- Warren Buffett gave investing advice to Bob Woodward, purchased Microsoft stock after meeting Bill Gates, and struck a $37 billion deal thanks to a chance meeting, he told David Rubenstein in “How to Lead: Wisdom from the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers.”
- The famed investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO also touched on railroads, his annual shareholder letters, his retirement plans, and his company’s future in the interview with the co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group.
- Scroll down to read Buffett’s 10 best quotes from the discussion.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Warren Buffett gave investing advice to investigative journalist Bob Woodward, bought 100 Microsoft shares after meeting Bill Gates, and made a $37 billion acquisition because of a chance encounter, he told David Rubenstein in an interview for “How to Lead: Wisdom from the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers.”
Rubenstein, the cofounder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group, published the book in September. He spoke to Buffett, a billionaire investor and the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, in 2016.
Here are Buffett’s 10 best quotes from the interview:
1. “The railroad business had a bad century. They’re kind of like the Chicago Cubs. Everybody has a bad century now and then” – on Berkshire’s purchase of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad in 2009.
2. “I bought 100 shares just to keep track of what this young kid was doing” – on his early relationship with Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates. Buffett likely spent less than $10,000 on the shares, which are now worth more than $1 million.
3. “It was an accident I met him. If I’d been out playing golf or something, it never would have happened” – on his chance encounter with Precision Castparts CEO Mark Donegan when the executive was visiting someone else at Berkshire’s offices. After hearing Donegan speak for 30 minutes, Buffett told his colleague to call him and propose a cash offer, resulting in a $37 billion acquisition.
4. “If all the diseases have been taken, I’ll take a tax” – Buffett’s response when a White House staffer called him to ask whether he would mind having a tax named after him.
5. “I enjoy teaching. And that’s what the annual report is. It’s a teaching mechanism” – on his famous letters to shareholders each year.
6. “Investing is just assigning yourself the right story” – when Bob Woodward asked Buffett for investing advice, the Berkshire chief told the Washington Post reporter that investing and reporting both involve choosing a subject and gathering facts.
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7. “Money, in terms of making trips, or owning more houses or having a boat or something, it has no utility to me whatsoever” – on the subject of why he values time, not money.
8. “As long as I keep my marbles” – the 90-year-old’s reply to the question of how long he’ll continue leading Berkshire.
9. “I regard Berkshire Hathaway sort of like a painter regards a painting, the difference being the canvas is unlimited. There’s no finish line at Berkshire. It’s a game that you can continue to play” – on the endless opportunities to grow his company in the future.
10. “When I offered to work for Ben Graham, I said, ‘I’ll work for nothing.’ Look for the job that turns you on. Find a passion” – Buffett’s advice to young people.