2008-04-11

Where I Outperform Warren Buffett (And What I Think It Means)

There are a few limited but specific and real areas in which I am currently outperforming Warren Buffett:

Huh? Am I really saying I have more hair than Warren Buffett? With an unimaginative and looks-like-it-was-thrown-together-with-no-thought handle like GBlogger (or the equally uninspired GBlogmaster), it’s hard to imagine my hair follicles being robust, I know. But I swear it’s true. Granted, I have never had my hair compared to Buffett side-by-side, but there are many photographs of him that are widely acknowledged to properly and fairly represent the scope of his hair.

Buffett’s and my hair competition (much like Buffett’s and Bill Gates’ imagined net-worth competition) is all in good spirit and conducted with utmost courtesy and professionalism between him and me. Unlike our differences in credit score, about which I childishly tout my superiority while doing uncoordinated celebratory dances.

Buffett’s credit score is reportedly 718. I had a momentary delusion in the aisle of the grocery market where I was reading this in a magazine that I was on the early side of “discovering” this. But in Internet speed, I was well behind the Slowskys. I guess the newsstand of a grocery market where it’s fairly hard to know how often they actually change out the magazines is not a place to get out in front. (But my post on President Kennedy getting shot will be out soon!)

This has been blogged backward, forward, and sideways by, among others:

In fact, I got winded clicking on all the blogs covering this just on the first page of Google search results—so there could be many more.

My takeaways, however, may be somewhat different than some of the existing discussion though:

  • Errors in credit reports can happen to anyone. (Supposedly, there are 23 missed-payment reports on Buffett’s credit report for either a $294 or $295 loan at a bank in Nevada—Buffett says he’s never banked there.)
  • For most of us, it’s important to correct those errors.
  • For Buffett, it’s not. It doesn’t really sound like he’s lifted a finger, or directed someone else to lift a finger, to get this error cleared up—and that makes sense for him.

And I’d encapsulate those even further:

  1. don’t sweat the small stuff;
  2. what the small stuff is depends on you and your circumstances; and
  3. there are almost always points of comparison between you and others that fall under “small stuff.”

For Buffett, credit score is small stuff. He doesn’t need to sweat it, and it’s silly (though mildly fun) to imagine him worrying about comparing himself to me or anyone else on that measure. Though most of us do need to sweat our credit scores, the other underlying message applies equally to us.

It may be important or helpful to measure ourselves on our financial progress. But it may or may NOT be important for us to compare ourselves to others. Whether your net worth or savings or whatever is more than someone else may be a useful point of reference, but past that, it may not mean very much.

Okay, Warren. I’ll leave the credit-score issue aside. But you have to concede I have more hair than you.

[Editor’s Note: Though I had hoped to be finished by now, I am still working on the continuation of The 9 Or So Paths To Getting Rich… (Part 1). I think I will still be able to get this out before my post on President Kennedy.]


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