I had the pleasure of attending the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting a few weeks ago with three of my co-workers. Even if, after a dozen annual pilgrimages to Omaha, I often have the impression of hearing the same messages, it is always a great pleasure and a privilege to listen to Messrs. Buffett and Munger for six hours!

Glancing over the many pages of notes taken during the meeting, I see that they have provided a lot of advice to company shareholders. These tips affect both the investor and any individual wishing to succeed in life.

Write your obituary today and stick to it. This advice matches Mr. Munger’s habit of inverting :“All I want to know is where I’m going to die, so I’ll never go there.”

Spend less than you earn. Is there a simpler (simplistic) message? It reminds me of one of the first books I read on investing and saving: The Richest Man in Babylon, by George S. Clason. Its main message? “Pay yourself before others.”

Do not make moves that could get you out of the game. When you think of the very long term, the key to success on the stock market is not so much to achieve strong returns, but to avoid the costliest errors. Capital preservation is more important than capital appreciation.

“You can always tell someone to go to hell tomorrow.” (Warren Buffett). To me, this quote means that Mr. Buffett always makes thoughtful decisions without letting his emotions interfere. It also means there is no need to make enemies in business.

“Praise by name, criticize by category.” Mr. Buffett constantly praises his company’s managers. At the same time, I rarely heard him directly criticize a person.

“Get toxic people out of your life.” (Charlie Munger) For Mr. Munger, there are toxic people and the best thing to do is to exclude them from your life.

Learn throughout your life. Munger and Buffett are both avid readers. They advocate to never stop reading and to continue learning.

Defer gratification. This, according to Munger, is the key to success in business, both in investing and in life in general. To succeed, you have to make sacrifices. As a friend recently told me, the only place “success” comes before “work” is in the dictionary!

Messrs. Buffett and Munger are investment and business geniuses. It is quite a privilege to be able to read and listen to them, and thus benefit from their experience and their advice.