Warren Buffett joined Quicken Loans Founder Dan Gilbert and President Jay Farner for a special company-wide broadcast on Monday during a visit to Detroit. The internal broadcast, better known as a “Zupdate,” featured a candid, one-on-one discussion with the famous, multi-billionaire investor.
More than 12,000 Quicken Loans Family of Companies team members tuned into the live broadcast, which was held at the Chase Tower in downtown Detroit. Audience members asked questions while viewers also tweeted questions for the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, best known to the world as the “Oracle of Omaha.”
The 84-year-old magnate cracked jokes and provided attendees with valuable insights on life, financial success, investing and business strategy. Buffett stressed that there’s nothing special distinguishing him from anyone else.
“All of you can do everything I do, except maybe fly around in a private jet,” he said with a laugh. “But you can do research on the Internet just as I do about businesses. You all have the same tools that I do.”
The Omaha, Neb. native attributes much of his success to luck. He said he was fortunate to have two parents who taught him so much. He also discussed the wealth of opportunities that Americans enjoy, and he predicts that future generations will be even more innovative and impactful on the world.
“The luckiest person in the world is the baby being born in America right now,” he explained. “Some people say the U.S. is off track (compared to other countries), but I believe we haven’t seen anything yet!”
Here are five golden nuggets of information that he shared:
Just Do It (Save Money)
Gilbert asked Buffett for financial advice to help young people who are just starting out in life. Buffett responded by saying that it’s essential for young people to start saving and investing their money as early as possible. He suggested diversifying investments to get a better return.
“Every time you get paid, just invest and save a little bit of your money,” he suggested. “I can guarantee that it’ll allow you to live comfortably down the road. Don’t worry; you’ll get a return on your investments.”
Even when the market looks bad, keep investing your money. Sometimes, that’s the best time to get in on something, he said.
Ignore the Noise
Buffett stressed the importance of trusting yourself even when people advise you to go in a different direction, or when you’re faced with pessimists. Ignore the negativity you hear, and don’t worry about the highs and lows of the financial markets.
“Everyone will try to tell you their philosophy about what to do with your money. It’s important to stay the course you set out on,” he warned.
Operate in Your Area of Expertise
Over the years, Buffett said he’s been approached to buy or invest in hundreds of companies, but he doesn’t venture into investments out of his area of understanding. Instead, he suggested concentrating your efforts in the areas that are familiar to you.
“It’s important to know your area of expertise and the perimeter of that area,” he said. “That way, you know when you are moving toward the edge of the area you are most knowledgeable on.”
He praised Gilbert for the success he’s had building Quicken Loans over the past 29 years. Buffett said the reason Gilbert’s been successful in the mortgage industry is because it’s his area of expertise—he knows mortgages inside and out.
Pursue Your Passion
“You have to do what you love!” Buffett stressed. “For me, it has never been about the money. I’ve always wanted to be wealthy, but I pursued what I enjoyed.”
He said that he was interested in finances and investing since age 8 or 9.
“I bought my first investment at age 11,” said Buffett, whose father also was a successful businessman and investor. “I started reading financial books that my dad had at a very young age.”
Do Research and Read
Even now, Buffett admits he still reads all the time. He said he reads online articles, newspapers, company financial statements and investment books as much as possible.
“I like to read old financial statements of companies like GM, so I understand their history and past financials,” he said with excitement.
It’s been reported that the philanthropist spends as much as 80% of his day reading. To be successful, he believes it’s important to know what’s going on in the financial markets and the rest of the world.
The audience seemed to soak up every ounce of Buffett’s advice like a sponge. Scores of hands shot in the air to talk to the man that Forbes Magazine lists as the second-wealthiest person in the world. His net worth is currently listed at $72.5 billion; second only to his friend, Bill Gates.
It’s not every day that one of the wealthiest people in the world visits your workplace and provides advice on life, business and success. There have been more than 40 recent books written about the magnate and his influence. To learn more about him and more about his financial philosophies, read “The Warren Buffett Way” by Robert G. Hagstrom or “Buffettology” by Mary Buffett and David Clark.
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