Warren Buffett Interview

What can I possibly do with billions and billions of dollars? I don’t see the fuss in having 6 houses with greenskeepers; I don’t see the fuss in having 20 cars in the garage. If you think about it you are living better than John D. Rockefeller. If you want to watch the Super Bowl you just turn on the TV and watch it. If he wanted to see the World Series it would take him a long time to get there, and he would not have air conditioning and that type of thing. The problem is not getting rich, but finding a game you enjoy and living a normal life. The most important thing is finding the right spouse. If you make the wrong decision on that you will regret it, there is a lot of pain involved, but if you have the right spouse it is just wonderful. What qualities do you look for in a spouse? Humour, looks, character, brains, or just someone with low expectations. The most important decision that you will make is that. If you make that one decision right I will guarantee you a good result in life.

Question: What is happiness? Are you happy?

I am so blessed. I get to do what I like to do with people that I love. That is happiness. I am happy day after day after day. How could I be any happier? Someone once said success is getting what you want and happiness is wanting what you get. And that’s what I see in people as I look around. The only thing I have to do in life that I don’t like doing is fire people occasionally – very seldom. I would pay a lot of money if I didn’t have to do that. But wverything else I like. I’m doing what I like doing. I could be playing shuffleboard, I could be in Vegas, but I’m doing what I like doing. There is a woman here in Omaha who is a Polish Jew. She was in Auschwitz, her family was in Auschwitz. One would be in one line, another in another line. One of them didn’t come out. She said this to me “Warren, I am very slow to make friends, because the bottom line when I look at somebody is would they hide me?” Now I know people my age that have dozens and dozens of people who would hide them, Tom Murphy for example from Berkshire. I can tell you about a whole bunch of others who are worth billions and billions of dollars, who have schools named after them, who nobody would hide them. Their own kids wouldn’t even hide them “He is in the attic, he is in the attic”. That hiding is just a metaphor for love. If you have people that you want to love you, that do love you. If you leave out illness I have never found anyone who has dozens of people who love them, or would hide them using my metaphor, who is an unhappy person. I have seen all kinds of people that they are miserable. They have what the rest of the world may think is important, but they don’t have anybody who gives a damn about them. Being given unconditional love is the greatest benefit you can ever get. The incredible thing about love is that you can’t get rid of it. If you try to give it away you end up with twice as much, but if you try to hold onto it, it disappears. It is an extraordinary situation, where the people who just absolutely push it out, get it back tenfold. My friend Tom Murphy that I mentioned before, if he does 20 things for me he doesn’t expect even one back.