Buffett on Being Rich

Recently, Warren Buffett was named the second richest man in the world following the uptick in Berkshire Hathaway’s stocks to $250,000 per share. With most of his net worth invested in his company, his standing in the world changes with the market. Regardless, whether he is second richest man or fourth richest man in the world, everyone can agree that’s a lot of money.

But, when you are worth more than $70 billion, does your perspective on wealth change? We all know how frugal Warren Buffett can be, so how does he measure wealth and being rich? Well, during a Q&A session in 2005, he was asked when he knew he was rich, and here’s what he said:

“I really knew I was rich when I had $10,000. I knew along time ago that I was going to be doing something I loved doing with people that I loved doing it with,” Buffett said. “…Do the job you love. Know that the money will follow. I travel distances better than you do. The plane is nicer. But that is about the only thing that I do a whole lot different.”

Of course, it’s easy for a multi-billionaire to say that we should not measure wealth by material goods. It isn’t like he has any shortage of cash, but what Buffett is trying to say is that, to him, wealth isn’t actually all that important. What is is important is doing things you love well, with people you like.

“You should do the job you love whether or not you are getting paid for it… If there is a place that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and you do what you love doing, you will do fine. You’re rich if you are working around people you like. You will make money if you are energetic and intelligent. This society lets smart people with drive earn a very good living. You will be no exception,” Buffett said.

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