Warren Buffett's Advice to Young People Seeking Financial Independence

Thursday, 3 Jul 2008 | 11:50 AM ET

Warren Buffett has some advice for young people, like college students, who want to remain financially independent. It's not new and its not a surprise, but it is solid counsel on avoiding a very common money pitfall, and worth repeating:

"The biggest suggestion I have is to avoid credit cards. Interest rates are very high on credit cards. Sometimes they are 18 percent. Sometimes they are 20 percent. If I borrowed money at 18 or 20 percent, I’d be broke.... So if I had one piece of advice for young people generally it would be to just avoid credit cards."

That quote comes from a news release about Buffett's visit this week to a Dairy Queen in Omaha to promote a July-only special: Girl Scouts Thin Mint Cookie Blizzard Treat. Dairy Queen is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

It was during this event that Buffett told the Associated Press he was amazed that a Chinese fund manager agreed to pay $2.1 million to have lunch with him. "It kind of blew me away," said Buffett. Last year's winner paid about $650 thousand. But, says Buffett, the extra dollars won't necessary translate into a longer lunch, which usually clocks in at three hours in any case.

Every year, a chance to share lunch with Buffett is auctioned off to raise money for San Francisco's Glide Foundation.

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