Warren Buffett and His Boring Investing Advice That Could Make You Rich

Warren Buffett investing advice index funds
For those who are looking for investing advice, it pays to find someone who can be a financial mentor. That is, someone whose advice you trust, and who has a track record of doing well. When it comes to investing advice, there are very few people that get more respect than Warren Buffett. This is for good reason. He has consistently given sound financial advice that has helped numerous people increase their net worth over the years. With this in mind, it makes sense to, at the very least, consider the investing advice that comes out of his mouth.

Whenever the Berkshire Hathaway annual report goes public, it’s read over by financial analysts with a fine toothed comb. It makes sense. Many of those reading the report hope they can find some insight that can give them an edge in their own investing. The funny thing is, you really don’t have to look very hard to find the important investing advice that Buffett believes most people should follow. This is because he puts it out there for everyone to see as bright as day. The question is, will most people follow it?

As part of the 49th Berkshire Hathaway annual report that came out earlier this month, Warren Buffett wrote that he has given instructions to his wife on what she should do with the money she inherits when he dies. One might think that the instruction might get quite complicated since she’ll be inheriting money from one of the richest men in the world. The truth is that the advice is actually quite simple. Warren Buffet want his wife to invest 90% of her inheritance into a low-cost S&P 500 index tracker. He also advised that she should invest the remaining 10% into short-term government bonds. That’s it. Nothing fancy, but still sound financial advice.

Studies have shown time and again that there are few fund managers who are able to outperform the S&P 500 over extended periods of time. With the knowledge that the vast majority of active fund managers will return less money than an S&P 500 index tracker fund while charging more in fees, the advice is really nothing more than common sense. This is the way that Buffett believes most people should invest. It’s how one of the best investors in the world wants his own wife to invest when he’s gone.

The problem for many with this advice is that it’s rather boring. There isn’t much excitement day to day when 90% of your money is in index funds with the other 10% in government bonds. It lacks any type of sexiness, at least in the short term. What it lacks in excitement today will be paid back during retirement when the amount of money in the retirement fund should create a great deal of excitement.

That will be the challenge for many people. In many ways, boring can be what brings you the best financial returns, but it’s not something that you can brag about to your friends when you get together. So the question is, do you listen to the sound advice of one of the richest men in the world even though it’s boring? Or do you try something more exciting that will likely leave you with much less in retirement? The choice is yours.

This entry was posted in Investing, Personal Finance, Retirement and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Warren Buffett and His Boring Investing Advice That Could Make You Rich

  1. David says:

    Far too many people want instant gratification and aren’t willing to use time to build their wealth. It really isn’t too difficult to be fairly wealthy if you begin saving soon enough and continue to add to it on a consistent basis.

  2. patient saver says:

    Yes, this is very much along the lines of my personal style of saving and investing (hence my moniker here). I absolutely agree with the poster above. It’s really not too difficult to become a millionaire if you start saving regularly when you’re in your 20s. In fact, it would be relatively painless to do so, provided you’re not a big spender who likes shiny new things all the time.

  3. Gailete says:

    Jeff, I love what you say most of the time, but let us be clear; sex is a biological function and has nothing to do with the stock market and investing. I notice anymore that everything is supposed to sexy according to many writers or something isn’t sexy because it is boring or plain vanilla. I’m not sure when and where the word sexy began to be used as a descriptive word, but it really needs to stop. Let us remember that investing can be clever, brilliant, interesting, illuminating, but never sexy!

    That being said, I can understand Mr. Buffett’s desire for his wife to invest in a certain way if he dies before her. She is hardly a young woman at this point (at least I haven’t heard that he has a trophy wife)and he doesn’t want her to worry her gray hair about money or how to invest, but I’m pretty sure that the advice he gave her isn’t what he recommends as a long term investment advice. He didn’t make his pile of money that way did he? I would think a younger person should be investing like the young Buffett did and older people near the ends of their investing lives should have moved their finances into the much safer index funds as he recommends his wife do.

    Please note that I have nothing against what he told his wife to do, I just am not sure that was advice for all in all walks of life, but if you don’t know anything about investing and can’t understand the fundamentals of investing, that is a good policy to follow. Too much caution though in your early working years can end you up in your retirement years with not enough to live on.

  4. Thomas says:

    Agree with Gailete on all points but one… Investment can be sexy. Very sexy indeed given that the % and $ are big enough :-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *