I Saved $2.1 Million On Lunch – A Sit Down With Warren Buffett

I thoroughly dislike watching CNBC for investing purposes due to all the noise.  When the markets are up, they bring on every single pundit to talk about how the market is going higher.  When the markets are down, they bring on all the bearish pundits to tell you why the world is coming to an end.  I remember when the S&P hit the ominous 666 level earlier this year, they brought in a “famed” technical analyst who said to expect S&P 200 by year-end.   What was her name again? I forget.  Watch CNBC for entertainment purposes mainly, and a little bit of learning.  Don’t watch CNBC to get rich.

Sometimes though, CNBC puts together something great.  And that great feat was bringing Warren Buffet (Columbia B-School Alum) and Bill Gates together in a town hall with all their business school students to ask them questions.

Here are some of the most memorable lines paraphrased from the show:

The Samurai Mask: An Interview With The CEO of BULLDOG Gin

 

A Brazen Breed of Gin

A Brazen Breed of Gin

I’m pleased to highlight a new series of articles focused on understanding the thoughts of successful entrepreneurs.   For our inaugural series, entitled, “The Samurai Mask,” I speak with the CEO and Founder of BULLDOG Gin, Mr. Anshuman Vohra, 31.  “Shu” was once a JP Morgan Banker who gave up his lucrative career to start BULLDOG Gin three years ago.  I was very inspired after watching his story about overcoming rejection on Donny Deutsche’s “The Big Idea” and I’m pleased he’s here with us today.  This is his story about finding entrepreneurial success, and going against the odds.

INTRODUCTION

FS: Shu, thanks for taking the time to speak.  First of all, tell us about Bulldog Gin, and why it is such a hot product?

Shu: It’s good to speak to you and it’s an honor to be the inaugural interviewee for your new series.  BULLDOG Gin is a quadruple distilled, ultra premium gin with dragon eye and other distinctive botanicals.  This is not your old folks gin, but a younger, brazen breed of  gin that you can imagine Steve McQueen and James Bond drinking.

A Weak US Dollar Doesn’t Matter Folks!

People have been freaking out lately by a weak US dollar.  I’m here to tell you it doesn’t really matter.  Did you know that 60% of Americans have never left the country and less than 25% of Americans own passports?  Most of the 40% who leave come back, so it’s only a temporary amount of time when their purchasing power may be relatively hurt.

An even better statistic states that only 20% of Americans speak a foreign language.  Hence, where the heck are the 80% of Americans going to go if they can’t communicate with the locals?  Ok, so they may understand what “I want a double quarter pounder with cheese please” in English means, but we aren’t going very far if we can’t speak another language.  Sure a vacation is fine, but it’s not like we Americans are suddenly going to relocate overseas and establish roots.

If you are an American who makes a US$ denominated salary, buys US$ denominated assets like property, consumes Levi’s jeans, and never plans to leave the country, what are you freaking out about? The US Dollar can depreciate by 90% against the Euro, and it still wouldn’t really matter.  The government is crushing our currency on purpose and you know the government would never, ever, ever do anything to harm the people they serve.

Party Like It’s 1999! 10 Takeaways From This Recession

In the past 10 years we’ve come full circle and finally rere-breached Dow 10,000 yesterday!  Bust out the party hats and call up your favorite car dealer, because money is now raining from the sky!  I fully admit that being defensive so far this October has been wrong.  Instead, I should have taken the illusory $400,000 in home equity increase Zillow told me, dumped it in my E-trade brokerage account, levered it up to $1.2 million and bought 35,000 shares of DDM (Ultra Dow30 ProShares ETF)!  Too bad, I’m too conservative and not smart enough to realize the world has changed.

This year’s rally has been outstanding, and the more I get to know the personal finance community, the more I realize that A LOT of you are making a lot of money.  From one PF blogger who writes his site helped lead him to a job earning  50% more, to another’s proclamation of a 10% net worth jump in September, it’s clear that a lot of people are doing very well in this recovery.  I’m watching all of you, especially those who provide such transparent net worth updates!

I rarely hear negative anecdotes about job losses and foreclosures anymore.  Instead, there are a bunch of you who are buying new homes (congrats and good timing), steadfastly paying off debt, and finding new wealth.  The bus is like a can of sardines every morning, and I can no longer walk into my favorite restaurants without a reservation.  If that’s not the best indicator of a bull market, I don’t know what is.

10 TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS RECESSION

Zillow Says I’m $400,000 Wealthier! Why Net Worth Is Rubbish

Primary Residence Zestimate

Primary Residence Zestimate

To prove our point regarding “Your Net Worth Is An Illusion” I took a look at Zillow’s latest zestimates of my primary residence and rental property.  Apparently, in a span of 3 months, my primary residence gained a whopping $300,000! I’m popping open a bottle of  Crystal, buying a rose gold Patek Philippe Calatrava at Tiffany’s, and ordering the Audi R8 on as we speak.  Just kidding, especially since September is frugality month. Besides, Zillow isn’t writing me a check for $300,000!

The dollar sign shows the purchase price after a 4 month escrow that began in late 2004.  In other words, the purchase price was $250,000 below what the zestimate measured as fair value in the middle of winter.  You’d think that after 4+ years of existence, Zillow’s price algorithms would be more refined.  Perhaps the data is legit, but I’m not buying it. Since net worth calculations don’t include one’s primary residence, let’s strike this example and look at a rental property.