But that leads to a question: Who does Buffett turn to for advice?
And as an amusing follow-up, what does Buffett admit happened when he once ignored some of the best advice he ever got?
Let's take each question in turn.
There are a lot of ways to answer the first question. I've written recently about Buffett's respect for Chuck Feeney, and of course you can't mention Buffett without mentioning his friend and business partner, Berkshire Hathaway vice-chairman Charlie Munger.
It turns out however, that Buffett himself has cited 10 very specific words of wisdom as "one of the best pieces of advice I've ever received."
They came from Thomas Murphy, whom Buffett called "my good friend and hero," in the book, Getting There:
"He said, 'Warren, you can always tell someone to go to hell tomorrow.'
It was such an easy way of putting it. You haven't missed the opportunity. Just forget about it for a day. If you feel the same way tomorrow, tell them -- but don't spout off in a moment of anger."
Murphy (no relation to me, as far as I know), started as a television executive in the 1950s, and ultimately built a media juggernaut that acquired ABC. He served as chairman and CEO of the combined company until 1994, and he's still on the Berkshire board of directors at age 95.
You've probably heard the kind of advice Murphy gave Buffett before, although Murphy put it memorably. In more modern times, it serves as shorthand for one of the key tenets of emotional intelligence.
In short, think before you act. Try not to let emotional reactions overcome your decision-making. As my colleague Justin Bariso puts it, try the rule of "awkward silence" before responding when you're challenged in a way that prompts emotion.
So, it's good advice -- something that Buffett apparently places Murphy telling him at least 45 years ago, when Buffett would have been in his mid-40s.
But let's turn now to when Buffett says he didn't follow it.
In fact, I laughed out loud when I read Buffett's words here, because it flies in the face of a famous time that he was unable to, as he puts it, "forget about it for a day."
He told the story in 2009: Back in the early 1960s, he wound up in a dispute with the then-chairman of a very old textile company.
It was not a great business; in fact Buffett had bought a stake in it specifically because it was falling apart; he hoped to wring a bit of value out of it under what he called his "cigar butt" theory of investing.
However, Buffett grew angry with the chairman after he reneged on a deal, and so he started buying more and more stock in the company just so that he could fire the chairman.
Net result, as Buffett wrote in one of his shareholder letters, he suddenly had huge part of his investment capital tied up in "a terrible business about which I knew very little. ... I became the dog who caught the car."
That company, drumroll please, was Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett used it as a holding company acquiring other businesses, but he didn't give up on the textile industry part of it for decades afterward.
So, bottom line advice: Stay in control of your emotions. Don't make moves out of anger. Take a deep breath before reacting.
But if you do insist on acting rashly, at least do it in a way that gives you a good story many years later.