Hedge Fund Legend Seth Klarman Follows The 'Football Field' And 'Wall Street Journal' Rules For Life

seth klarman

Some wonderful individual just posted a video of an old Seth Klarman talk at Harvard Business School, and its chock full of wisdom (h/t @vitaliyk).

Klarman told the (likely) eager students that he follows two Buffett-inspired rules to live by — the Wall Street Journal rule and the football field rule in business and in life.

Explaining the Wall Street Journal rule, Klarman said:

“Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your mother to read about the next morning in the Wall Street Journal. You always want your mother to be proud of what you do.”

As for the football field rule, it’s a little more abstract, but it basically comes down to: if you think the ethics are questionable, chances are you’re inevitably going to do something that is clearly unethical. 

Klarman explains:

“You want to get near the sideline, but sometimes it’s easy to step over the sideline and go out of bands. Stick to the centre of the field where you can’t get into trouble.”

The dictums reflect how Klarman runs the Baupost Group as a risk-averse, value oriented fund. He said the goal is not be the biggest or the most profitable, but to do the best possible job and keep fees where they’ve been since the 1980s. 

The group has been closed to new clients for years. 

Watch the video below: 

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