How to Stay Out of Debt

In 1999, a young person asked Warren Buffett:

I was wondering, since the stock market’s so high right now, if it would be smart for us to get involved now or to wait until it goes down a little.

Here are some of the things he said.

  • First save money. Then worry about which stocks to pick.
  • There is no substitute for experience. Buffett tells a story about the first stock he bought when he was eleven years old. He remembers exactly what happened and how he felt.
  • He tried all sorts of different types of investing until he was 19 years old, including technical analysis. Again, there is no substitute for experience. You have to fail before you can succeed.
  • Write down your thesis before you buy something and then do a postmortem. He said, “I would always check myself. I believe in grading myself on everything.”

The whole thing is worth your time.