I have a “love-hate” relationship with LeBron James.
I was turned off by “The Decision” — a crass July 2010 show in which he announced that he would be “taking his talents to South Beach” to play for the Miami Heat after years of playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
And then came the 2013 NBA Finals. I’ve been a San Antonio Spurs fan for nearly 30 years, and LeBron and the Miami Heat ripped my heart out in winning one of the most compelling NBA Finals of all time.
Still, there’s a lot to like about the guy. Over the years, I’ve admired the maturity LeBron has shown, “The Decision” notwithstanding. He has gone from impoverished kid and high-school phenom to NBA megastar and savvy businessman.
That savvy has drawn the admiration of many outside the sports world — including one man who is as iconic in the business world as LeBron is when it comes to basketball.
Who am I talking about?
The Oracle of Omaha is a fan of King James?
“He’s savvy, Buffett told the Miami Herald in November 2012. He’s smart about financial matters. It’s amazing to me the maturity he exhibits. I know that if I had been famous at that age, I would have had trouble keeping my feet on the ground.
According to reports, they email each other from time to time, they have dinner together, they play golf and more. LeBron even says he’s sent Buffett some of his financial statements, according to Sports Illustrated.
Buffett even uses LeBron to explain his own ultra-successful investing strategy.
Buffett calls it the “LeBron James analogy.” He says, “If you have LeBron James on your team, don’t take him out of the game just to make room for someone else. … It’s crazy to put money into your 20th choice rather than your first choice.
What does that mean?
In short, it means invest the most in the best companies. … If you’ve done your homework and you’ve determined that a few select companies are clearly the best ones in your portfolio, you should put the bulk of your money in those companies.
Don’t diversify just for the sake of diversification. After all, you want those companies to do the bulk of the work for your investments, in much the same way that you want LeBron James to take more shots in a game than one of his teammates.
Buffett has lived his strategy. His top five holdings make up 76% of the equity portfolio of his giant investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.B).
He isn’t the only believer, though. Bill Gates’ top investment — worth $8 billion — makes up 46% of the stock portfolio he set up for his nonprofit foundation. Fidelity legend Peter Lynch and Blum Capital’s David Einhorn have also said they believe that less is more when it comes to owning stocks.