Warren Buffett Says He Became a Self-Made Billionaire Because He Played by 1 Simple Rule of Life (Which Most People Don't) |

Warren Buffett Says He Became a Self-Made Billionaire Because He Played by 1 Simple Rule of Life (Which Most People Don't) |

Warren Buffett Says He Became a Self-Made Billionaire Because He Played by 1 Simple Rule of Life (Which Most People Don’t)

It’s a lesson passed on from Warren Buffett’s father, which has led to Buffett’s great success.

By Marcel SchwantesFounder and Chief Human Officer, Leadership From the Core@MarcelSchwantes
Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett will always be remembered as an investing luminary. But so often you’ll find Buffett expounding on things outside of his investing mastery.

In HBO’s 2017 Becoming Warren Buffett documentary, Buffett taught a group of high school students not about money advice but about how to live a good life, and how becoming a good person means you’ll also become a successful business person.
It’s what was passed on from Buffett’s father to Warren–the principle of having an “Inner Scorecard” rather than an “Outer Scorecard.” Either one can get you to success, but one matters more than the other. Buffett said:

The big question about how people behave is whether they’ve got an Inner Scorecard or an Outer Scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an Inner Scorecard.

Unpacking Buffett’s “inner scorecard” principle

An outer scorecard is what most people have or want, often driven by hubris, greed, or a life lived off-balance. It’s an external measure of success that attempts to answer elusive questions like, “What do people think of me, my success, my image, or my brand?”
The inner scorecard is intrinsic and it defines who you are at the core of your values and beliefs. The focus is on doing the right things and serving people well instead of on what other people think of you. In one simple but hard-to-attain word in business, it’s about being authentic.
The inner scorecard has been the Warren Buffett way and what has worked for the self-made billionaire his entire life. It’s taking the higher road and it’s paid off for Buffett.
Investor and author Guy Spier writes in his book The Education of a Value Investor, “One of Buffett’s defining characteristics is that he so clearly lives by his own inner scorecard. It isn’t just that he does what’s right, but that he does what’s right for him … There’s nothing fake or forced about him. He sees no reason to compromise his standards or violate his beliefs.”
Here are four examples of how living by your own inner scorecard can lead to success, as it has for Buffett.

1. Start with what you teach your kids.

In Alice Schroeder’s The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, she quotes Buffett offering a parenting tip: “In teaching your kids, I think the lesson they’re learning at a very, very early age is what their parents put the emphasis on. If all the emphasis is on what the world’s going to think about you, forgetting about how you really behave, you’ll wind up with an Outer Scorecard. Now my dad: He was a hundred percent Inner Scorecard guy.”

2. Beware of whom you hang out with.

One summer after graduating from Columbia University, Buffett had to fulfill his obligation to the National Guard and attend training camp for a few weeks. That experience taught him one incredible lesson: hang around people who are better than you.
Buffett said in The Snowball, “To fit in, all you had to do was be willing to read comic books. About an hour after I got there, I was reading comic books. Everybody else was reading comic books, why shouldn’t I? My vocabulary shrank to about four words, and you can guess what they were.
“I learned that it pays to hang around with people better than you are because you will float upward a little bit. And if you hang around with people that behave worse than you, pretty soon you’ll start sliding down the pole. It just works that way.”

3. Don’t forget the only two rules of investing you’ll ever need.

Buffett pares down his inner scorecard investment philosophy to two simple sound bites. He says, “Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1.”
Yes, he’s made billions but he has also personally lost billions–about $23 billion during the financial recession of 2008. What Buffett alludes to here is mindset–having a sensible approach to investing. That means doing your homework, finding sustainable businesses with good reputations, and avoiding being frivolous and gambling away your money. Buffett never invests prepared to lose money, and neither should you.

4. Never waver away from what matters most to you.

Buffett’s success is not so much about what he has done as it is about what he hasn’t done. With all the demands on him every day, Buffett learned a long time ago that the greatest commodity of all is time. He simply mastered the art and practice of setting boundaries for himself.
That’s why this Buffett quote remains a powerful life lesson. The mega-mogul said:

The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.

This advice speaks directly to our inner scorecard. We have to know what to shoot for to simplify our lives. It means saying no over and over again to the unimportant things flying in our direction every day and remaining focused on saying yes to the few things that truly matter.

via Warren Buffett Says He Became a Self-Made Billionaire Because He Played by 1 Simple Rule of Life (Which Most People Don’t) |

March 27, 2019 / by / in
The Biggest Challenge You’ll Face as a Leader » Jim Rohn Blog

The Biggest Challenge You’ll Face as a Leader

Once you’ve set a goal for yourself as a leader—whether it’s to create your own enterprise, energize your organization or lead your small team—the challenge is finding good people to help you accomplish that goal. Gathering a successful team of people is not only helpful, it’s necessary.
To guide you in this daunting task of picking the right people, here’s a four-part checklist.

