These are in no particular order, but some of my favourite tips from Mr. Warren Buffett himself!
“Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.”
One of his most famous quotes.
“A public opinion poll is no substitution for thought.”
Don’t just listen to everyone’s ranting about stuff and take it as gospel.
“Think in terms of income, not appreciation.”
In property investment, cash flow is critical – it keeps you in the game. But it’s capital growth that gets you out of the rat race.
“You ought to be able to explain why you’re taking the job you’re taking, why you’re making the investment you’re making, or whatever it may be. And if it can’t stand applying pencil to paper, you’d better think it through some more. And if you can’t write an intelligent answer to those questions, don’t do it.”
“Use partnerships to fill gaps in your expertise.”
Be willing to admit your weaknesses and be willing to bring in team members to fill those. If you’re the smartest person on your team you’re in trouble.
“Minimize your mistakes and learn from those you make.”
Literally the key to successful investing.
“I really like my life. I’ve arranged my life so that I can do what I want.”
Now that’s the difference between just having a job and having choices in life because of the passive income from your investments.
“When you plan to buy, plan to hold.”
Buffett is huge on the idea of holding – rather than short-term speculation.
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He admits he can't predict which way the markets will move in the short term, and he is quite certain no one else can either.
So instead, he takes a long-term view of the market saying if you don't feel comfortable owning a stock for 10 years, you shouldn't own it for 10 minutes.
Similarly, those who have created wealth out of property took a long-term view.
“We attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”
The crowd is usually wrong.
“The trick is, when there is nothing to do - do nothing.”
I’ve made more by saying no to things than yes to perceived opportunities.
“The macro view is more important than the micro view.”
Look at the big picture.
“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.”
Become financially fluent.
“Embrace the boring.”
Sometimes the boring long-term plays are the most successful.
Make your investment boring so the rest of your life can be exciting.
“Wealth is the transfer of money from the impatient to the patient.”
Understand the importance of delayed gratification.
"It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price."
Buffett is a value investor.
And it’s the same with property.
You make your money when you buy your property, but not by buying a bargain.
You lock in your profits by buying the “right property” – one that will outperform the averages in the long term because of its location, its scarcity, or the potential to add value.
“I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and a better businessman because I am an investor.”
The lesson: strategic property investors treat their investments like a business.
These are only a few of the thoughts from probably the most quoted investor.
I could easily have made the list twice as long, as there is no shortage of advice and ideas from the man himself, but use these as motivation to think differently.
And remember to look carefully who’s giving you.
I can pretty much promise that if you listen to the majority of people around you, you aren’t going to get where you really want to go.