Life is like a snowball. The important thing is finding wet snow and a really long hill. -Warren Buffet
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.
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.
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.
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.…”
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.
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:
Could you give me a heads up on tomorrow's meeting?
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。）