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David Gottesman, a Top Buffett Investor and Friend, Dies at 96


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Is there some longevity gene with Berkshire investors? Maybe a hidden benefit. Key to compounding is duration and that's where Buffett is king, doing this for more than 60 years now. Even a mediocre investor will do well if he lasts long enough; at least that's what I keep telling myself.

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I think the longevity/BRK connection is under-appreciated. It’s one of the many non-financial lessons I’ve learned from WEB/CTM. Living “simply”, minimizing harmful health habits, meaningful relationships with family/friends, minimizing stress and being happy. Stress is way worse for you than a few cokes once and a while. Of course, having a little $$$ helps with the stress factor. 
 

there seems to be alot of old value investors. 

 

 

Edited by longlake95
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10 hours ago, Spekulatius said:

Is there some longevity gene with Berkshire investors? Maybe a hidden benefit. Key to compounding is duration and that's where Buffett is king, doing this for more than 60 years now. Even a mediocre investor will do well if he lasts long enough; at least that's what I keep telling myself.

 

So you're telling me there is a chance?

 

 

Edited by boilermaker75
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13 hours ago, Spekulatius said:

Is there some longevity gene with Berkshire investors? Maybe a hidden benefit. Key to compounding is duration and that's where Buffett is king, doing this for more than 60 years now. Even a mediocre investor will do well if he lasts long enough; at least that's what I keep telling myself.

 

You are not the only one asking these questions:). From 2020 letter:  "When our partnership distributed its Berkshire shares in 1969, all of the doctors kept the stock they received. They may not have known the ins and outs of investing or accounting, but they did know that at Berkshire they would be treated as partners. Two of Stan’s comrades from Emdee are now in their high-90s and continue to hold Berkshire shares. This group’s startling durability – along with the fact that Charlie and I are 97 and 90, respectively – serves up an interesting question: Could it be that Berkshire ownership fosters longevity?"

 

 

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There is absolutely a lesson here. Longevity is one of the secrets to be a successful investor. Buffet, Munger, Walter Schloss all lasted a long time.

 

Buffett elaborated this in his talks to students where he tells them that you have only one body and so you need to take care of it. He himself is a bit of a mixed example because of his terrible diet. 

 

Of course the other key thing is not to blow up financially.

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just a thought. i read an article that astronomers live a long time because they have to track or see cosmic phenomena that take decades to develop. Supposedly this gives them a motivation to stick around ) . I suspect investing and compounding is the same. You get curious what the world throws at you next.

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I think longevity has a lot to do with living a healthy lifestyle and to live and work on your own terms. WEB tap dances to work, has the office environment arranged the way he wants and works with the people he wants to work. Be probably has way less stress through his life than the average CEO or money manager.

 

That could be worth an extra 5-10 years of the lifespan.

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WEB is pretty focused on his health.  He's having too much fun and enjoying himself too much not to make the effort to exercise.

 

I remember a quote from him along these lines:  "My knee's are in great shape, while the other young men were playing football, I was reading.  My knee cartilage was pretty much stored in a box in great shape until I needed it later in life."

 

I'm too lazy to lookup at what age WEB's parents passed, but I think a lot of it is a stress free, happy life.  Stress and worry is a killer.

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24 minutes ago, scorpioncapital said:

Buffet eats horribly. I am now 100% believer in genes over any environmental actions. George Burns smoked like a chimney and died over 100. 

That's quite a strong statement..

It's been suggested that people who live to reach their 90s and centenarians (with adequate physical and cognitive ability) have an unusual collection of genes. But environmental factors do influence, at the margin, for most.

Resilience (defined as an ability to do well in all environments, especially with headwinds) may also be a factor (genetic/environmental component). From references, Mr. Gottesman got the core of his BRK shares when Diversified Retailing ("a terrible mistake") was merged into Berkshire Hathaway in the early 70s.

Mr. Gottesman was also reported to be an avid swimmer, well into advanced life.

Interesting life. RIP

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