21 best money tips ever

Some of the nation's leading business owners, investors, and thinkers share their thoughts on rebuilding your wealth.

14 of 21
BACKNEXT
14. Listen to what this wise man has to say
Listen to what this wise man has to say
Every year Warren Buffett shares his wisdom -- for free -- when he posts his shareholder letter at berkshirehathaway.com. Here are five lessons from his 2010 missive:

Fear is your friend.

The past two years were an "ideal period" for value-minded investors. For example, Buffett managed to scoop up bargains ranging from municipal bonds to securities of Goldman Sachs, GE, and others. "When it's raining gold," he writes, "reach for a bucket, not a thimble."

Focus on the (really) long term.

Buffett notes the investments that he and partner Charlie Munger prefer are "businesses whose profit picture for decades to come seems reasonably predictable." Not the next two months or quarters or years, mind you. Decades.

Stick with what you know.

Against the advice of the firm's managers, Buffett pushed Geico -- the home and auto insurer that Berkshire owns -- into the crowded credit card business several years ago. Geico bailed out in 2009, losing about $50 million in all. The moral: If you don't understand that commodity ETF your pal is bragging about, pass on it.

Maintain a cushion.

While firms were fighting for their lives in the credit crisis, Berkshire kept doing deals. Why? Because Buffett keeps about $20 billion in cash on hand. This reserve is earning "a pittance," he says. "But we sleep well." A reserve will help you sleep better too, especially as you near retirement.

The buck stops with you.

Buffett oversees virtually all derivatives contracts on the company's books. "If Berkshire ever gets in trouble, it will be my fault." You need to adopt the same attitude. Whether you go it alone or work with an adviser, understand the level of risk you're assuming. If something goes wrong, you'll suffer the consequences.



NEXT: Adapt your skills and strategy
Email | Print | Share
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
Last updated May 04 2010: 4:23 PM ET
More Galleries
Our biggest money highs and lows How much money do you need to feel rich? What are your biggest money mistakes? Money magazine surveyed 1,000 Americans for the answers to these and other questions. See how your answers stack up. More
How we feel about our finances Participants in an exclusive Money magazine survey reveal how they feel about their finances. Although the Great Recession may be over, they're not all that confident about their prospects for the long run. More
8 ways to cut your tax bill To keep your tax bill as low as possible this filing season, you need to stay on top of all the ways the rules have changed. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.