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Business News/ Companies / People/  Bill Gates shares crucial lessons on time management from Warren Buffett

Bill Gates shares crucial lessons on time management from Warren Buffett

Bill Gates emphasizes the importance of a lighter schedule for productivity, sharing lessons learned from Warren Buffett. Meanwhile, Berkshire Hathaway discloses a significant investment in Chubb, boosting its shares by over 7%

Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, right, and Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft CorpPremium
Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, right, and Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have been friends for over three decades. The Microsoft founder recently reflected on the invaluable lessons he has learned from the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Hindustan Times reported.

One key piece of advice that Gates shared, which he wished he had learned sooner, is the importance of clearing up your schedule to be happier and more productive. Gates emphasized that this is something everyone should incorporate into their lives.

"It took far too long for me to realize that you don't have to fill every second of your schedule to be successful. In hindsight, it's a lesson I could have learned a lot sooner had I taken more peeks at Buffett's intentionally light calendar," Gates said.

For 25 years, Gates "had every minute packed" on his schedule until he stepped down in 2000. During this period, he was also a demanding boss who would send requests to employees even at 2 am.

In an earlier interview, he elaborated, "I thought that was the only way you could do things. I remember showing me his calendar... he [still] has days that there's nothing on it. You control your time... It's not a proxy of your seriousness that you fill every minute in your schedule."

Buffett echoed this sentiment in the same interview: "I can buy anything I want, basically, but I can't buy time."

In other news, Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett's conglomerate, recently disclosed an investment it has been building over the past nine months. 

According to a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Berkshire had received permission to keep its investment in Chubb confidential while it was still buying. By the end of March, Berkshire held nearly 26 million shares of Chubb, giving it a 6.4% stake in the company. Following the disclosure, Chubb shares jumped more than 7% in after-hours trading to $271.82, Associated Press reported.

Many investors closely follow Berkshire's portfolio because of Buffett's remarkably successful track record. Some speculate that Berkshire could eventually buy all of Chubb. Berkshire owns many other companies, including BNSF railroad, numerous utilities, and various manufacturing and retail companies. However, insurers like Geico and General Reinsurance have always been at the core of the Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate. Therefore, another insurer like Zurich-based Chubb might naturally appeal to Buffett.

CFRA Research analyst Cathy Seifert noted that Chubb is now one of the 10 biggest holdings in Berkshire's portfolio. "We can’t speculate whether Berkshire would pursue an outright acquisition of CB, but we note their business mixes are highly complementary," Seifert wrote to investors in a note, as quoted by AP.

The quarterly filing doesn't specify whether Buffett or one of Berkshire's two other investment managers made the Chubb investment, but Buffett generally handles all the stakes worth $1 billion or more. Buffett revealed some of Berkshire's most noteworthy moves at the company's annual shareholders meeting earlier this month.

Overall, Gates's insights and Buffett's recent strategic investments underscore the importance of thoughtful planning and the value of time, whether in personal productivity or corporate strategy.

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Published: 27 May 2024, 09:31 AM IST
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