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Warren Buffett gave this investing tip to NFL defenseman Ndamukong Suh

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·4 min read
In this article:
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Very few people in the world could call investing legend Warren Buffett a good friend. Tampa Bay Buccaneers star defenseman and investing fanatic Ndamukong Suh is one of those people.

Suh, 34, told Yahoo Finance Presents he has learned tons of invaluable investing lessons from the now 90-year-old Oracle of Omaha, but one in particular stands out. 

"Probably the most important one [lesson] that I learned from him is focusing on the people," Suh said. "People are the most important thing about businesses." 

The Super Bowl champion initially met Buffett in 2009 when he was playing for the University of Nebraska. Omaha-based Buffett is a long-time fan of the Cornhuskers, which helped open the door for Suh to get a meeting with the investing titan.

And the friendship has blossomed from there, Suh said, which now includes the defenseman being a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder. Suh usually talks to Buffett every quarter, and said his next chat is likely coming up soon. Suh is planning to be a Berkshire shareholder well beyond Buffett stepping aside as CEO, and probably handing over the ship to top lieutenant Greg Abel

"I definitely plan to [stay a Berkshire shareholder]. I think it's all about the long-term goals and being patient and being focused," Suh said. 

Real estate is a powerful vehicle for generational wealth

To be sure, Suh has built an ever-expansive portfolio of investments in part using Buffett's wisdoms and his own passion for investing. Suh — who has hauled in an estimated $164 million in career earnings in his 11 years in the NFL — has invested aggressively in real estate over the years. 

Feb 10, 2021; Tampa Bay, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Ndamukong Suh holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy during a boat parade to celebrate victory in Super Bowl LV against the Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 10, 2021; Tampa Bay, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Ndamukong Suh holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy during a boat parade to celebrate victory in Super Bowl LV against the Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For instance, Suh has teamed up with HMS Development to focus on mixed-used development projects. Two projects are right in Suh's hometown of Portland, Ore. 

One project, Alberta Alley, is a diversity-focused development space that promotes Black business owners and business owners of color. And then there is the Young Black Professionals Workforce Housing initiative. Its goal is to house people within professional apprenticeship programs looking to build a career in construction, architecture and engineering.

"Real estate is one of the the most powerful vehicles for generational wealth, in my opinion. And obviously, just having twin boys with my beautiful wife, it has been exciting. And I want to be able to have assets that I'm able to pass down to them, but also not allow them to have something that they can just spend," explained Suh. "So it's hard to spend a building, as one of my good friends have said many times. And it's something that's exciting as well. And it's transformative, being able to change communities and be able to advance them."

Aside from real estate, Suh recently became an investor in consumer products company Amp Human (he is a long-time user of the company's PR Lotion) and has dabbled in SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Company). 

One asset you won't see Suh in is cryptocurrency, perhaps taking a page from Buffett's righthand man Charlie Munger, a crypto detractor

"I'm not really big on crypto just yet, just because I haven't had an opportunity to fully understand it. It's very volatile, obviously not like the stock market where there's kind of Monday through Friday when it's being traded," Suh said. "I definitely respect it and understand where the times may be moving. But, I'm going to take my time to fully understand every aspect of it before I get fully invested."

Sage advice from a Buffett disciple. 

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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