In two letters to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, 16 years apart, the US billionaire quoted advertising pioneer David Ogilvy’s advice on how to nurture younger people to be successful. It simply said: “Develop your eccentricities when young.”
Mr Buffett’s use of the five-word piece of advice was issued in 1987 and 2003 to illustrate points to share holders.
In 1987, Mr Ogilvy’s quote was used to explain his determination to hold onto shares in well-managed companies, even if he begins to think the share prices exceed their actual worth.
The later letter used the advice in the context of describing the main duty of Berkshire’s board of directors: “To select my successor, either upon my death or disability, or when I begin to lose my marbles.”
Business website Inc. explained the quote offers two pieces of advice: To encourage young people to explore broadly and embrace the things that speak to their interests, and to not blindly follow their passions, but instead to learn to find things that work in practice, and narrow their possible pursuits down to the few among them that can inspire their passions.
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As of this year, Mr Buffett has pledged to leave 99 percent of his $96 billion fortune to charities.
Forbes recently reported The Gates Foundation, as well as own his children’s foundations, have been the biggest benefactors of his pledge, receiving more than $41 million so far.
In 1986, Mr Buffett said he saw no point in leaving billions to his children as it would be “harmful” and “an antisocial act”.
He also told Fortune magazine it would be like giving his three children “a lifetime supply of food stamps just because they came out of the right womb”.
In 2006, Mr Buffett also told the magazine his children would receive some money from his fortune.
He said: “My family won’t receive huge amounts of my net worth. That doesn’t mean they’ll get nothing…
“I still believe in the philosophy…that a very rich person should leave his kids enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing.”
In 2014, The Washington Post reported Howard Graham Buffett, Peter Buffett and Susan Alice Buffett “each have a $2 billion foundation” funded by their dad”.