What Happens When You Get Rich, According to Buffett

What does it mean to be wealthy? Most people have an idea of what “rich” means, and what figure they would need in order to feel wealthy. It could be anywhere from $1 million to $100 million. Regardless, being wealthy is something that most people strive towards. But, what exactly does being wealthy mean? What is it like to be wealthy?

Of all the people in the world, Warren Buffett is probably one of the most qualified people to answer that question. The second or third most qualified, in fact, depending on the day. With his wealth (which is tied up in shares of his company Berkshire Hathaway) hovering in the dozens of billions of dollars, no one would deny that Warren Buffett is rich. But, when asked what it was like, he responded surprisingly.

Buffett, who is legendarily down-to-earth with his money, said that being wealthy really just enhanced whoever you already are.

“…if you’re kind of a phony to start with, you’re going to be a bigger phony when you make a lot of money,” Buffett told Inc writer Betty Liu in an interview published on Inc.com. “And if you’re kind of mean, you can get meaner as you make money. But if you’re generous, you get more generous. I think money and age both tend to push you further and further into the direction in which you start.”

Of course, most of us will probably never amass the considerable wealth that Buffett has accumulated over the years. At the time of writing, his assets and total wealth amounted to around $73.1 billion. However, the enhancing effect of Buffett’s wealth has led him to donate more than $24 billion and to pledge to give away the majority of his money before or after his death.

So, in the end, when you get rich perhaps what happens is that you are the same person—you can simply do more with it. What would you do if you had money?

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