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Warren Buffett Advises Having Internal Yardstick

In 2008, Guy Spier, CEO of Aquamarine Capital Management, had what will probably be the most expensive lunch of his life. He took Warren Buffett, the richest man in the world, to lunch, and it cost Spier and a friend $650,100. Still, when it was over, Spier felt the lunch was a bargain.

The luncheon came about through a charity auction on eBay. Annually since 2000, investment genius Warren Buffett has offered to go to lunch with the highest bidder and seven companions and promised to discuss virtually any question—except what he's buying and selling. Buffett then donates the money to charity. Spier and another money manager won the auction with a bid of $650,100.

Spier wrote about the lunch afterward for Time magazine, and said this:

Buffett has always made a point of doing business with integrity—and of working only with people who share his values. As we learned at lunch, he credits his father with teaching him at an early age to rely on his own sense of what's right, rather than look for affirmation from others. "It's very important to live your life by an internal yardstick," he told us, noting that one way to gauge whether or not you do so is to ask the question, Would you rather be considered the best lover in the world and know privately that you're the worst—or would you prefer to know privately that you're the best lover in the world, but be considered the worst?

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