At the age of 92, Berkshire Hathaway CEO and legendary investor Warren Buffett knows a thing or two about living a happy life.
While amassing a net worth exceeding $100 billion would certainly make it easier to muster up a smile every morning, the key isn’t money. Hence why the Oracle of Omaha has stood by a commitment to give away his staggering fortune for philanthropic purposes since 2006.
So what’s the “secret”?
“My needs are simple — what made me happy at 40 makes me happy at 90.”
Before you call bullshit, keep in mind this is a man who still resides in the same modest house he bought back in 1958 for just US$31,500 (located in Omaha, Nebraska), survives on a diet which mostly consists of junk food (similar to John Daly), and didn’t even bother trading his flip phone for an iPhone until 2020 (classic boomer). So it all checks out. Clearly, we’re dealing with a man who knows what he’s about and doesn’t deviate from the formula.
This extremely Zen-like sentiment is echoed by Buffett’s longtime friend and Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger.
“A happy life is very simple,” Charlie Munger said during the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders of the Daily Journal Corporation (DJCO).
“The first rule of a happy life is low expectations. That’s one you can easily arrange. And if you have unrealistic expectations, you’re going to be miserable all your life.”
Munger added: “I was good at having low expectations and that helped me. And also, when you [experience] reversals, if you just suck it in and cope, that helps if you don’t just stew yourself into a lot of misery.”
But is there anything Warren Buffett would change to make his happy life even happier? Yes. Sort of. Depending on how you gauge sarcasm.
During a lecture he gave at the University of Florida’s School of Business circa 1998, an MBA student asked how he’d approach things if he had to do it all over again, to which he replied:
“This will sound disgusting, but the only thing would be to select a gene pool where people lived to 120 or something where I came 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.