Warren Buffet is one of the world’s richest men, and he earned his fortune by investing. Considering the fact that marriage is one of the biggest investments you will ever make, let’s see what Mr. Buffet can teach us to help ensure a successful marriage:
- Always keep a cool head. Ironically, the stock market has long been a bastion of male supremacy, but it's one of the most emotional things in the world. So is love.
Buffett once said an investor doesn’t have to be a genius in order to succeed, just avoid the big mistakes. As in love, there are choices you can make that would be a huge mistake. Avoid these bad choices.
- Invest only in what you understand. Avoiding the NASDAQ fiasco because he simply didn't understand it, Buffett recommends investing solely in solid companies that you understand, patronizing yourself. One of his investments is Dairy Queen, and he dines there and holds interviews there.
I think we could translate this concept into "marry a good solid person who's honest and transparent, and whose values are understandable". Pass up those who are all glitz and glamour, volatile and unpredictable.
And ... understand marriage and what it entails, or simply refrain from "investing" in it.
- "You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right [and you manage your emotions]." ~ Warren Buffett
Do your homework, then marry the person who’s just right for you. Don't consider the opinions of others. Conduct your marriage the way that’s “right” for you, not those around you.
- Don't buy low and sell high, rather "buy and hold". Buffett is notorious holding on for the long-term. He’s never sold a share of Berkshire-Hathaway, his primary company, and he’s never split the stock.
So select a great candidate that you plan to stick with. Don’t start day-trading in the marriage arena, and don’t go splitting your stock. Stick with your original investment as long as it’s good, and you'll reap the rewards. Choose the best and don’t worry about the rest.
- Buffett’s Investment Rule Number One: Don’t lose money. Rule Number Two: Never forget rule number one.
Marriage Rule Number One: Don’t marry a loser. Rule Number Two: Never forget rule number one.
- “Investing is like batting a baseball except that you get as many pitches as you want and you never have to swing. Wait for the ‘home run ball’ before investing.” ~ Warren Buffett
If you have your act together as a grown-up with solid emotional intelligence, you don’t have to marry anyone at all. With no sense of urgency, you can afford to look them over carefully, and wait for the home run ball.
- "The ability to say 'no' is a tremendous advantage to an investor. Most investment ideas should be said 'no' to." ~Warren Buffett
As should most typical scenarios in the dating game, and all scenarios in the extra-marital arena. What exactly does it take to be able to “just say no”? Being centered, having emotional intelligence, and being able to avoid momentary temptations and sticking with your original plan to achieve a long-term gain. Knowing exactly what you’re looking for and getting the facts and trusting your intuition.
Corollary: “As far as you are concerned, the stock market does not exist. Ignore it.” ~ Warren Buffett
Once you have chosen the right stock, you're no longer in the stock market, so simply ignore it.
Likewise, once you're married, you're no longer in the dating market, so simply ignore it.
- Buffett also says he's "disgusted" by corporate bosses who tout their companies while selling their shares at the same time. "These business leaders view shareholders as patsies," he says, "not partners."
Your marriage partner is a shareholder in your joint investment (your marriage). Don’t treat him/ her like a patsy by appearing to be committed and then selling shares on the sly … and you know what I’m talking about. Anything that cheats the relationship is no good. Anything!
As Buffett says, “wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they’re doing.”
- "Lethargy, bordering on sloth should remain the cornerstone of an investment style," says Buffett.
"Most success can be attributed to inactivity. Most investors cannot resist the temptation to constantly buy and sell."
There's that word again ... "temptation." The divorce rate now is 50%, and the divorce rate for second marriages is even higher!
- "Unless you can watch your stock holding decline by 50% without becoming panic-stricken, you should not be in the stock market."
In your marriage, you have to be able to ride the roller coaster without panicking. It's "for better or for worse," remember? You have to be able to get through the really tough times without panicking.
On the other hand, you also must know when it’s time to get out. “’Turn-arounds’ rarely turn around", says Buffett and "certain marriages won’t work and can’t be saved and it would be toxic to remain in them".
About the author:
Susan Dunn, MA Psychology, is an Emotional Intelligence Coach. She provides coaching for individuals, executives and businesses, Internet courses, teleclasses, programs, and ebooks about emotional intelligence for personal and professional development. Visit her at
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