Sunday, December 2, 2012

Buffett Quote Series #2

Here is the second part to my Buffett Quote series.

"I buy expensive suits.  They just look cheap on me."

"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."

I really like the first quote about expensive suits.  This quote shows how Buffett doesn't spend money like most other rich people.  He focuses on necessities first and foremost.  He is probably quite famous for living in the same house in Omaha which he purchased for a little more than $30,000 in 1958.  Of course, he doesn't refrain from all luxuries and mentions that he is quite fond of his private jet, but aside from that he lives his life quite frugally.  I believe it is quite admirable to not get caught up in material things if you do come into wealth and Buffett is an excellent role model for this type of behavior.  This quote also subtly reminds me about the difference in perceived value and real value.  Clothing and fashion is one particular luxury where a brand name or not can be a difference of thousands of dollars.   I am fairly inexperienced in fashion so I can't say too much about it, but I can't tell the difference between brand name suits and generic ones so I don't see the logic in spending so much more for the name.  And there are certain circumstances where you can argue that it is important to have a wealthy image and justify buying expensive clothes, but if I ever become wealthy I would hope to have the same perspective as Buffett.

The second quote is a bit more practical with regards to investing and teaches a life lesson in patience.  Often, many of our actions and decisions will not have an impact until much later in our lives.  It is often much more difficult to invest time and energy into something that won't bear fruit for years, especially when many of us are focused on short-term goals and immediate satisfaction.  Another great side to this quote is the respect for the past.  It is important to be grateful for everything that has brought you to where you are today.  I certainly wasn't able to come to a great school on my own.  My family, friends, teachers and mentors all had an impact on helping me achieve what I have today and it is important to realize that.  In one sense, I am putting in a lot of work to achieve my own goals but in another, I am sitting in the shade of the trees that my family and friends have planted long ago.  A lot of the great relationships we build and choices we make have lasting impact so it is important to always be aware of the long-term perspective.

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