Buffett's advice for beating inflation: 'Be exceptionally good at something'

Invest in yourself to reap rewards even when inflation bites, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B) CEO and Chairman Warren Buffett told a shareholder who asked him for advice on what to invest in amid a general increase in prices of goods and services.

“The best thing you can do is to be exceptionally good at something,” Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett said during the company’s annual shareholders meeting on Saturday. “If you’re the best doctor in town, if you’re the best lawyer in town, if you’re the best whatever it may be… [people] are going to give you some of what they produce in exchange for what you deliver.”

The Oracle of Omaha later added: “Whatever abilities you have can’t be taken away from you. They can’t actually be inflated away from you. … So the best investment by far is anything that develops yourself, and it’s not taxed at all.”

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 05:  Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett attends the Fortune Most Powerful Women summit at Mandarin Oriental Hotel on October 5, 2010 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Time Inc.)

WASHINGTON – OCTOBER 05: Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett attends the Fortune Most Powerful Women summit at Mandarin Oriental Hotel on October 5, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Time Inc.)

Buffett, who purchased his first stock when he was 11-years-old, spent decades building up Berkshire Hathaway, a vast conglomerate with stakes in companies like Apple, Coca-Cola, Dairy Queen, and HP.

The legendary investor also highlighted the importance of spending time figuring out what one is good at rather than pursuing one fixed goal relentlessly.

“Figure out what makes you good and what you sort of naturally bring to the game,” Buffett said, later citing Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule: “I could have spent 10,000 hours trying to become a heavyweight boxer. I don’t think I’d do very good at the end of the 10,000 hours. You stumble into what you really like doing, what you’re good at, what’s useful to society.”

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger weighed in with one thing not to do.

“I got some advice for you too,” Munger said. “When you have your own retirement account and your friendly adviser suggests you put all the money into bit to Bitcoin, just say no.”

More Yahoo Finance coverage of Saturday’s meeting:

Aarthi is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. She can be reached at aarthi@yahoofinance.com. Follow her on Twitter @aarthiswami.

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Roy Walsh

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