Buffett Lends Wealth of Insight
Published: Friday, September 20, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013 02:09
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett advised Georgetown’s future investors and celebrated the United States’ economic comeback in Gaston Hall on Thursday afternoon.
Joining Buffett was Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, who co-sponsored the event, along with Georgetown’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative.
“If you have a 160-point IQ, sell 30 points to someone,” Buffett said about investing. “You need the right temperament, not intelligence.”
Besides investment advice, Buffett addressed a wide range of subjects, from his early years in D.C. during World War II to his partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“I delivered papers to Georgetown Hospital. … It was great because they tipped,” Buffett said. “During World War II the country was more united than any time in my entire life.”
Using WWII as a backdrop, Buffett discussed how the country has rallied since the recession in 2008.
“This country will come back — don’t ever worry about America,” Buffett said. “We were right on the edge of the cliff in 2008. … I give enormous credit to Ben Bernanke and — even though I didn’t vote for him — George W. Bush.”
Buffett also explained his rationale for partnering with the Gates foundation.
“I wanted to find people who were younger and intelligent and had the same outlook on philanthropy as I did,” he said.
Buffett, 83, expressed a strong desire to incorporate younger people into his campaign, noting that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has signed on to participate with the foundation.
“Nobody in our group has given away money that affects the way they live,” Buffet said. “I respect the person who puts $5 in the collection plate in church on Sunday.”
After a half-hour of speaking, Buffett answered questions from the audience, which mostly focused on investing tips and global markets. While giving clever answers, Buffett remained coy and did not reveal any specifics on future investment options.
“I don’t know where I’m going to invest next, but that’s what makes this job so interesting,” Buffett said. “I don’t know how this game is going to play out.”
Students started lining up for the 5 p.m. event around 2:30 p.m., and most thought his talk was worth the effort.
“He was a captivating speaker who made you feel at ease and in awe simultaneously,” Emily Gaffney (MSB ’15) said. “He inspired me to want to be successful enough to be able to give back to society.”