Wareen Buffett | Nightline Interview | 1999 | Summary and Q&A

November 11, 2020
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Wareen Buffett | Nightline Interview | 1999

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Warren Buffett, the second richest man in America, is known for his down-to-earth lifestyle and his success in the stock market. In this interview, he discusses his simple tastes, his investment strategy, and his philanthropic goals.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is Warren Buffett's lifestyle like?

Warren Buffett leads a modest lifestyle, living in the same home he has lived in for 40 years. He enjoys simple pleasures, such as eating at his favorite restaurant, the Dairy Queen. Although he has amassed great wealth, he does not let it change his way of life. He believes that material possessions do not bring happiness.

Q: What is Warren Buffett's investment strategy?

Warren Buffett takes a long-term approach to investing. He looks at each share of stock as a part of a business and considers the value of the entire business when deciding whether to invest. He focuses on businesses with good economics and honest, talented management. He does not engage in day trading or follow short-term market trends. He advises against investing on borrowed money and encourages individuals to invest in businesses they understand.

Q: Why does Warren Buffett prefer not to split his company's stock?

Warren Buffett believes that splitting a stock only attracts a certain type of investor who sees a lower stock price as more affordable. He wants his shareholders to understand the value of the underlying business rather than focusing on the stock price. By not splitting the stock, he filters out investors who are primarily interested in stock splits and ensures that his shareholders have similar ideas and expectations.

Q: How does Warren Buffett view the current state of the stock market?

Warren Buffett acknowledges that the stock market has been on a long and strong upward trend in recent years. However, he also believes that valuations are high compared to historic standards and that speculation is prevalent. He advises against investing in stocks solely based on their price action or short-term expectations. He cautions against using borrowed money for investing and recommends approaching investing with a long-term perspective.

Q: What are Warren Buffett's philanthropic goals?

Warren Buffett plans to donate a large portion of his wealth to society through his foundation. He believes in a meritocracy and wants the resources of society to be handled by those who have accomplished things that deserve those resources. He aims to address big and intractable problems that are not being tackled by other philanthropic efforts. Some areas he is particularly interested in are the spread of nuclear knowledge and finding solutions to problems that lack a funding constituency.

Q: What does Warren Buffett think about leaving money to his children?

Warren Buffett does not believe in leaving vast sums of money to his children. He believes in a meritocracy and does not think that someone should be entitled to wealth simply by being born into the right family. While his children will receive a better education and environment, he believes that the people handling society's resources should be those who have earned it through their own accomplishments.

Q: Is Warren Buffett involved in any charitable endeavors currently?

Warren Buffett is actively involved in philanthropy. He has chosen six highly capable individuals to manage his foundation and has given them the freedom to tackle big problems that do not have a funding constituency. One area he is specifically focused on is the spread of nuclear knowledge. He wants to make a significant impact and is willing to take on high failure rates to address important issues.

Q: Does Warren Buffett enjoy performing and being in the public eye?

Warren Buffett has a bit of a ham side to him and enjoys performing in certain situations. In the interview, a clip is shown of him participating in a charity event where he played the role of Daddy Warbucks from the musical "Annie." While he is generally a quiet guy, he appreciates opportunities to have fun and make a positive impact.

Q: Did Warren Buffett invest in Microsoft?

Warren Buffett did not invest a large amount in Microsoft. Although he spent nine hours with Bill Gates, who explained the company to him, he only bought 100 shares. This shows that even someone like Warren Buffett can make mistakes when it comes to investing.

Q: What is Warren Buffett's future plan regarding interviews?

Warren Buffett promises to do interviews again in the future, although there is no specific timeline. He has kept his word before and will likely honor his commitment at some point.


Warren Buffett's down-to-earth lifestyle, long-term investment strategy, and philanthropic goals make him a unique and admired figure in the business world. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the businesses one invests in, being patient, and avoiding speculative behavior. His approach to wealth and inheritance challenges the idea of entitlement and promotes a meritocracy. Through his philanthropic efforts, he seeks to address major societal issues and make a lasting impact. Overall, Warren Buffett serves as a role model for those looking to achieve financial success while also prioritizing ethics and social responsibility.

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