Hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson, the founder of Kase Capital, shared the "two more important decisions" you'll make in life with a group of nearly one-hundred 15-year-old boys.
Tilson gave a commencement speech this month to a graduating class of 9th grade boys at his alma mater Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Massachusetts.
During his speech, he gave the teens some pretty blunt advice: "If you are a dumba--, there will be consequences." He also encouraged them to live by the motto: "work hard, be nice."
In addition, he attached an appendix to the full text of his speech he gave that included a section on “the two more important decisions you will ever make.”
“[Warren] Buffett once said that the two more important decisions you will ever make are who you marry and what career you pick. I couldn’t agree more — in fact, these two are so much more important than anything else that I can’t even think of what #3 is.
“So raise you hand if you’ve ever taken a class on finding the right person to marry or picking a career? Read a book about these topics? A parent or other adult sitting you down and having an in-depth conversation about them?
“It almost never happens, right? Because of this, an awful lot of young people sort of stumble into these decisions, which can lead to very happy lives and calamitous events like divorce.
“Don’t let this happen to you. For both topics, there are lots of good books and plenty of wise people from home you can learn, but you need to take the initiative and invest the time and energy. I hope you find a truly wonderful life partner as well as career in which, to quote Buffett, you tap dance to work; where, 'if you won the lottery and never had to work again, you wouldn’t change a thing.'”
Tilson told the students that when he was in high school some of his classmates viewed him as “arrogant and obnoxious.” He said he's "much less of a jerk" than he was in high school thanks to a few things, including who he married.
“I got really lucky 26 years ago when I met and later married a wonderful woman who makes me a better person. I wish all of you similar good fortune in finding the right life partner— nothing will make a greater impact on your long-term happiness,” Tilson said.
Watch the full speech below:
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance.