Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said he learned much about the value of simplicity from his buddy Warren Buffett.
“I’ve gotten a lot of great advice from Warren,” Gates told Fortune magazine. “I’d say one of the most interesting is how he keeps things simple. When you look at his calendar, it’s pretty simple.”
And how does that apply to business? “If you talk to him about a case where he thinks a business is attractive, he knows the few basic numbers and facts about it,” Gates said.
“If it gets complicated, he feels like then it’s not something he’ll choose to invest in,’’ he said of fellow billionaire Buffett.
“He picks the things that he’s got a model of, and a model that’s really predictive and is going to continue to work over a long-term period.”
Gates said Buffett doesn’t get bogged down in details.
“His ability to boil things down to just work on the things that really count … it’s so amazing that he can do that. It’s a special form of genius.”
Gates also is impressed with Buffett’s grace toward others.
“He turns down an unbelievable number of things and yet everybody feels great about it.”
Not everyone is so taken with Buffett these days.
“The fact that Buffett … was down 45 percent, and that not enough action was taken to mitigate those losses, I thought was disconcerting and poor trading,” newsletter writer Dennis Gartman told CNBC, referring to Buffett’s recent stock losses.
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