Notes from the HBO documentary ‘Becoming Warren Buffett’

— His father had unlimited confidence in Warren, even when Warren screwed up.

— Imagine that when you turn 16, you’re given the only car you will have your entire life. What do you think you’ll do with that car? You’ll take as good care of it as possible. In reality, that’s not the deal with cars, but it is how it works for us with our body and mind. We only get one, so take care of it.

— On the office walls, he keeps front pages of newspapers from days there were financial market panics as a reminder that anything can happen in this world.

— ‘Focus’ is the biggest key to his success. You can’t do all things and become great in a specific area.

— Charlie Munger: “Celebration is part of making a group of people work well together”

— Maintaining a solid reputation will come in handy later in your life. You just don’t know when.

— Before taking an action, ask yourself if you’d like that action to be documented in the local paper for your family, neighbors, and community to read. Note: I’d seen this example used with the Wall Street Journal or NY Times, but I think the local paper example is more effective.

— He’ll be merciful if you lose money for the firm but ruthless if you lose a shred of reputation for the company.

— Journalist Carol Loomis, on Warren: “He truly loves what he does.”

— You can only learn about human nature from experience, not from reading books.

— Warren’s daughter, evaluating the unique living situation Warren had for the last 40 years, with his wife living in San Francisco and another woman living with him in Omaha: If a family living situation works for those directly involved, who cares what anyone else thinks?

— Love: you can’t get rid of it. If you try to give some away, you’ll get even more in return.