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五百億美金身價的故事:青年巴菲特的職場抉擇
2013/05/17 09:23
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Warren Buffett’s $50 Billion Decision

"Life is like a snowball. The important thing is finding wet snow and a really long hill." Warren Buffet 

人生就像滾雪球。最重要的事是找到夠濕的雪和一道長長的山坡。 華倫巴菲特

 

「你最想為哪一家企業工作?」這是我們最常問社會新鮮人的一句話。很單純的一個問題,但得到的答案大部份是:「沒特別想過!」「都可以。」「不一定。」「看哪家公司會覺得我有貢獻」。

年輕人應該大膽想、大膽說、大膽做,一起讀巴菲特二十五歲的抉擇,希望帶來一點啟發。

Benjamin Graham had been my idol ever since I read his book The Intelligent Investor. I had wanted to go to Columbia Business School because he was a professor there, and after I got out of Columbia, returned to Omaha, and started selling securities, I didn’t forget about him. Between 1951 and 1954, I made a pest of myself, sending him frequent securities ideas. Then I got a letter back: “Next time you’re in New York, come and see me.” So there I went, and he offered me a job at Graham-Newman Corp., which he ran with Jerry Newman. Everyone says that A.W. Jones started the hedge fund industry, but Graham-Newman’s sister partnership, Newman and Graham, was actually an earlier fund.

自從我讀了班傑明葛拉漢(Benjamin Graham)的書「聰明的投資者」,他就成了我的偶像。這也是我選擇哥倫比亞大學商學院的原因:葛拉漢是哥大的教授。商學院畢業後,我回到老家奧瑪哈賣股票,卻始終沒有忘記他。195154年間,我不斷寫信給葛拉漢,大聊我的股票經。他居然回信了,要我下回到紐約去找他。我去了紐約,展開在他的避險基金公司的工作。

The next year, when I was 25, Mr. Graham gave me a heads-up that he was going to retire. Actually, he did more than that: He offered me the chance to replace him, with Jerry’s son Mickey as the new senior partner and me as the new junior partner. This was a traumatic decision. Here was my chance to step into the shoes of my hero. But I also wanted to come back to Omaha. I probably went to work for a month thinking every morning that I would tell Mr. Graham I was going to leave. But it was hard to do.

工作一年後,葛拉漢準備退休,升遷我為公司合夥人之一,那時我才二十五歲!但如此大好機會卻是我掙扎的開始:我既不願放棄接班,又想回家鄉開創事業。要我開口辭職的確很難,我躊躇一個月後才向葛拉漢表明離職的想法。

I thought, I’ll go back to Omaha, take some college classes, and read a lot—I was going to retire! I told my wife, “Compound interest guarantees I’m going to get rich.” I had no plans to start a partnership, or even have a job. I had no worries as long as I could operate on my own. I certainly did not want to sell securities to other people again. But by pure accident, seven people, including a few of my relatives, said to me, “You used to sell stocks, and we want you to tell us what to do with our money.” That was the beginning—totally accidental.

回到奧瑪哈後,仗著早年投資股票的經驗,二十五歲的我告訴我太太:「複利 (compound interest)的概念保證讓我賺大錢!」當年我並沒有任何合夥或找工作的計畫,我只知道,一旦開始去做我自己最想做的事:股票投資,就沒有什麼好憂慮的。很意外地,七個親戚主動跑來找我:「你從以前就知道怎樣買賣股票,我們想要你幫忙投資!」我就這樣開始了,很偶然的。

I did no solicitation, but more checks began coming from people I didn’t know. Back in New York, Graham-Newman was being liquidated. There was a college president up in Vermont, Homer Dodge, who had been invested with Graham, and he asked, “Ben, what should I do with my money?” Ben said, “Well, there’s this kid who used to work for me.…”

我並沒有到處招攬募資。但越來越多資金來自於不認識的人。那時,葛拉漢的基金正在清算,原來在葛拉漢投資的大學校長問葛拉漢該怎麼處理他的錢,葛拉漢說了:「有個跟我工作過的小子知道怎樣幫你做投資!」。他把二十五歲的我推薦給他的客戶。

Although I had no idea, age 25 was a turning point. I was changing my life, setting up something that would turn into a fairly good-size partnership called Berkshire Hathaway. I wasn’t scared. I was doing something I liked, and I’m still doing it.

那時候我並不知道,二十五歲,會成為我人生中的轉捩點!我在改變人生,也為日後的波克夏鋪路。我不害怕,我做我熱愛的事,一直到今天都是。 

口語字彙

1.     pest [ pest ] (n.) 害蟲、瘟疫、有毒害、煩人的人 (v.) 煩擾、糾纏
巴菲特用”I made a pest of myself” (把自己變成煩人的傢伙)這說法來表達「鍥而不捨地毛遂自薦」。例:That guy made himself such a pest, trying to pick up every woman in the party. 這傢伙在派對中猛追女生,讓自己成了名副其實的討厭鬼。

2.     heads up 乍看像是動詞片語,但其實是名詞。意思是給人提示、警訊。注意head要加s,有時候會寫成 heads-up,很特別的是, 前面通常要加 a,後面用介系詞 on 接名詞, 表示是關於什麼事情的, 或是用 that 接子句,例如:

l   Could you give me a heads up on tomorrow's meeting?

l   I'm giving you a heads up that the boss is in a very bad mood today.

3.     step into the shoes of 接替某人職位、接班、設身處地為別人思考

例:Try to step into the shoes of those who hurt you in hopes you’ll see the situation from their perspectives. 對於那些傷害過你的人,設身處地為他們著想,才能從另一角度了解他們的處境。

4.     solicitation [səl,ɪsɪt'eʃən] (n.) 懇求、請求

例:I accepted the gifts at her solicitation. 在她的懇求下,我接受了禮物。                  

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