Warren Buffet Tribute, Speech Example

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Speech

Most of us have been inspired by someone who we wish to imitate in life. But once in a while we witness individuals who have the ability to inspire generations because of their rare accomplishments as well as personal attributes. One of these individuals is Warren Buffett who is often regarded as the most successful investor in history and is one of the richest persons in the world. Buffett is a larger-than-life personality not due to his professional accomplishments as an investor which are indeed difficult to match but because of his wisdom. There are lots of intelligent people in the world and just Ivy League Universities admit and graduate thousands of them every year but very few people could truly be called wise. What differentiates Buffett from other investors as well as successful people in other professions is not his intelligence but his wisdom.

One could dismiss Buffett’s long successful track record in investing as pure luck but Buffett’s refusal to invest in technology stocks during the internet bubble (Arends) proved that he understands companies in which he invest and stays away if he doesn’t understand something. He doesn’t let his emotions guide him as is often the case during market booms and declines which show he has high emotional intelligence. Internet stocks were creating overnight millionaires but Buffett was not convinced that the market was behaving rationally and in the end, he was proven correct. Buffett has the courage to admit what he knows and what he doesn’t and he has been wise to not let success make him overconfident and arrogant.

Buffett has pledged more than 99% of his wealth to philanthropy. In explaining his decision to donate the bulk of his wealth, Buffett wrote that even though his contribution is huge in nominal terms, it doesn’t compare to the ordinary citizens who regularly give donations and often have to sacrifice their quality of life. This is because every dollar they donate means a movie and dinners-out foregone while he and his family would still be able to maintain the same lifestyle. Unlike many other successful people, Buffett is modest to admit that he has been lucky to have born in America and given the opportunities that many other Americans didn’t have (Buffett) instead of personally taking all credit for his success. Buffett could have created a family foundation is his name to build a philanthropy legacy like many rich people do but he chose to give all money to Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. This is because Buffett has the wisdom to realize that it’s not legacy what’s important but the difference that his donation makes. He could see that Bill and Melinda Gates are already involved in philanthropy and are doing a great job and would be able to use his donation more efficiently than his own family foundation might be able to.

Buffett has also shown the courage to speak for the greater good of the country instead of trying to protect the interests of his economic class. Buffett has become the poster boy of rich people who believe that taxes should be raised on the rich people because the current tax system unfairly favors the upper class whose interests are being protected by our elected officials. Buffett argues that it is unfair that the interests of rich people are protected while ordinary Americans fight our wars and struggle to meet ends. Buffett claims that taxes on the rich have to be raised to solve U.S. debt problems (Wearden). We humans have a tendency to act in our self-interests but Buffett has the wisdom to foresee that the current preferential treatment of rich class is not sustainable and everyone will have to make sacrifice to solve the country’s debt problems.

Buffett will be remembered as a legendary individual in history not for his investing accomplishments only but for also his wisdom in non-investing issues such as philanthropy and political system. It is hard to find people who are successful and yet have the wisdom to realize that their success has not entirely been due to their skills. Buffett has both high IQ and high EQ (emotional intelligence) which is a characteristic of wise people. Buffett’s ideas on non-investing issues continue to prove that he has a practical and realistic outlook on different matters and has the courage to speak his mind even if it means going against his own economic interests.

References

Arends, Brett. Buffett’s tips for new investors. 11 November 2010. 6 December 2011 <http://money.msn.com/how-to-invest/buffetts-tips-for-new-investors-wsj.aspx>.

Buffett, Warren. My philanthropic pledge. 16 June 2010. December 2011 <http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/15/news/newsmakers/Warren_Buffett_Pledge_Letter.fortune/index.htm>.

Wearden, Graeme. Warren Buffett calls for higher taxes for US super-rich. 15 August 2011. 6 December 2011 <http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/aug/15/warren-buffett-higher-taxes-super-rich>.

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