Warren Buffett is an optimist.
In a video posted on his personal blog Gates Notes, Bill Gates, founder and former CEO of Microsoft and a board member at Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, talks with Buffett about what they have learned from one another over the years.
Gates says that Buffett always manages to have an optimistic view of things, which Buffett explains is quite easy for him, even if he isn’t trying.
Buffett, who is 84, tells Gates in the video: “I think if I’m sort of neutral about optimism or pessimism and I look at the facts around me, I look at what has happened in my lifetime … put 3 of me end-to-end and you’re back before the Declaration of Independence was written. That progress, in 3 lifetimes like mine, is mind-blowing.”
For those who read Buffett’s most recent letter to shareholders, this outlook shouldn’t come as too much of a shock. In that letter, Buffett asked, “Indeed, who has ever benefited during the past 238 years by betting against America?”
And as for the future of America, Buffett wrote in his letter that, “the mother lode of all opportunities runs through America.”
As for why Buffett has been so successful as an investor over all these years, Buffett told Gates that he’s simply followed his own rules, which he admits aren’t the easiest to apply, but will at least prevent someone from doing anything stupid. Buffett tells Gates that the idea is if you have a chance to buy something — a farm, an apartment building, a business — “of extraordinary value,” the time to do the deal is right then.
Buffett says don’t worry about if the deal could maybe be done at a better price in the future: take it.
Watch the whole video below: