Warren Buffett & Jay-Z on Success: Forbes Interview ~ market folly

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Warren Buffett & Jay-Z on Success: Forbes Interview

Forbes sat down for an interview recently with somewhat of an unlikely combination in investor Warren Buffett and entertainer/entrepreneur Shawn Carter (better known as Jay-Z). However, the duo is not so unlikely when you consider that the topic of discussion was success. Both gentlemen have found their niche and excelled in it. For a look at Buffett's success specifically, we've posted up a multi-decade look at Buffett's career.

On the subject of succeeding, Buffett attributes his triumph to getting started early on in his life. He essentially had a 15 year head-start over anyone else as he started rifling through investment books at age 7 due to his father's involvement in the investment industry. Jay-Z credits some of his success to starting almost in an opposite fashion, not entering the business until he was 26 and hitting the ground running.

Both men attribute passion and consistency as pillars of their success as well. They have been disciplined in their approaches as Buffett sticks to investments in industries he can understand and Jay-Z sticks to his own entertainment style rather than succumbing to new trends. As a value investor, Buffett stays away from the hottest new stock or industry that trades at astronomical P/E ratios.

Another commonality between the two men is the role of downplaying emotion. Jay-Z doesn't let emotion get in his way of making decisions in terms of his music production. He doesn't like to give in to what's "hot" in the industry. Buffett takes the same approach. He stays calm, buying when others succumb to their emotion and panic. The difference between the two businessmen here is that Jay-Z seems to just ignore the emotion altogether and stick with how his mind works. The Oracle of Omaha, on the other hand, exploits other people's emotion and uses it to his advantage.

On the topic of self-improvement, Buffett urges everyone to essentially invest in themselves by developing habits of success. He suggests that of the people you admire, list the characteristics about them you like and then learn to master those qualities. In investing, Buffett likes companies with wide moats and a competitive advantage. You can advance yourself he says if you "build your own moat around yourself." This type of advice is exactly what the Oracle of Omaha has divulged in Buffett's top 25 quotes.

So loosely speaking, what is the path to success?

According to these two businessmen, the answer lies in a few qualities that collectively assemble into the magical equation:

- Passion
- Drive
- Discipline
- Ability to ignore emotion
- Consistency
- Ability to learn from mistakes
- An element of luck

Embedded below is the video of Forbes' interview with Warren Buffett and Jay-Z (email readers: you'll have to come to the site to view the video):

To try and master financial markets like he has, head to Warren Buffett's recommended reading list.

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