It’s been a bizarre and challenging year for everyone, and as 2020 winds down it’s become clear that the über-rich have found ways to capitalize financially on the uncertainty and chaos of the past 12 months.
Warren Buffett is one of the wealthiest people in the world, with a net worth north of $85 billion. But instead of buying nine-figure mansions, he lives in the same modest house in Omaha in which he’s lived in for decades.
He’s the constant voice of patience when it comes to investing, and it’s worked very well for him, so when the Oracle of Omaha talks, chances are you can learn something from his words.
On Saturday, Buffett gave a virtual commencement address for students graduating from his alma mater, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
He shared his advice with the young people heading out into a real world that is pretty unsettled, telling them to read extensively, work on their communication skills, try to take a job that they are passionate about and try to earn the love and admiration of those around them.
Buffett’s conversation with the chancellor of the university is what essentially served as the commencement address. “You want to look for the job in life that you would take if you didn’t need a job. Don’t settle for anything, eventually, that’s less than working for a company you admire or people you admire – the job that, if you had no need for the money, it’s still the job that you’d jump out of bed for in the morning,” Buffett said.
He also pushed the graduates to read as much as they can. “There’s nothing that beats reading. You want to have an inquisitive mind. People sometimes say to me, ‘If you could have lunch with only one person, living or dead, who would you pick?’ Well, the truth is, by reading you can have lunch with Ben Franklin or every great personality in the history of the world.”
Buffett’s parents met at the university while working for the Daily Nebraskan newspaper. The students presented Buffett with a special gift: a book that contained all the front pages of the newspaper from when his father was the editor. “I’ve gotten a lot of nice gifts in my life, but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a nicer one than that,” he said.