Have You Written Your Obituary?

Benjamin Haas |

I’d be curious to know how many of our clients/podcast/newsletter followers know of Warren Buffet. I’d venture an educated guess that many do. But it’s merely a guess. I’d also be curious of those who do know of Mr. Buffet, how many tune into the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder’s meeting. I’d guess very few, if any. But again – that’s merely a guess.  

Buffet, now 92, has long been considered one of the wisest, smartest, most influential investors in a world FULL of opinions and talking points. And once a year (at least) we get thoughtful, often direct commentary at his annual shareholders meeting. His thoughts on timely economic and market issues are immediate headlines, full of reason and often portraying optimism. Personally, I think that’s the brilliance of Warren Buffet. His perspectives are rather simple, and his opinions are typically rooted in very fundamental, time and battle tested concepts.  

His investment nuggets are not all he has to offer either. Like a loving grandfather, when he speaks, you want to hang onto every piece of life advice as well. Last week, when asked about his philosophy on life, he had this to share; “You should write your obituary and then try to figure out how to live up to it.” Wow – how simple, yet insightful! 

I’ve thought about this concept before, but hearing Mr. Buffet share these words has me reflecting on this concept again. “What would people say about me at my funeral? Who would come? What would I regret NOT having done or not having said?” It’s not meant to be morbid. It’s meant to motivate me to be better and do better. It’s meant to help me refocus on the people, places and things that are most important to me. It’s meant to help me think about the impact I can make on the people around me - before hoping they show up at my funeral!  

Life isn’t easy and the world can feel pretty heavy most days. Raising three boys feels like it’s getting increasingly harder when they seem to be constantly surrounded by hate and violence. But I can’t expect their world to become a better place if I don’t first do my part. Time is precious and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. So, I’m grateful for the reminder to live out my obituary, each and every day. 

If you feel you are in a good place to reflect on Mr. Buffet’s words, I’d encourage you to do so as well. What matters most to you? Are you dedicating the time necessary to feel fulfilled by that – or like me – do you feel pulled in too many different directions most days? What can you do to refocus? When my time comes, I’d want people to say, “He shared love and kindness and cared about others.” What’s your obituary going to say?  


Investment Advice offered through Great Valley Advisor Group, a Registered Investment Advisor. Great Valley Advisor Group and Haas Financial Group are separate entities. This is not intended to be used as tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax or legal professional for specific information and advice. Tracking # T005759