What do Warren Buffett, Koalas and Sound have in common?

posted in: Nature and Budgets

Could a family of Koalas help you discover your hidden
resources and help you manage your household budget?

If you haven't already, you should 'enable images' to see what these Koalas have to say...

“Hi… We think we may have some “koality” ideas for taking care of your money.”

At Money Tracker, we’d have to agree with what 3 out of 3 Koalas
have to say about some “koality” ideas for taking care of your money.
Read on to learn what these furry little balls of financial wisdom have to offer.

What do Warren Buffett, Koalas and Sound have in common?

Okay, I realize this is a strange question, but stay with me, I promise I’ll weave these into a connection.   

Last week I attended a “Concert and Conversations” with Peter Buffet in Santa Fe. As a musician and composer, he wrote the music for that wild firedancing scene by Kevin Costner in the movie “Dancing With Wolves”.  Peter said his spark for following music was inspired at a very young age (around age 6) when he saw the famous Ed Sullivan Show introducing the Beatles.

“Have you found your sound yet?”By age nineteen he was on his own in San Francisco trying to make it financially and find his fit in the competitive world of music. Over the months and years as he explored different ways to find the right connection for his unique talent and interest, as well as make a living, his father, Warren Buffet, would continually ask him “Have you found your sound yet?”  Eventually, as witnessed by his list of credits, he did find “his sound”.  And over the years the world has enjoyed Peter’s discovery of his sound.

How many people dream of being able to “follow your bliss”, popularized by mythologist Joseph Campbell, and live a life where their work and life passion are in alignment like Peter Buffett did? 

For years my passion has been in the elimination of waste (whether money, time, energy, resources, stuff, human potential) but more specifically the re-use or repurposing of existing resources.  Recently, as I pondered in the back of mind how to start embracing that passion and further my transition toward sustainability, How Koalas Find Their Bliss...I was preparing for this November newsletter.  After hearing the Warren Buffet question, I wondered what was MY “sound”

And now the Koala part…

My web person had sent me the cute picture of the koalas above as an idea for opening the newsletter.  At that time I had also just finished reading the book “The Sharks Paintbrush” by Jay Harman about Biomimicry (bio inspired design), suggesting we pay more attention to, learn from and follow nature. Nature never wastes anything. Obviously, I loved hearing that.

Somehow that koala picture, along with hearing Peter Buffett’s message about his sound, converged and struck a chord.  The dots came together and I wondered, why not blend my love of nature with money management.  Why not share those inspiring stories I love to read and hear about and tie them into our world of money management.

In fact, what CAN nature teach us about money?  Let’s start with those adorable koalas.

Money Does Grow In Trees?Remember when your parents told you money doesn’t grow on trees? Well, money doesn’t, but gold does! According to new studies that are coming out of Western Australia, gold is being found in eucalyptus trees.  Koalas Love To Brunch At The Gold Tree Cafe...And who is eating that gold that gets deposited in the eucalyptus leaves?  Koalas. Koalas typically inhabit open eucalyptus woodlands, where the leaves of these trees make up most of their diet.

Are you waiting for the punch line connection that a koala bear is really a living “money bag” – a mini Warren Buffet?  Well, sorry I haven’t found any fascinating connections for this story in terms of what that gold does for the Koala. If you happen to have some exotic tidbit on this, please do share! For me the koala was the “spark” for my “sound”.

Tapping Your Own Gold Leaves...However, just learning that the eucalyptus tree acts as a hydraulic pump as its roots extend deep into the ground and draw up water containing gold, moving it right through the tree and out through the leaves, I think is pretty amazing! Better yet, from a sustainability view, it’s exciting to learn that instead of more destructive mining for gold, there may be a more natural targeted way to search for minerals below the surface that could reduce the cost and impact for the environment.

And how does this circle back to you and connect to your own personal household finances and even the upcoming holidays? 

There's Gold In Them Thar Trees!Where is your hidden gold?

Can you find more targeted ways to tap into your own personal and financial resources without going into debt, impacting your savings, or running short by the end of the year?

  • What if you shifted out of complacency and challenged the status quo of many of those fixed expenses. More and more people are taking the time to explore options and find less expensive (and very workable) alternatives to the chokehold grip and budget breaking prices the cable bundles and phone services seem to have on us.
  • What valuable resources already sit around in your home that could be converted to a meaningful gift – old letters, school work, trip memorabilia, videos, photos, or memories of special times that could be scrapbooked or converted into a videoYour Family Scrapbook as a beautiful gift for your adult children or for your parents?
  • Do you have multiple bank accounts, languishing small IRAs or broker accounts that could be consolidated and simplified and possibly save you fees or make you more money?  

Bottom-line is that the most valuable resource is you. We all carry our own inner supply of gold.  And as the coach team member in the CNM Financial Coaching Team program I am a part of emphasizes, we and our clients are all “naturally resourceful, creative and whole” human beings.  Sometimes we just need a little reminder to tap back into our own inner resources. 

By the way, are you curious what the children of “The” Warren Buffet were learning about managing money in their childhood years?  I was, and was able to ask the question “Besides the modeling shown by your parents and your environment growing up, what direct conversations or encouragement did your father share with you as children about money management?” 

Warren Buffet's HomePeter laughed and said there was no direct discussion of money management. His father believed in allowing his children to learn through their mistakes, as Peter did while making his way in San Francisco at age 19. However, his father would always give advice if asked, but never was direct about teaching.  The one thing his childhood environment did provide was solid consistency. His parents still live in the same home in Omaha, where Peter grew up in the 1950s. In today’s world of constant change, this fundamental life consistency is a rare blessing. 

Oh yes, for you fretting parents worrying about grades, there’s more. At the end of the performance, Peter showed a slide of Warren Buffet’s childhood report card showing mostly Ds and Cs-even in math.

 As Peter said, apparently at that time, Warren had not yet found his “sound”.  


2 Responses

  1. Marsha Lichtenstein

    Your approach for making the most of what we already have, by consolidating and simplifying, really rings true for me. Nature is a great role model and the story of the koalas helps make the point. Thanks for pointing out that we are perfectly whole and creative exactly as we are: just a little reminder such as you offer in this post really helps.

    • judylawrence

      Thank you Marsha. It’s really fun to shift the focus of finances a bit and blend more of nature and sustainability into our money management. I’m glad the message really touched you. Keep up all your great work!