There is little that individuals can do to avoid inflation at the cash register, but Berkshire Hathaway CEO and legendary investor Warren Buffett says that people can make certain moves to protect against its effects.
Speaking at the 2022 Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting, Buffett repeated his long-held advice that one of the strongest protections against inflation is sharpening your skills and working to be at the top of your field.
“The best thing you can do is to be exceptionally good at something,” the 91-year-old said Saturday. Mentioning professions like doctors and lawyers as examples, Buffett said that “[people] are going to give you some of what they produce in exchange for what you deliver.”
Buffett added that skills, unlike currency, are inflation-proof. If you have a skill that is in demand, it will remain in demand no matter what the dollar is worth.
“Whatever abilities you have can’t be taken away from you. They can’t actually be inflated away from you,” he said. “The best investment by far is anything that develops yourself, and it’s not taxed at all.”
It’s similar advice to what Buffett shared in 2009 at the tail end of the Great Recession, when the then-78-year-old said “the best thing to do is invest in yourself.”
At the time, Buffett also said the next best thing a person could do is invest in “a wonderful business” that makes products that are in demand regardless of the performance of the dollar.
He used a company like Cola-Cola as an example, saying that people will still want his favorite soda decades from now, with inflation playing no role in their decision.
“It doesn’t make any difference what’s happened to the price level,” Buffett said, because people will still pay for the products they like.