Thursday, March 1, 2012

Coming Back from Financial Mistakes

"Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again."
~Vincent van Gogh

I stumbled upon a very interesting article from a few months ago... it was talking about how a charity auction raised $2.35 million for someone to have lunch with Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest men in the world. 

So I looked up Buffet’s life via Wikipedia and found out he started buying stock in Berkshire Hathaway in 1962, which at that time was heavy in the textile industry. Eventually, Buffett acknowledged that the textile business was floundering and the company's financial situation was not going to improve. In 1964, the CEO of the company made a verbal tender offer of $11-12 per share for the company to buy back Buffett's shares, which Buffett agreed to. A few weeks later, Buffett received the tender offer in writing, but the offer was for only $11-38 (it was only 1/8 less than the original offer). Buffett later admitted that this lower, undercutting offer made him angry. Instead of selling at the slightly lower price, Buffett decided to buy more of the stock to take control of the company and fire the CEO, which he did. However, this put Buffett in a situation where he was now majority owner of a textile business that was failing. 

In 2010, Buffett claimed that purchasing Berkshire Hathaway was the biggest investment mistake he had ever made, and claimed that it had denied him compounded investment returns of about $200 billion over the previous 45 years. Buffett figures that had he invested that money directly in insurance businesses instead of buying out Berkshire Hathaway (due to what he perceived as a slight by an individual), those investments would have paid off several hundredfold.  

Can you imagine...$200 Billion!?

The moral of this story is that sometimes we make mistakes in our personal or business life. We choose bad investments, we leave money on the table. We let our egos or our pride get the best of us. It’s okay! Learn from your mistakes. Pick up the pieces where you are now and move forward.

You too can still become a billionaire!

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