Warren Buffett's Rules to Live By

by Robert Anthony

What have you learned from your dad recently? Would you tell the world? If your dad was Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, you just might want to. Warren Buffett has taught a lot to his son Paul, so it is no surprise that the public is interested in what the one of the most successful business men of all time has to say about life. Here are five Elite lessons from Warren Buffet:

Stay in Milwaukee The road most taken by others does not translate into the only way to travel. Warren Buffett knows this, so he has always done things his way. After his big career breakthrough – scoring the memorable “Fire Dance” scene in the Oscar-winning film Dances with Wolves – Peter Buffett didn’t move to Hollywood. Instead he continued to live in Milwaukee, and remained true to himself. His father, of course, did the same thing, remaining in his home town of Omaha instead of following the investing herd and moving to Wall Street. Warren Buffett has said this makes him a better investor, because he doesn’t get caught up in the fear, greed or conventional wisdom that other investors fall prey to.

Give Your Kids Opportunity, Not Handouts Bill Gates’ decision to limit his children’s inheritance is famously known. He is only passing on the payment of their college education, despite his multi-billions in wealth.

Peter Buffett says his father did help him at the beginning, but did not give him enough to simply live without working. As Warren Buffett put it: “Enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing.” It’s a useful starting point even if you’re not in Buffett’s league when it comes to wealth.

Give to Charity, and Get a Lot Back Did someone ever give you a billion dollars? Okay, stupid question, but if they did, would you give it away?

In 2006, Warren and Susan Buffett gave each of their kids $1 billion to give to charity. With his wife, Jennifer, Peter launched the NoVo Foundation, which helps girls and women around the world who “suffer from violence, poverty and discrimination simply because they are female.” Peter remembers his dad asking: “Do you think this will affect your music?” “I didn’t know what he was talking about,” Peter says — but his charitable experiences started to affect him in ways that inspired his music. “My music has taken all these interesting turns because of the foundation. Which I never would have expected.”

Invest in Potential It’s a simple equation: underestimated value, and big investment, equal exponential success. Peter Buffett said he applied his father’s investing wisdom to his charitable foundation: “If you invest in an undervalued asset and just let it grow, the market will catch up and recognize its value and you’ll get a huge return,” Peter Buffett says. “To me, that’s an adolescent girl in the developing world.”

Do What You Love

“[My Dad] always said, ‘Do what you love,’” says Peter. “That was critical. Really, my Dad and I do the same thing ... He told me: ‘Don’t settle for anything other than your passion – if you’re lucky enough to find it.” But finding it, Peter says, is the hardest part.