Comparison Is The Thief of Joy

That’s a Teddy Roosevelt quote. One thing that can drive even the best absolutely crazy is the concept of perpetually escalating expectations. It was so bad that Warren Buffett even contemplated early retirement because the track record of his early days had become more of a curse than a blessing. Never having a down year, beating the Dow Jones by ten percentage points annually, and the growing hype in Omaha started to choke him.

In his last partnership letter dated May 29, 1969, he mentioned that he considered stock market values generally frothy, but also spent time discussing the notion that he didn’t want to be chasing the “investment rabbit” for the rest of his life. He was circumspect in saying that his own past successes had forged their own chains; his early successes were so extreme that the Shakespearean fall awaited and he would spent the last fifty years of his life getting the Bill Miller treatment, “He used to be great.”

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