1. Check their background or history.

This might be the most obvious step, but it’s vitally important. Seek out available information regarding the individual’s qualifications to do the job.

2. Check their interest level.

Once you’ve learned their qualifications, gauge the potential employee’s genuine interest. Sometimes people can fake their interest, but if you’ve been a leader for a while, you’ll be a capable judge of whether somebody is merely pretending.

Arrange face-to-face conversation and try to gauge his or her sincerity to the best of your ability. You won’t hit the bull’s-eye every time, but you can get pretty good at spotting genuine interest. The most interested prospects are often good ones.

3. Check their responses.

A response tells you a lot about someone’s integrity, character and skills. Listen for responses like these: “You want me to get there that early?” “You want me to stay that late?” “The break is only 10 minutes?” “I’ll have to work two evenings a week and Saturdays?”
You can’t ignore these clues. They indicate his or her character and often reveal how hard he or she will work. Our attitudes reflect our inner selves—so even if we can fool others for a while, our true selves eventually emerge.

4. Check results.

How else can we effectively judge an individual’s performance? The final judge must be results—and there are two types of results to look for.
The first type is work activity, and it’s simple to follow up on. Within a sales organization, you can request a new salesman make 10 calls his first week. If he starts telling a story or makes excuses for poor results when you follow up on his progress, it’s a definite sign. If his lack of activity continues, you’ll soon realize that he may not be capable of being a member of your team.
The second area you need to monitor is productivity. The ultimate test of a quality team is measurable progress in a reasonable amount of time. Be up front with your team as to what you expect them to produce. Don’t let the surprises come later.
When you’re following this four-part checklist, your instincts play a major role, and they will improve each time you go through the process.
Remember, building a successful team will be one of your most challenging tasks as a leader. The good news is that it will reap you multiple rewards for a long time to come.

via 3 Ways to Turn Nothing Into Something » Jim Rohn Blog


March 22, 2019 / by / in
Montreal Places To Stay For Every Budget

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About Montreal

A blend of French and English lifestyles, Montreal is renowned for its food, festivities and an innate appreciation for the arts. This large metropolitan area offers architectural wonders interwoven with modern hotspots and irresistible tourist attractions.
Things to do
If you’re looking for shopping and dining, Le Plateau is the place to go. Boutique shops are sprinkled throughout the residential region and many commercial areas, highlighted by the main Boulevard St-Laurent. A blend of upscale shops is scattered alongside vinyl record stores and hipster’s joints, making for an eclectic retail haven.
Old Montreal serves as the hub for historical homes and museums, including the Montreal Museum of Archeology and History and the Montréal Science Centre, a modern location that offers interactive science exhibits and IMAX movies. The Marguerite-Bourgeoys Museum and Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel is the oldest stone church in Montreal holds a collection of rare artefacts.
The Notre-Dame Basilica is a must-see, best known for its vibrant display of Gothic Revival architecture. If you’re looking for a good photograph, head up to the Observation Deck Au Sommet Place Ville Marie, which offers exquisite views of the downtown area sprawling out below you.
The Museum of Fine Arts is a final noteworthy attraction, renowned for its comprehensive collection of paintings, prints and photographs. A perfect exploration for history buffs, enjoy viewing the displays of aboriginal artefacts and vintage Victorian chests.
Getting around
Located just 20 minutes from the Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Montreal is home to an efficient transit system. There are also plenty of taxi services available, but the public subway system is well-designed and easy to use. Getting around on foot or by bicycle is the quickest form of transit.

via Montreal Hotels: 1,708 Cheap Montreal Hotel Deals, Canada

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Hotel Bonaventure Montreal

HI500047183 (1)
Centrally located, Hotel Bonaventure Montreal offers easy access to Montreal’s main retail areas and tourist attractions. The multiple amenities this elegant hotel has to offer include a rooftop terrace, a kids club and an outdoor heated pool.

Very Good, 8.3

9,064 guest reviews

  • Stunning pool
  • Good for shopping
  • Great location

Le Square Phillips Hotel & Suites

Centrally located, Le Square Phillips Hotel & Suites allows for easy access to Montreal’s popular retail areas and tourist attractions. It also offers free Wi-Fi, an indoor pool and a rooftop terrace.

Downtown Montreal, Montreal
Superb, 9.3

7,654 guest reviews

  • Stunning pool
  • Large rooms
  • Good for shopping

Omni Mont-Royal Hotel

Centrally located, Hotel Omni Mont-Royal offers easy access to Montreal’s popular sightseeing and retail areas. It also provides a sauna, outdoor tennis courts and a rooftop terrace.

Fabulous, 8.8

7,526 guest reviews

  • Free internet
  • Wonderful views
  • Good for shopping

DoubleTree by Hilton Montreal 

Situated close to Central Station Montreal, the hotel provides guests with a convenient base when in Montreal. It provides a spa and wellness centre, as well as a sauna, a rooftop terrace and an indoor pool.

Good, 7.5

7,168 guest reviews

  • Stunning pool
  • Fantastic bar
  • Good for shopping

Hotel Zero 1 Montreal 

Offering a rooftop terrace, Hotel Zero 1 is located in Montreal and is a brief walk from Saint Catherine Street and Saint Laurent Boulevard. It presents views of Quartier des Spectacles, and overlooks the city.

Very Good, 8.2

6,333 guest reviews

  • City views
  • Great location
  • Ample parking

Hilton Garden Inn Montreal Centre-Ville 


Fabulous, 8.9

Based on 5,638 reviews

5,638 guest reviews

  • Stunning pool
  • Wonderful views
  • Clean rooms

InterContinental Montreal


Very Good, 8.4

6,493 guest reviews

  • Fantastic bar
  • Wonderful views
  • Fast check-in

Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain


Very Good, 8.4

8.46,591 guest reviews

  • Wonderful views
  • Fantastic bar
  • Fast check-in

Courtyard by Marriott Montreal Downtown


Superb, 9.1

3,857 guest reviews

  • Stunning pool
  • Fast check-in
  • Wonderful view

Le St-Martin Hotel Centre-ville – Hotel Particulier 


Superb, 9.1

4,561 guest reviews

  • Good for shopping
  • Stunning pool
  • Superb dining

Hotel Place D’Armes 


Superb, 9.1

5,260 guest reviews

  • Fantastic bar
  • Large bathrooms

Loews Hotel Vogue


Superb, 9.2

4,561 guest reviews

  • Large bathrooms
  • Good for shopping
  • Good-sized beds

Le Saint-Sulpice Hotel Montreal 


Superb, 9.2

4,932 guest reviews

  • Superb dining
  • Large rooms
  • Large bathrooms

Hotel Le Crystal Montreal


Superb, 9.1

4,193 guest reviews

  • Stunning pool
  • Wonderful views
  • Large bathrooms

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

Fabulous, 8.8

4,111 guest reviews

  • Wonderful views
  • Fast check-in
  • Good for shopping

Hotel St Paul 


Very Good, 8.2

3,301 guest reviews

  • Fantastic bar
  • Superb dining
  • Large bathrooms

Hotel Le St James Montreal


Superb, 9.3

1,341 guest reviews

  • Superb dining
  • Wonderful staff

Holiday Inn Express Montreal Airport 


Very Good 8.2

2,861 guest reviews

  • Delicious food
  • Spotless beds
  • Clean rooms

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March 14, 2019 / by / in
How to Buy a Car (with Pictures) – wikiHow

How to Buy a Car

Explore this ArticleDoing Your HomeworkShopping AroundDeciding on Your Dream CarArticle SummaryVideoQuestions & AnswersRelated ArticlesReferences

Finding and buying a perfect car is not an easy task. There are many decisions to make and factors to take into account, not to mention the rainbow of colours to choose from. The price, of course, has to be a deciding factor, as well as how often you drive the car. Whether you’re buying new or used, from a private seller or a car dealership, knowing what you want ahead of time and being able to walk away are two of the most important things you can do when buying a car. Read on for more information on how to buy a car.


Doing Your Homework


close up photography of white chevrolet camaro

Photo by Jesse Zheng on


Make a list of what you’re looking for in a car. Doing your homework, like most things in life, is a good idea, especially when purchasing something as expensive as a car. Often, this means knowing what you want to get out of your car. Make a list of what you’re looking for in your new car. Some criteria include:

  • Age
  • Appearance
  • Performance
  • Safety
  • Reliability
  • Size
  • Comfort
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Cost
  • Resale value
  • Transmission type
  • Engine size
  • Miles/kilometers per gallon
  • Current mileage (if car is used)
  • Color.

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Organize the list in terms of how important the criteria are to you. What aspects of your would-be car are you willing to budge on, and which aspects do you need to find in your would-be car? Many people say they want safety, reliability, and mileage in their car, when in fact they’re looking for performance, comfort, and appearance. Be honest with yourself; it will make the buying process much easier.

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Consider the advantages and disadvantages of buying a new car. The smell. The feel. The touch. Buying a new car can be like a religious experience, but it can burn a hole in your wallet if you’re not careful. Carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of buying new based on your situation:

  • The advantages:
    • Freedom of choice. You can buy the car of your dream vs. being limited to the cars that are available.
    • Better financing. If you do decide to finance on a new car, your financing rates could be better than if you bought a used car.
    • Getting new features. New cars are stocked with new cutting-edge features such as interactive touchscreens on the dashboard, additional sensors and reversing cameras.
    • Knowing what you’re buying. When you buy new, you have an excellent idea of exactly what you’re getting; there shouldn’t be any uncertainty lurking the background about the car’s history.
  • The disadvantages:
    • Spending more money. This one’s a no-brainer. You spend more money on a new car than you do on a used one.
    • Immediate depreciation. As soon as you drive the car off the lot, it loses about 11%[1] of its value. This is informally called the “lemon effect.”
    • Higher insurance costs. It’ll cost more to insure that brand new convertible.
    • Ambiguous information for model year. Is the model you’re buying a workhorse or a defective wreck? You can’t really know until later on — sometimes much later on.


Image titled Buy a Car Step 4


Consider the advantages and disadvantages of buying a used car. Used cars are a great deal for many people: they’re relatively cheap and the consumer has idea of what to expect out of the car. Still, there are some disadvantages associated with buying used. Know them before you pull the trigger.

  • The advantages:
    • Cost. Buying that car fresh off the lot sure can be expensive; buying a similar car from a classified listings can be drastically cheaper.
    • Better insurance rates. Insurance companies know that drivers of used cars tend to be more cautious and price their insurance accordingly.
    • Less depreciation. Your car will depreciate less if you buy used, because the initial depreciation was so drastic.
  • The disadvantages:
    • Higher dealer markup. Dealers know that they can make a killing on used cars. Buying a used car usually means a significant dealer markup.
    • Higher financing. It usually costs more to finance a used car.
    • Higher/more maintenance. Used cars usually need to be maintained more often and for more money.
    • Unknown mechanical and accident history. When you buy a used car, you don’t necessarily have any information on who drove it, how often it was serviced, or whether it got into any accidents.


Image titled Buy a Car Step 5


Decide on a budget. Give yourself a budget, regardless of how much you’re spending or what kind of car you want to get. Your budget will keep you from overspending and will tell you when and why to walk away from a bad deal.
Image titled Buy a Car Step 6


Look for models that fit your criteria and budget. Take your criteria identified above and the budget that you’ve made for yourself and start looking. You can look at dealerships, car websites, or classified postings, among others. A couple of things to remember as you begin shopping:

  • Use the internet. A car salesman’s worst dream is an educated buyer: a buyer who knows what they want, does not want to be impulsive, and is aware of what’s available based on their budget. Searching around on the internet or in the newspaper can help you achieve this.
  • Save your preliminary results. Saving the results of your research will give you a reference point as you continue to shop, especially if you choose to go to a car dealership. Dealers will have artificially high prices that you can spot if you’ve done your homework.


Shopping Around

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Go to dealerships with no intention of buying. If you can, try to go on a day/time when the dealership is closed so you can browse freely and not be bothered by any sales pitches or arm twisting. If salespeople do approach you, tell them you have no intention of buying, and are just doing market research, and would prefer to look undisturbed. If they continue to hassle you, walk away and go to another dealership: you probably don’t want to buy from a dealership that doesn’t respect the customer’s wishes.

Image titled Buy a Car Step 8


Figure out what the dealership paid for the car(s) you’re looking at. This is called the “invoice price,” and it’s relatively easy to get on the internet. Arming yourself with the invoice price lets you haggle starting low and going up, as opposed to starting high and going down. It’s a much better position to be in.

  • Make sure you find the invoice price with all the available features you want. The invoice price doesn’t mean much unless it actually matches the features of the car you’re trying to buy.

Image titled Buy a Car Step 9


Get online price quotes to use as bargaining chips. Use websites such as, and to shop for quotes that you can use as bargaining chips when you actually decide to negotiate in person. Many dealerships will also have an online branch that will get you a quote in a couple days; use them!
Image titled Buy a Car Step 10



Get your finances in order before you go to the dealership. For the best possible bargain, it’s essential to have your financial game plan laid out before you set foot on the dealership. This includes:

  • Knowing your credit score if you intend to finance. You can get a free report once a year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. If you haven’t done so already, get your credit score.
  • Shopping around for a loan from a bank or credit agency. Getting a loan directly from the dealership can be a bad idea. Get a loan secured before you walk into the dealership; the dealership might be able to beat the price, and if they can’t, you know you’ll be able to finance your car another way.




Deciding on Your Dream Car

Image titled Buy a Car Step 11


Be willing to walk away at any point in time. A smart buyer knows that they have the inherent bargaining edge if they choose to use it: being willing to walk away. A person who isn’t willing to walk away from a deal — at any point in the negotiation process — is likely a person who will overpay for their car.

  • A smart dealer may try draw out the process, making you feel like you’ve invested a good amount of time in a car, and that walking away is the same thing as abandoning that investment. Don’t fall for that trap. Know that any time you spend researching or negotiating, even if the negotiation falls apart, is an investment in itself and will eventually pay off.

Image titled Buy a Car Step 12


If you plan on keeping the car for a good while, forget about leasing. Car dealerships know that they can generally make money off of people who decide to lease a car. The prevailing myth that leasing a car is always bad isn’t quite accurate; if you plan on keeping the car for less than three years, it’s an okay deal. But if you want to hold onto your car for a good deal of time, paying that lease will usually leave you worse off than if you negotiated to buy the car.[2][3]
Image titled Buy a Car Step 13


Ace the test drive. If you do decide to take a car on a test drive, keep your emotions in check. Dealers know that people get emotionally attached to cars when they take them for a test drive. When a customer is emotionally attached to a car, they are far likelier to overspend because they are less willing to walk away from a bad deal. Some things you can do during a test drive to control your enthusiasm:
Ask the salesperson for quiet, if necessary. During a test drive, a good salesperson will keep talking about all the features and amenities of a car, trying to convince you it’s the best deal. They’re trying to get you emotionally attached, do not fall for this trick. If the salesperson won’t give it a rest, ask them for silence point blank.

  • Bring your somebody else with you on the drive. Your companion will help you remain analytical and focused on the task of extracting the best possible value for the car. They could also be another BS radar, if the salesperson tries to pull a fast one.
  • Take your time and nitpick. If you’re going to buy this car, you should very well feel comfortable in it. Don’t rush the drive and ask questions that you want answered. Wait for clear answers.


Image titled Buy a Car Step 14


Walk away if the salesperson brings out a four-square worksheet. Better yet, tell the salesperson up front that you’re prepared to walk away if they bring out a four-square worksheet. A four-square worksheet is a clever mechanism the dealership uses to massage the numbers, getting you to agree on an inflated price. It’s a three-card Monte trick the dealer uses. Don’t get scammed.

Image titled Buy a Car Step 15


Negotiate on the final out-the-door price. Dealers will try to “sweeten the deal” (ostensibly for you, but really for them) by adding on services, perks, etc. onto the price that you initially agreed on, making you feel bad about or guilty about not accepting because it’s “agreed on.” Don’t get fooled by this.

  • You can say something like: “I’m only prepared to negotiate on the final out-the-door price. If we can agree on a number, I expect that number to be the final number, not the starting point for another negotiation.”

Image titled Buy a Car Step 16



Know the salesperson’s tricks of the trade. Not all salespeople are slimy and wily, but a lot work in the car industry. Knowing the tricks of their trade will help you be prepared when you sit down to negotiate.

  • Don’t fall for the guilt trick. Don’t feel guilty for refusing an offer that you know is bad. A salesperson might make you feel guilty for “wasting his time” after taking a test drive. This is their job. Don’t feel guilty. They certainly don’t, their priority is to make a sale.
  • Know that salespeople will start negotiating with an achingly, ridiculously high number. It’s their way of “breaking” you, and making you feel like the number they’re willing to come down on is actually a good one. If you know the invoice price (the price the dealer paid for the car), don’t be afraid to walk away from an insultingly high bid.
  • Know the commission structure. After a “holdback,” the salesperson gets about a 10% to 25% cut of the difference between the sales price and the invoice price. The higher the total sales price of the car, the more money the salesperson makes in commission.
Image titled Buy a Car Step 17



Try this clever trick, if you’re willing. Decide exactly what kind of car you want to buy. Locate several dealerships in the area that have that make and model of car. Phone each one of the dealerships up and tell them that you’re planning on buying such and such a car at 5 PM from the dealer that gives you the best price. Tell them you’re not negotiating, aren’t willing to come into the office until the price is agreed upon, and that you want an out-the-door prices (taxes, everything included).

  • The dealer may not want to play this game with you, but they’d be missing out on an opportunity to sell a car (something a dealer hates to do). Assure them that if they can give you the lowest possible offer, you’ll take their offer.

Image titled Buy a Car Step 18


Before buying a used car, take the car to a qualified mechanic for a complete pre-purchase inspection. If you’re buying a used car from a private seller or even a dealership, ask to take the car to a trusted mechanic to check for performance, accident history, or even water damage. Buying with peace of mind will help you find the best deal.

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Before buying a used car, run a Vehicle History Report on the car. Check if the car was reported stolen, scrapped, or ever recalled before you buy. You can get a full history report at Or if you live in the UK, go onto, then “Get A Vehicle Check”. You will have to pay a fee, but it is worth paying to know the truth about the vehicle you are considering purchasing.
Image titled Buy a Car Step 20


Read the fine print carefully before you sign. Don’t put your guard down until you’ve driven the car of your dreams off the lot. Make sure you understand any contract you’re reading, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. A lot of the time, a dealership will try to add on $10 a month or even hidden fees to wring extra money out of your purchase. Don’t be gullible and trust that the salespeople necessarily have your best interests at heart.

  • If the dealership tries to “pack payments” by surreptitiously increasing your interest rate, for example, know that the dealer may be subject to heavy fines, as is it illegal.[4] If you believe you are a victim of packing payments, contact a lawyer.

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  • Act as if you know what you are talking about, do not allow them to sway you from what you are honestly looking for. Be confident and firm, and if they start swaying you to another choice, then just leave.
  • When you go to a dealership, bring your spouse, or a friend. You are more likely to be taken seriously. If you do not have one, then walk in with an air of confidence. If you are a single woman, it is good to bring a male friend who knows about cars, so that you don’t let the dealer mislead you. Sales people will try to take advantage of you, don’t trust them.
  • Check out Consumer Reports. It’s arguably the best place to look for impartial reviews, ratings, crash tests, reliability forecasts, and pricing guidelines for new and used cars. Start with their list of recommended cars, research them, pick out a few you like, and then go to the dealer. They also have an excellent guide to new car buying, a guide to used car buying, and even a guide to buying cars for teens. Much of their info is free, but a subscription is well worth it. They review everything from chocolate to computers.
  • When you have done your homework, and know what you want in a car, then visit the dealership.


  • Always ask yourself if the car you are buying is worth the money they are asking. If not, make a lower offer, and if they refuse, don’t worry – there are plenty more cars out there, the perfect one is just waiting for you to come along and find it.
  • Always test drive the car, check things like the sound of the engine, whether the windscreen wipers work, air conditioning (if applicable), heater, indicators, gearstick, and headlights. Check for cup holders, compartments, the boot, the seat quality (no rips or stains), look in the bonnet to make sure nothing funky is going on, beep the horn, Check the comfort of the seats (will this car be comfortable on long trips?), The visibility (is it easy to see other cars?), does it have seat belts, air bags, roof handles, Sun shades, and a radio? (CD or cassette tape), and whether it works.
  • Make sure you read the contract completely. Do not sign, unless you understand exactly what you are signing. If you are not sure, then take the contract home, and have an attorney read it. Once you sign, you have legally bought the vehicle!
  • If you are concerned about the safety using the car if a bad situation was to ever happen such as a car crash, check out its crash test results on Euro NCAP before purchasing it.

via How to Buy a Car (with Pictures) – wikiHow

March 12, 2019 / by / in
3 Warren Buffett Stocks Worth Buying Now

3 Warren Buffett Stocks Worth Buying Now

Investors should consider following Berkshire Hathaway’s lead and buy shares of Costco, Apple, and Phillips 66.

Mar 9, 2019 at 7:00PM
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway recently cut its positions in several stocks, including IBM and Oracle. But Berkshire remains invested in dozens of other stocks, and some of them are still worthy buys for mainstream investors.Today, a trio of our Motley Fool contributors will highlight three of their favorite Buffett holdings: Costco (NASDAQ:COST)Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX).

An investor puts coins in a piggy bank.
An investor puts coins in a piggy bank.
The top name in warehouse retailers
Leo Sun (Costco): Berkshire held nearly $1 billion in Costco shares at the end of 2018. The warehouse retailer, which locks in shoppers and subsidizes its low prices with paid memberships, saw its shares rally about 90% over the past five years against the S&P 500’s 50% gain.
Costco’s membership-based business model, its wide selection of products, the strength of its private Kirkland brand, and its focus on big bulk purchases helped it keep at bay. Its adjusted comparable-store sales rose 6.7% during the second quarter, and its e-commerce revenue rose 26%. Its membership fee income rose 7.3%, fueled by price hikes, and it retained a renewal rate of 90.7% in the U.S. and 88.3% worldwide.
Those numbers indicate that Costco’s business model is sticky and has tremendous pricing power. That’s why analysts expect its revenue and earnings to rise 8% and 9%, respectively, this year. Costco’s stock admittedly doesn’t look cheap at 27 times forward earnings, and its forward yield of 1% doesn’t offer much downside protection. However, investors are willing to pay a premium for Costco for three key reasons.
First, like Amazon, it’s one of the few retailers that can charge shoppers subscription fees. Second, Costco plans to open 23 new warehouses this year, as many struggling retailers reduce their brick-and-mortar footprints. Third, Costco is a bear-market-friendly stock that withstood previous market downturns. That’s why Berkshire is accumulating shares of Costco, and why it will likely buy more.
Take a bite out of this stock
Dan Caplinger (Apple): This is Warren Buffett’s biggest holding, with the Oracle of Omaha owning almost $40 billion of the iDevice giant’s shares. Yet it’s also been one of Buffett’s most controversial holdings lately, because the stock price has taken a big hit, in the face of headwinds for its most popular products.
Apple has had to deal with slowdowns in growth with the latest models of its iPhone. Given the utility of older models, owners of iPhones haven’t upgraded their devices at the pace they did in the past. Owners holding on to old smartphones longer means less sales volume for Apple, and the company also has to deal with the fact that its premium devices are out of the reach of the typical consumer in many parts of the world, especially in emerging markets.
Skeptics believe that Apple can’t come up with innovative products to follow in the footsteps of the iPhone, and they’ve priced the stock accordingly. At 14 times trailing earnings, investors can buy shares of a mature company with the capacity to sustain profits — and even offer modest growth — for years to come. That’s far from a given in today’s risky market, and that makes this Buffett stock worth a closer look whether or not you use its smartphones.
North American refiners have a global advantage
Maxx Chatsko (Phillips 66): American shale oil is so abundant and cheap that it has changed global energy trade flows virtually overnight. It also has another important characteristic: Shale oil is very light and sweet. That’s industry jargon for “this stuff needs minimal refining.” It’s actually been a bit of a problem for the country’s refining infrastructure, which is tooled to handle heavier crude grades.
An shale oil pump at sunset.
An shale oil pump at sunset.
While that’s created some bottlenecks for producers looking to move product (which has eased somewhat as more and more exporting infrastructure is built), refiners such as Phillips 66 have simply continued importing heavier crudes. Because it’s generally cheaper than all other varieties — much cheaper — it’s created an awesome arbitrage opportunity.
For example, while American crude oil has been priced at a roughly $10-per-barrel discount to the global benchmark called Brent crude in recent years, Canadian crude is currently priced at a $10-per-barrel discount to American crude oil. Heck, in November 2018, Canadian crude oil was trading hands for just over $11 per barrel. Total. The result: American refiners have benefited from extremely low raw material costs, but get to sell their refined products at global market prices and pocket the difference for eye-popping profits.
This trend was on full display when Phillips 66 reported fourth-quarter 2018 earnings. The company’s refining segment delivered over $2 billion in earnings, versus just $516 million in the year-ago period. Every other segment — chemicals, midstream, and marketing — grew quarterly earnings year over year as well.
Public backlash to trans-national pipelines that would allow Canada to export more of its crude to Asia means the United States should have first dibs on its neighbor’s heavy and cheap crude for the foreseeable future. That should keep Phillips 66 humming along while providing the opportunity to invest in domestic infrastructure, such as its burgeoning midstream and chemicals units.
Shares are trading at less than 9 times future earnings, 0.4 times sales, and just 8.5 times enterprise value to EBITDA. The stock pays a 3.3% dividend and is trading 20% below its 2018 peak — despite an aggressive share repurchase program that reduced the share count by a whopping 10% last year. Simply put, it might be Warren Buffett’s best play on the American energy revolution.
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March 10, 2019 / by / in


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Lessons Investors Can Learn From Warren Buffett

7 Lessons Investors Can Learn From Warren Buffett

Beyond Value Investing, Buffett Is a Brilliant Strategist

Lessons from Warren Buffett's Birthday
Warren Buffett, the legendary chairman and CEO of holding company Berkshire Hathaway, was born on August 30, 1930. During the 50+ years he has run the former New England textile mill, he’s taken it from around $8 per share to $270,000 per share (as of September, 2017), having never split the stock (Buffett did introduce the Class B shares, which for many years, traded at 1/50th the value of the Class A shares, but now trades at 1/1,500th the value due to a stock split to facilitate the acquisition of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad).

 Along the journey, his capital allocation discipline has spawned several billionaires besides himself, and an unknown (but substantial) number of multi-millionaires, including some families that amassed hundreds of millions of dollars only to reveal the extent of their fortunes in charitable bequests at death.

What are some of the lessons we, as investors, can learn when looking back on his career and strategies? Let’s take some time to point out a few that are particularly important.

1. Get the Structure Right

Almost nobody seems to discuss the fact that the real secret to Warren Buffett’s wealth is his ability to get the structure of his holdings put together in a way that gives him enormous personal advantages. The seven early partnerships he ran gave him an override on earnings that makes modern wealth managers look cheap in comparison, taking between 25% and 50% of profits depending on the specific limited partnership agreement. If he had generated the exact same investments results as a salaried member of the local bank trust department, you probably never would have heard his name.
The same goes for Berkshire Hathaway. By using the insurance float as a sort of super-efficient margin account with none of the drawbacks of margin debt, Buffett was able to parlay 11% to 15% compounding results in the equity portfolio, along with reinvested earnings from the operating subsidiaries, into 20%+ average annual gains in book value for half a century. Had he held the exact same stocks in a non-leveraged brokerage account, his results would have looked far more ordinary. He gave himself a structural advantage.

 As a strategist, he’s horribly underrated and should be given a lot more credit for his ability to put together systems that disproportionately reward him, his family, and his partners. You can see the influence one of his early obsessions, Henry Singleton at Teledyne, had on his behavior.

2. Get Really, Really Good at Something and Exploit It to Your Maximum Advantage

People get distracted in life. If you want to have outsized success, you need to hone in on a specific skill set and become extraordinary at it. If Buffett had spent the past five decades also trying to launch a chain of restaurants or attempting to become a world-class novelist, he probably wouldn’t have had a modicum of the influence, wealth, and reputation he does today. Even geniuses who excel in multiple areas, like Benjamin Franklin, did not do so concurrently, but rather, focused on different areas at different times in their lives.
Figure out what you can do better than everyone else. Sam Walton and Ray Kroc were better operators and executors. Steve Jobs and Walt Disney were better showmen and visionaries. Whether your objective in life is to become an opera star or build a Fortune 500 business from the ground up, develop a “laser-like focus”, as Buffett himself has called it. Know what you want, when you want it, and how you are going to get it. Out-execute everybody.

3. Reputation Is a Form of Capital That Should Be Nurtured and Protected

If you become known for your integrity and fair dealing, you’ll find yourself on the receiving end of a lot of grace and a lot of opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have presented themselves. Buffett took advantage of this every chance he could. Even during the leveraged buyout craze of the 1980s, he wouldn’t engage in unfriendly takeovers because he wanted to cast himself in the light of a friendly white or gray knight; the rich, nice guy with the checkbook who shows up and rescues you from the pirates wanting to raid your ship.

 He had a vision for the type of reputation he wanted and cultivated it every step along the way. It became a brand; an image.

When you look into his life and study it deeply, you see that the avuncular façade masks a shrewd, ruthlessly brilliant man with an IQ that is off the charts and a tendency toward avarice (which, ultimately, benefits society since he’s giving 99% of it back to improve civilization). He will let businesses fail. He will abandon his friends if it risks his reputation capital. He will put the needs of himself, and Berkshire Hathaway, above all other considerations. He is no fool. He knows exactly how to attain, increase, and take maximum advantage of power through financial, political, and social means.

4. Take Advantage of the Tax Code and Understand the Power of Small Gains Over Time

The small things that Buffett has done throughout his career to get an extra risk-free 2% or 3% here or there, especially as it relates to tax efficiency, are truly remarkable. In some ways, the tax efficiency he’s built into Berkshire Hathaway, which allows him to move capital like engine oil throughout the whole empire to the most productive use, is a huge part of the secret to his success. From the obvious things, like only making acquisitions of at least 80% of the subsidiary equity so he can take dividends tax-free out of the operating companies and redeploy it, to the quirks that were found decades ago in the Nebraska tax code as it pertains to the insurance industry itself, by hitting a lot of singles and doubles, he’s materially added to the end result of his life’s work.

 (Therein lies another quirk – Buffett himself is one of the biggest dividend investors on the planet, yet refuses to pay them to his own stockholders for reasons he has well-articulated in the past.)

Smaller investors can take advantage of this, too. Invest through a Roth IRA, which is the closest thing to the perfect tax shelter as exists in the United States. Don’t take on non-deductible debt for depreciating assets. Take advantage of deferred taxes by keeping turnover low (have you seen the built-in unrealized capital gains in Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio!? They’re beautiful!).

5. Surround Yourself with the Right People and Create a Culture That Rewards the Behavior You Want Emulated

The heavy lifting is done by Berkshire Hathaway’s operating subsidiaries. Those businesses, many of which would be in the Fortune 500 if spun-off, are run by CEOs who show up to work each day. They manage truly global enterprises that produce billions and billions of surplus wealth that then gets shipped to Omaha twice a year. Though occasional problems pop up, which is bound to happen in a firm of its size, Buffett’s talent for attracting great executives, making them want to win, and staying loyal to the business is too important to casually dismiss.

 In many businesses, the quality of the people doing the work is of the utmost importance to the profitability. Get better people, enjoy better results.

Likewise, be on the lookout for perverse incentives. You want to avoid creating compensation or recognition systems that cause employees, contractors, or other parties to engage in immoral, unethical, illegal, or otherwise questionable behavior. You get more of what you subsidize so subsidize wisely.

6. Focus On Your Best Ideas

Buffett’s business partner, Charlie Munger, sometimes points out that if you took the best 4 to 5 ideas he ever had and stripped them out of the equation, Buffett’s record would be about average at Berkshire Hathaway. It was the courage of conviction to load up on shares of The Coca-Cola Company; to focus on property and casualty insurance; to take a stake in the then-Washington Post Company or Gillette that made the difference.
When something crosses your radar that is right in your sweet spot — you understand it, you know the risks, the probabilities are highly in your favor, and it’s so obvious you can reach out and grab it — don’t let it pass. Once every decade or so, you’ll be presented with a chance to swing for the fences without hurting yourself if it goes wrong. When it happens, let it rip.

7. Do Good and Give Back to Society

Like great tycoons before him, Warren Buffett is gifting nearly all of the productive efforts of his career to the broader civilization. Through the Gates Foundation, his net worth will provide philanthropic funds to save lives, improve education, and change the world for the better. Think beyond yourself. Try to find a way to apply your talents to upgrading the experience of those around you, being a blessing to them in ways they never thought possible.

via Lessons Investors Can Learn From Warren Buffett

March 2, 2019 / by / in