Seen from a distance, this video is just three inhumanly rich guys sitting in comfy chairs and chatting for an hour about philanthropy, luck and comfort zones. But then you move in and focus on the players. And … wow.
- Warren Buffett. Eighty years old. CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. One of the planet’s most successful investors. A man who has pledged to give away 99% of his fortune to philanthropic causes.
- Jay-Z. Twenty-eight years old. One of the most successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in the United States. Former CEO of Def Jam Records. Founder of the Roc Nation recording kingdom.
- Steve Forbes. Forty-eight. Our moderator. Former U.S. presidential candidate. Editor-in-chief of the magazine that publishes an annual list of inhumanly rich people.
Early in the interview, an interesting juxtaposition surfaces. Buffett caught the bug at a young age; he was a serious investor at age 12. Jay-Z, on the other hand, didn’t record his first album until he was 26. And yet both dynamics worked to their advantage.
Buffett used the years to hone his powerful combination of unwavering focus and personal frugality. Jay-Z poured into his music emotions and personal experiences that an 18-year-old rapper couldn’t hope to have.
- An investor doesn’t need a high IQ. What he or she really needs of “emotional stability,” Buffett says. “When you come to a conclusion, you have to not care what other people say and just follow the facts.”
- Music is like stock market, Jay-Z said. There’s always the hot thing that everyone goes for. He doesn’t try to be the hot thing. “Within all the numbers and the all the chaos, you’re just searching for the truth.”
- Buffett tries to stay with his “circle of confidence.” It’s not a matter of always making good decisions, he says. It’s a matter of not making many bad ones.
- Jay-Z noted that hip hop is relatively new, only about 30 years old. It hasn’t had an opportunity to mature. He plans to be at the forefront when that happens.
- Buffett brought up the idea of “building moats around yourself” — a castle of skills and good habits that no one can breach. Jay-Z said that was a good way of putting it.