Known for his folksy wit, frugal lifestyle, successful business decisions, and his down-to-earth manner, Warren Buffett is a veritable fountain of information and advice for anyone looking for some direction or inspiration. No matter what topic you are interested in, from investing, to careers, finances, or personal matters, billionaire chairman Warren Buffett probably has some good advice for you.
But, at his age, it’s hard to remember that even the Oracle of Omaha once was young and received advice—both good and bad. Luckily, Buffett didn’t listen to what he counts as the worst advice he was given. If he had listened, then there’s a good chance that he would never have become the world’s greatest investor.
According to the book “Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2011” The worst advice Buffett ever received was from his father and his mentor, Benjamin Graham. They told him not to go into the securities business.
“Maybe their advice was their polite way of saying that before I started selling stocks, I needed to mature a little, or I wasn’t going to be successful,” Buffett said in the book.
The advice was given to him when he was 21 and just starting to get into the investing business. Obviously, Buffett didn’t listen although when, at 35, his temper got the better of him and led him to purchase the failing textile company Berkshire Hathaway in order to get back at the CEO, that immaturity almost cost him greatly. Regardless, things worked out in the long run and Buffett went on to become the second richest man in the world at the time of writing.
So, the moral of the story is that, while advice—even advice from someone was smart and successful as Warren Buffett—should be taken with a healthy dose of common sense and perhaps a bit of skepticism.