My father went to school for three years.
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Then he went to work.
But he attended the school of life until he died.
Here are ten great things he taught me.
Ten Investment Lessons I Learned From My Father
1) Learn To Take Your Losses
Sell falling shares, you take a loss.
But if the company folds, you lose all.
Better hurt than lose all.
So Warren Buffett sold his airline stocks.
Dad would have, too.
2) Take Good Care Of Employees
If employees are well cared for they don’t think like employees.
They think like owners.
They care about product.
They care about the company.
Day after day.
Year after year.
3) Nobody Knows You Have It
When I was fifteen I had a summer job in a factory.
I dreaded Friday when I went to the bank.
For the company payroll: denominated in small bills.
Carried in a satchel through bleak Manhattan streets.
Risking robbery or worse.
My father reassured me: “No one knows you have it.”
He knew first-hand.
He survived a war with cloth-covered gold buttons.
His story is here: https://www.valuewalk.com/2020/06/charlie-munger-incentives/
4) Easy To Buy, Hard To Sell
Dad always told me:
“Never be impressed by the people who buy.
Buying is easy.
Selling is hard.”
5) What is Precious Is Always Relative
As a youngster my father learned the old prospector’s lesson about gold and water in “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (1948).
On a death march water is more precious than gold.
6) Make Yourself Indispensible
You are sent to a concentration camp to die.
But if you work hard and are indispensible you might last a little longer.
Arbeit Macht Frei, if you survive to liberation.
By the long-forgotten Free French Army.
That Rick and Louis join at the close of “Casablanca” (1942).
7) Terrible Experiences Can Strengthen You
Aus der Kriegschule des Lebens. Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker. —Friedrich Nietzsche
Out of life’s school of war: what does not kill me makes me stronger.
8) America The Beautiful
We judge by contrasts.
If you have been through hell,
America is even more beautiful.
9) Profit Is A Thief: It Runs Away
As Charlie Munger teaches:
“Opportunity comes, but it doesn’t come often.
So seize it when it does come.”
“You only get a few opportunities, and you have to grab them aggressively when they come because even in the most favored life, they’re really rare.”
10) Everyone Comes To A Party: See Who Comes To A Funeral
Everyone loves a party.
But who comes to a funeral?
A chapel overflowing.