Wisdom From Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, and Steve Jobs

If you have an hour or two to kill today or sometime this weekend, these three Youtube clips should give you the chance to spend your free time learning from the best.

(1) The first video is a Warren Buffett speech/Q&A session at the University of Georgia a decade or so ago. As is often the case with video footage featuring Warren Buffett, the commentary runs from the straightforward (e.g. Buffett explains why Coca-Cola is an ideal investment because it is a brand name that generates good feelings among customers and is the type of product that can be consumed regularly) to the general funny life advice we’ve come to expect in a Buffett interview (he explains that the ideal trait in a romantic partner is low expectations). The reason why I like these types of clips so much is because they provide a chance to get past what Buffett does and gives us a chance to understand why he does it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_-7BnztcGc

(2) This is the long one—a two hour conversation with Charlie Munger. There are a whole lot of things to respect about Munger—over a fifty year stretch, he went from being a broke divorcee after the death of his firstborn to remarrying, having a bunch of kids, and building a billion-dollar fortune. In the case of Buffett, he was relieved of much adversity growing up, as you might in the case of a Congressman’s son. This does not in any way diminish Buffett’s accomplishments, but rather, his life demonstrates the potential of what can be reached if you are brilliant with a killer work ethic and get a nice start out in life. In Munger’s case, he built his fortune after experiencing financial and personal ruin. Think about this. There was once a point in Munger’s life when he heard the phrases: “Your son has died”, “I want a divorce”, and “We are cutting your hours and pay” in a very short sequence. The fact that he overcame that to build a billion-dollar fortune is my favorite all-American story because Munger’s life is an homage to the successes that can accompany mental toughness, hard work, and the relentless pursuit of knowledge. Charlie Munger isn’t one of those college sorority girls writing “sometimes in life, you have to overcome adversity” as a Yearbook quote. His life was once a personal hell, and over the course of several decades, he made his own heaven.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6RS_PqudxU

(3) Steve Jobs rocked the house at Stanford in 2005. There is a good chance that most of you reading this have already seen this speech, but it’s on the short list of Youtube clips worth watching multiple times. Jobs explains how the inevitability of death gave him the courage to set aside potentially paralyzing emotions and fears to move forward to pursue his goals anyway. If you want to watch something inspirational and motivational this weekend, this clip is for you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc