rich people things

Unsolicited Advice From Warren Buffett

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett drinks a bottle of Coca Cola during at a trade show at the company's annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska May 3, 2014.
Mr. Buffett Photo: Rick Wilking/Reuters

Capitalist fever dream and human–Coca-Cola hybrid Warren Buffett has a lot of opinions, and because he is also a man, he loves sharing them unprompted. In addition to advising celebrities like A-Rod and Floyd Mayweather, he’s also fond of chiming in out of nowhere to bestow his wisdom upon unsuspecting targets. Much of it is delightful, like when he told Congress to tax the rich. And then there’s the time he told Elizabeth Warren, during a “Squawk Box” interview this morning, that she should be less angry. Here’s your unofficial guide to Warren Buffett’s unsolicited advice.

To LeBron James: Stockpile your cash, ASAP.

Through the rest of his career and beyond, in terms of earning power, [he should] just make monthly investments in the low-cost index fund. Somebody in his position ought to have a significant cash reserve.”

To Elizabeth Warren: Stop being so rude to rich people.

I think that she would do better if she was less angry and demonizing. I believe in ‘hate the sin but love the sinner.’ And I’m not sure that I’ve fully convinced Elizabeth Warren that that’s the way to go.”

To the CEO of Coca-Cola: Figure out why Pepsi is so bad.

I like to study failure. We want to see what has caused businesses to go bad, and the biggest thing that kills them is complacency. You want a restlessness, a feeling that somebody’s always after you, but you’re going to stay ahead.”

To Congress: Tax me!

“But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.”

To Barack Obama: Scrap that whole health-care thing and start over.

“If I were President Obama, I would just show this chart of what’s been happening and say this is the tape worm that’s eating at American competitiveness, and I would say that one way or another, we’re going to attack cost, cost, cost, just like they talk about jobs, jobs, jobs in the economy. It’s cost, cost, cost in this side. That’s a tough job. We’re spending maybe $2.3 trillion on health care in the United States, and every one of those dollars is going to somebody and they’re going to yell if that dollar becomes 90 cents or 80 cents.  So, it takes — but I would try to get a unified effort saying this is a national emergency to do something about this.”

To anyone who requires food for sustenance: Eat potato sticks for breakfast.

I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among six-year-olds. So I decided to eat like a six-year-old. It’s the safest course I can take.”