In late October, Fisher students had the unique opportunity of hearing from arguably the most successful investor of the 20th century: Warren Buffet. The Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, also known as the “Wizard of Omaha,” was joined by Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric, in a fireside chat open to Fisher students.
Jeffrey Immelt played host during the conversation as the two of them discussed a variety of topics, including: the economy, the presidential election, Buffet’s philosophy as an investor, and his advice for students as they enter the business world.
Some of my notes from Warren Buffet’s talk:
- Buffet believes our economic system is self-generating; he says the economy is cyclical and it will heal itself following times of recession. Furthermore, he believes that while the short-term economic future is typically uncertain, the long-term future is more certain.
- He believes fixing the budget has to be the number one priority of the presidency.
- When looking for companies to invest in, Buffet prefers to buy businesses that are already well-managed. It is also essential for the individual’s running the business to love the business – not the money. Furthermore, managers should not only have great passion for their business, they must also be customer-oriented as well. Lastly, he typically avoids buying businesses he does not understand (for awhile, he did not buy technology companies for that reason).
- He encourages students to look for the job they would take even if they did not need the money. He says that, while this job may not be immediately attainable, this is the job we should strive for in the future.
After listening to Warren Buffet speak for a little over an hour, I am amazed by not only his high level of intelligence, but by his charismatic personality as well. He carries himself with an overwhelmingly strong sense optimism that I imagine is contagious to those around him. He is surprisingly very quick-witted and had the crowd laughing throughout the duration of his talk. Without question, Warren Buffet is one of the most impressive individuals I have encountered and it is easy to see why has been so successful throughout his life. What a unique opportunity to hear from him during my time here at The Ohio State University.