Discover more from BRK Daily
2001: What's Buffett advice for an 11 year old?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, Mr. Buffett. My name is Mallory Marshall (PH). I am 11 years old and I am from Kearney, Nebraska. I have 2 questions.
First, my dad would like to know if you have any grandsons my age. (Laughter)
WARREN BUFFETT: Any what her age?
CHARLIE MUNGER: She wants to know if you have any grandsons her age.
WARREN BUFFETT: How many shares of stock do you have? And I’ll tell you. (Laughter)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Also, what investment advice do you have for young people of my generation?
WARREN BUFFETT: Yeah. Well, I’ve got a grandson fairly close to your age and he probably would go for a younger woman anyway, so — (laughter) — I will mention him to you. Mention you to him.
The — well, if you’re interested in financial matters, A, you’ve got to have something to work with. I mean, I was fortunate in that respect because my dad paid for my education. If he hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have become educated if I had to pay for it myself, but —
So I was able to save $10,000 by the time I was 21. And, you know, that was a huge, huge head start. If I hadn’t have been able to do that and, you know, my first child came along when I was 22.
So it’s much easier to save in those teenage years if you’re lucky enough to be in a family where you don’t have — where your parents are taking care of your financial obligations. Every dollar then is, you know, worth making $10 or $20 later on.
And, so if you are interested in financial matters, getting a stake early is very useful, and getting knowledge early is very useful.
So, you know, I would say you’re well on the way if, at 11, you’re even interested in coming to a meeting like this.
And I would — if that interest is maintained, you know, I would read financial publications. I would read whatever was of interest to me. I’d be curious about how the businesses around the town of Kearney operated.
I would — to the extent that you can get people to talk to you — and people usually like to talk, you know — learn about who’s got good businesses in Kearney and why they’re good businesses. And learn about the businesses that went out of business and why they went out of business.
And just keep accumulating knowledge. That’s one of the beauties of the business that Charlie and I are in, is that everything is cumulative. The stuff I learned when I was 20 is useful today. Not in necessarily the same way and not necessarily every day. But it’s useful.
So you’re building a database in your mind that is going to pay off over time. But you have to have a little money to work with. So there’s nothing like getting a few dollars ahead. Stay away from credit cards. And you can have a lot of fun, if your mind goes along that track as you get older.
CHARLIE MUNGER: Well, I’m glad to see somebody that has, so early, shown an interest in getting ahead. There’s nothing wrong with getting ahead. (Laughter)
WARREN BUFFETT: And actually, she may have the best idea about getting ahead by learning the name of my grandson, too. (Laughter)
CHARLIE MUNGER: Well, there, I can give the young lady some advice. Before your feelings totally take over, you should look carefully at both parents and all four grandparents. (Laughter)
WARREN BUFFETT: Write Charlie and let us know how it works out. (Laughter)