Conclusion: B = Baseball = Buffett

Warren Buffett frequently uses sports analogies to explain the game of investing. In this conclusion, I follow Buffett's refreshing simile between sports and investing to explain the key features for success in investing. In the appendix that follows this chapter, I present a short summary of the book.

When we play baseball—or, really, any sport—what motivates us? What about when we play bridge? What motivates us then? Is there a single most important principle that makes us better at any game, including the game of investing? If I have to point to a single characteristic, I would say that the survival instinct, which has been thoroughly explained in The Selfish Gene and earlier in The Origin of Species, leads players to victory more than anything else.[226] The survival instinct can be thought of as the mind-set to win. Once we see a game with this winning mind-set, the rest of our behavior follows naturally to put us in the best possible position to emerge victorious.

Don't Lose Money

The mind-set to win is the overarching principle that applies to life, sports, and investing. Other rules are generally derivatives of this fundamental notion. Let's start with baseball. Everyone has been told, "Keep your eyes on the ball." If your objective is to win the game and you have completely internalized the idea that you want to win, then your mind shuts out other thoughts, and you see the ball as clearly as possible. You automatically keep your eyes on the ...

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