When Warren Buffet, one of the worlds greatest investors, was addressing students in a speech at Georgia Tech, they wanted to know about his greatest success and his worst failures. His response was both elegant and wise. He said;
“Basically, when you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you.”
He went on to say, “I know people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them. If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.
That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life. The trouble with love is that you can’t buy it … The only way to get love is to be lovable … The more you give love away, the more you get.”
This longish quote is an excerpt from Warren’s biography called “The Snowball – Warren Buffet and the business of life” written by Alice Shroeder.
I’m a big believer in the long game both in life and investing. The long game means you should buy shares in companies you believe in and you think have the right fundamentals to both make money and dominate their market for years to come. You buy on your belief that the company’s vision of it’s future market share will be close to what their current trend is projecting and that their continued execution will be as flawless as possible.
You buy into the idea of an ever growing future. You assess the ability, intelligence and honesty of the current executives and the board members that they answer to. You look at the current market price and study the financial reports to make sure the company is not bleeding money or wasting their assets. After you’ve done your due diligence you take the plunge and invest your hard earned money and you hold through the up and down markets. You keep a close eye on the companies you own while you continue to earn a living.
Sure you might sell but you sell for reasons that are obvious and potentially devastating. Maybe the fundamentals of the company have changed? The market or markets they serve have completely shifted or they’re in a continuous litigious situation that keeps getting worse with each case like a labour dispute or class action suit.
By and large the long game that Buffet plays when he invests in a company is to hold forever. This is a great way to look at investing both in companies and in lifelong relationships. When you make a decision to commit to a lifelong partner and grow a family, do it for the right reasons and pick a partner you love and will continue to love through tough times. Keep the same attitude of commitment with your children, your extended family, your friends, your colleagues and so forth out into your community.
If you create relationships with a long term view that you will commit and hold on forever then you will certainly make sure you pick the right ones and you will absolutely be able to say that those that you want to love you really do love you.
You will have won at life and what an incredible life you’ll have lived!
Dominic Kotarski – International Consultant | Author | Coach | Trainer | Speaker