Warren Buffett is one of the best investors in the world. He routinely excels at picking winning companies and his portfolio often outperforms the S&P 500 by quite a bit. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, is one of the top companies in the country, and Buffett himself has a net worth of around $73 billion. At the time of writing, he is the second richest man in the world, right behind Bill Gates.
In the past, we’ve written about why Warren Buffett is successful, and even outlined some rules for being successful like Warren Buffett. The truth of the matter is that there are a lot of things that go into being successful. However, if anyone knows Warren Buffett’s traits (including what may have led to him becoming the Oracle of Omaha), it would have to be Buffett’s best friend Bill Gates.
However, according to both Bill and Melinda Gates, the true driving force behind Buffett’s success isn’t anything we’ve outlined in the above articles or the many brushes on the topic. In fact, it’s not something that most people would even consider to be an asset when it comes to the world of finance, investing, or even business. What is his key to success? Optimism.
“Optimism is a huge asset,” Melinda Gates wrote in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual letter. The letter, which you can read about here, was addressed to Buffett this year. “… But optimism isn’t a belief that things will automatically get better; it’s a conviction that we can make things better. We see this in you, Warren. Your success didn’t create your optimism; your optimism led to your success.”
The failing is that most people confuse optimism and naivete, or making bad decisions. However, this is the opposite of true for Buffett. He is exceedingly bullish and optimistic on the country, the economy, and the stock market and this optimism leads him to invest wisely even when others are terrified and pessimistic.
“He’s optimistic about the country, about the future and about you. No matter where things are right now, he knows in the long run they’re getting better,” the Gates wrote in an op-ed on CNN. “You doubt it? Don’t bet against it; he’s made billions investing in that belief.”