SUSIE GHARIB: Warren Buffett is a savvy investor, businessman and the chairman and CEO of the Berkshire Hathaway Company. But this week, we’ll show you a personal side of Buffett from the people who know him best, his three adult children. I recently met with Susie (ph), Howard and Peter Buffett and talked with them about growing up with Warren Buffett and what they’ve learned from their billionaire father about money, business and charity. Buffett has given each of his kids more than a billion dollars to fund their own foundations. As we kick off our series “Meet the Buffetts,” we introduce you tonight to Howard Buffett, Warren’s middle child.
Munger kicked off the session with a speech titled “Why was Warren Buffett & Berkshire Hathaway so successful?” He listed three main factors: – Mental aptitude: “WB [Buffett] is one of the smartest people I know. WB has been extremely interested in investing since he was 10. There is no substitute for having a very intense interest in something you’re trying to succeed at; WB started very early. When you are in a field like investing, which requires long compounding periods, this is an important factor; WB is one of the best learning machines on Earth. Extremely high-IQ people don’t need to keep learning throughout life (they can coast), but people with less intelligence need to keep learning. WB had both — very high intelligence and continuous learning. WB’s skills have increased markedly since he turned 65! If he had stopped learning earlier in life, his record would be much less impressive.” – Focus: “The work at BRK [Berkshire Hathaway] was concentrated in one mind. Great committees are unsuccessful in most fields (such as investing and physics). WB maximizes objectivity. A lot of very bright people make continually bad decisions because they have bad character traits and, worse, they encourage them. Don’t be an extreme ideologue — whether right or left.” – Positive Reinforcement: “As WB succeeded more with his approach and as more people knew of him, this was a form of positive reinforcement to keep doing what he was doing, and do it better. Positive reinforcement is a very important force in life; give positive reinforcement to people you care about when they do good things.”
Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and CEO, treated business students at the University of Washington to a rare public dialogue. The funny, philosophical and personal conversation between these two business leaders and unlikely friends focused on the things most important to them. Buffett and Gates share an extraordinary appreciation of the qualities that matter most, in work and in life.
Recenty, Warren Buffett answered questions for almost 90 minutes during his appearance in Toronto. He fielded a wide range of questions today from an audience of several hundred investor relations and corporate executives at an event marking the opening of Business Wire’s expansion into Canada.