Noah’s Ark, Time To THINK! & “Happy Birthday, Warren!”
“I hear the seven deadly sins
And the terrible twins came to call on you
The bigger they are babe
The harder they fall on you
And you you're always the same you persevere
On the same old pleasure ground
Oh and it never rains around here
It just comes pouring down”
It never rains – Dire Straits
On August 30th 2020, Warren Buffett, the Sage of Omaha, turned 90. I’m sensitive to this milestone, as my mum will celebrate her 90th in a few months’ time. Warren is aging gracefully, and so is she! He is in good health and so “together”, and so is she! Thankfully!
See here how Bill Gates - you know, the guy from Microsoft and one of Warren’s best friends – is paying tribute. A hint for me for my mum’s upcoming birthday!
Talking about birthdays, mine is in a couple of weeks. I was born a month & a half before Bill (Mr. Microsoft) and just one day after a patent was granted for what became known as Velcro. The inventor (not investor!) was a neighbour, a Swiss fellow named Georges de Mestral. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1999 for inventing hook & loop fasteners. This is as “close” I have gotten to fame!
Last month, I was telling you about “thinking backwards”, specifically about this rustic who said : “I wish I knew where I was going to die, and I’d never go there” and the fact that most people smile at the rustic’s “ignorance” and ignore his basic wisdom. Between my whimsical search for inspiration to deliver my monthly opus & my mess of books at home, I found a copy of “All I want to know is where I’m going to die so I’ll never go there – A Study in Simplicity and Uncommon, Common Sense” that I forgot I bought at the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders’ meeting in 2018 in Omaha. Funny coincidence or “ravissant hasard”! In it, I found the Right Honourable Bertrand Russell’s quote, when he supposedly said: “Most men would rather die than think. Many do.” The great man’s observance about life in general also applies in the financial world, and right now with unusual accuracy. The proof: stocks are going up, bonds are going up, commodities are going up, etc. How often has this happened ?
So Ladies & Gentlemen, it is time to THINK.
Warren Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger have been criticized recently. Value investments, their credo, reached an epic level of underperformance versus the index and especially in growth stocks, the so-called GAFA. Now let me remind you that “it wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark. And he didn’t look that smart for 39 days.”
In other words, as George Carlin would say: “If you let a smile be your umbrella, you’ll end up with a face full of rain.”
Happy Birthday, Warren! And to Bill: well done on baking the cake!