Collection: Warren Buffett - #391 | What Are The Best Ways a 10-Year-Old Can Earn Money?



[Transcript]

AUDIENCE MEMBER

Hello, Mr. Buffett and Mr. Munger. My question is, what do you think are the best ways a 10-year-old can earn money?


WARREN BUFFETT

Well, I must say that was a subject I gave a lot of thought to when I was 10 more than I gave to school and some other things.


You know, you have to — you’re probably a little young to deliver papers. That was always my favorite. And I got about half the capital I started with by delivering papers, and I always liked it because I could sort of do it by myself.


I don’t know the situation and the town in which you live, but, like I say, 10 is probably a little young, but 12 or 13 would not be.


And almost any — there can be a lot of little bit — I tried to — I must have tried 20 different businesses by the time I got out of high school.


The best one was a pinball machine business, but I’m not sure I want to recommend that you get into that.


When I did it, it was a much purer business where you put a nickel in, and that was about it.


But it is interesting — I read a study a long time ago — I wish I could get my hands on it because I’ve quoted it a lot but I never quoted it as authoritatively as I would be able to if I could actually find the damn thing that I read 30 years ago.


But it correlated business success with certain variables.


And, you know, they tried grades in school, and they tried what your parents did, and they tried whether you went to business school, all those kind of things.


And they found it correlated best with the age at which you started your first business, got into business, that the younger you were when you did your first piece of business seemed to correlate best with later business success.


And to some extent, that’s sort of natural. It’s probably true that — that when you see it in athletics, you see it in music and that sort of thing.


So whatever you can figure out that other people will pay you to do that they don’t want to do themselves or that they’d like done for them — I advise you to look around the neighborhood and talk to your parents, talk to your friends, see what other people have done that have been 10 or 11 or 12 years old that’s worked for them and copy it.


But if you can get a good paper route when you’re 12 or 13, that’s a sure way to save some money.


I’ve often wondered about people that are having trouble being in debt, you know, that have a normal eight-hour job.


If they added a route in the morning and just put that aside, you know, it could be the way out of being behind the game instead of being — and getting ahead of the game — and take another hour and a half out of their day, but not too many people seem to do it.


Charlie used to sell — didn’t you used to sell yourself the best hour of the day or something, Charlie?


CHARLIE MUNGER

You bet.


WARREN BUFFETT

Yeah. Tell them what you did.


CHARLIE MUNGER

Well, when I was young, I read that savings bank thing, “The Richest Man in Babylon,” which taught the joys of underspending your income and investing the difference and how wonderfully it would work over time.


And, lo and behold, I did exactly what this little pamphlet suggested, and it worked. And the other idea — and then so I got the idea that — I had a mental compound interest thing, too.


And so I finally decided I was going to give the best hour of the day to improving my own mind, and then the world could buy the rest of the time. And that may have been a very selfish thing to do, but it worked.


WARREN BUFFETT

Yeah. Charlie was selling his time — I don’t know. What you were getting per hour as a lawyer?


CHARLIE MUNGER

Not much.


WARREN BUFFETT

Yeah. He just decided to sell himself the best hour, and not a crazy thing to do.


CHARLIE MUNGER

But I would tell that little girl if you make yourself a very reliable person and stay reliable all your life, faithfully doing whatever you engage to do, it will be very hard for you to fail at anything you want.


(Source: https://buffett.cnbc.com/2007-berkshire-hathaway-annual-meeting/)

~ Please visit the site above for full video of Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.

 

[YAPSS Takeaway]

  • The younger you start, the better you get.

  • How to get business idea?

  • "So whatever you can figure out that other people will pay you to do that they don’t want to do themselves or that they’d like done for them — I advise you to look around the neighborhood and talk to your parents, talk to your friends, see what other people have done that have been 10 or 11 or 12 years old that’s worked for them and copy it." ~Warren Buffett

  • Learn to sell yourself the best hours.