Warren Buffett: Don’t Underestimate The Role of Luck In My Investing Career

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During the 2024 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Warren Buffett discusses the significant role of luck in his success and life in general. He acknowledges that many fortunate circumstances, such as avoiding accidents, have contributed to his longevity and achievements.

He admits that he would not have been the favorite to live a long life based on his high school days and that some of his success is purely due to luck rather than skill. Buffett reflects on how he has sometimes capitalized on his luck, though he also admits to making numerous mistakes along the way.

He underscores the importance of persistence, as suggested by his partner Charlie Munger, and cautions against the delusion of believing one’s success is solely self-made. Buffett also notes that living in a country with a high life expectancy is a significant advantage.

Here’s an excerpt from the meeting:

You know, you have to be just plain lucky. I mean there’s no question about it that there’s 100 or a thousand. You know, multiply a number of times that some drunk could have pulled out of the car and broadsided me, or you know, just the bad luck you can have in life. And I can say my great skill has been avoiding bad luck, but that isn’t a skill, that’s luck, or bad activities.

And then to get to be. I would not have been… if you’d taken my high school class. And you say a couple of you are going to live to be 90. Men are going to live to be 93.

I would not have been a heavy favorite, I can tell you that. And I wouldn’t have bet on myself. But you just. Now, you should make the most of your luck when you get it.

And sometimes I’ve done that and sometimes I haven’t.

I mean, it is absolutely true that if I had to do over again, there’d be a lot of different choices I would make, whether they would have ended up working out as well as things have worked out.

It’s hard to imagine how they could have worked out any better. So. So. But it is interesting how many mistakes you can make if you just keep going.

And Charlie, you know, when he used to talk about that, that you just soldier through, you just keep going, and… But you still need luck, you know, you don’t want to…

Anybody that says I did it all myself is just kidding. I mean, it’s just. They’re delusional and, you know, actually live a country with a life expectancy is pretty darn good, you know, so that alone is a huge plus.

You can watch the entire meeting here:

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One Comment on “Warren Buffett: Don’t Underestimate The Role of Luck In My Investing Career”

  1. There is just nobody like Warren.He and Charlie have given such wonderful advice in all areas of life .
    I particularly recommend The Tao of Warren Buffet and the Tao of Charlie Monger ..Great books well worth getting.
    Thank you Warren

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