Happy Birthday, Warren Buffett!

It’s Warren Buffett’s birthday today! Born on 30th August 1930, he completes 89 years today…and continues to be healthy and active!

Here is a very good documentary on his life:

I am hugely influenced by Warren Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger (born on 1st January 1924, he also remains healthy and active, even at age 95!). Both of them are among the few living beings I look up to and follow. The others are eminent dead!

About 8 years ago, when I was younger and more enthusiastic I wrote a letter to Warren Buffett. I don’t know if it was delivered to him, or was read by him. I never received a response. I didn’t expect a response. Just wrote it and sent it.

The letter was not for seeking his advice on investments or How To Be A Billionaire etc. It was just a note with my gratitude towards him and Charlie Munger and the wishing them long and healthy life!

In the letter, I mentioned a story from Indian old scriptures, Puranas. I wrote about the story of Yayati. The story of a father who exchanged his old age with the youth of the son.

I referenced that story and wrote that I had nothing to offer to him (Warren Buffett), except maybe for age/youth. So similar to Yayati’s story if it was possible today to give 5-10 years of my age to him, I would be happy to do so! That’s the only thing I am in position to offer.

It’s been 8 years since then, and thankfully, both Buffett and Munger are not only healthy but actively working too! On the contrary, my position has worsened – I still don’t have anything else to offer, and have lost 8 years. Never mind. I am an optimist. Some day lightening will strike and I’ll have something to offer to someone (other than age).

I read and think a lot about Valuation. Not merely in the sense of finance; but how to value things, how to appreciate things. I recently came across a wonderful perspective on valuation.

Value of a thing is the amount of life you are willing to exchange for achieving it.

This is such a wonderful idea! Truly, when you aspire for something and spend your life towards achieving that, in a way, you are exchanging life (not just time).

How much of life are you willing to exchange to master Tabla or Flute? Is it same as that of Zakir Hussain or Hariprasad Chaurasiya? Probably not. For you would have been Zakir Hussain or Hariprasad Chaurasiya if you had done that. They exchanged a significant amount of life to pursue their passion. Same for others who have reached that level of excellence in their respective fields.

Those who follow Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger would know that they have not spent their life chasing money. It’s a bi-product. They have spent their life learning and applying the learning in practice and more importantly educating the world about their philosophy and approach towards life. And don’t forget their amazing sense of humor, which is getting better as they get older!

If you are still not following Buffett and Munger, it’s not too late. If you need my help in that journey, just give me a shout!

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