At 92, Berkshire Hathaway CEO and legendary investor Warren Buffett knows a thing or two about living a happy life.
While amassing a fortune in excess of $100 billion would certainly make it easier to smile every morning, the key is not in the money. That’s why the Oracle of Omaha has maintained a commitment to donate his staggering fortune to charitable causes since 2006.
So what is the “secret”?
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“My needs are simple — what made me happy at 40 makes me happy at 90.”
Before calling it bullshit, be aware that this is a man who still lives in the same modest house he bought in 1958 for only $31,500 (located in Omaha, Nebraska) and survives on a diet , consisting mostly of junk food (similar to John Daly), and didn’t even bother to trade his flip phone for an iPhone until 2020 (classic boomer). So everything is checked. It is clear that we are dealing with a man who knows his business and does not deviate from the formula.
This extremely zen-like view is shared by Buffett’s longtime friend and Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger.
“A happy life is very simple,” Charlie Munger said at the Daily Journal Corporation (DJCO) annual shareholder meeting in 2021.
“The first rule of a happy life is low expectations. This is something you can easily arrange. And if you have unrealistic expectations, you will be miserable for the rest of your life.”
Munger added: “I had low expectations and that helped me. Also, when you [experience] failure, if you just soak it up and get through it, it will help if you don’t just throw yourself into a pile of misery.”
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But is there anything Warren Buffett would change to make his happy life even happier? Yes. Like, like, something like. Depending on how you rate sarcasm.
During a lecture he gave at the University of Florida School of Business around 1998, an MBA student asked what he would do if he had to do it again, to which he replied:
“It’s going to sound disgusting, but the only thing that could be done would be to select a gene pool where people lived up to 120 or so, where I’m from.”
Now that you’ve learned the secret to a happy life from Warren Buffett, let him teach you how to pick stocks and “get rich” in just five minutes here.