Monday Thoughts – 03/29/2010 – Buckets & Thimbles

During a recent visit with some financial friends, we had a long conversation about how much one should take on during this time in the market.  In a lot of areas, we are seeing incredible investment opportunities.  The real question on the table was how aggressive should we get?  On the plane ride home, I read part of the annual report from Berkshire Hathaway.  One of Warren Buffett’s statements was, “Big opportunities come infrequently.  When it’s raining gold, reach for a bucket, not a thimble.”

As I pondered all of the conversations and Warren’s insight, I came to the conclusion that it is not wise to get overly aggressive even during “big opportunities”.  I have seen folks that have taken on more than their systems and processes could handle and it wasn’t pretty.  Berkshire Hathaway has spent decades building their systems so they can handle buckets of gold.  How much effort are you putting into increasing the capacity and capability of your systems and processes so you are ready to take advantage of future opportunities?  Even though it might be raining gold, only reach for a container that your current systems and processes can handle.  For some it will be buckets, others a thimble.  The more important question is what are you doing today to be able to handle a bigger container next time?

That’s my Monday Thoughts.