What’s It Like To Ask Warren Buffett For Money | LinkedIn
John A. Byrne February 07, 2013
What’s it like to ask Warren Buffett, the third wealthiest man in the world, for money?
Though he has pledged to give away 99% of his fortune, it’s apparently not so easy to get the Oracle of Omaha to write a check.
Just ask Columbia Business School Dean Glenn Hubbard who is in the midst of raising $500 million for a new business school campus. Buffett enrolled at Columbia Business School after learning that securities analysts Benjamin Graham and David Dodd, authors of one of his favorite investing books, taught there. He ultimately earned an MS degree in economics from Columbia in 1951.
Buffett, whose net worth is estimated at around $50 billion after having given billions away largely to the Gates Foundation, was an obvious person for Hubbard to come to with tin cup in hand. But in an interview with PoetsandQuants.com, Hubbard acknowledged that he hasn’t been very successful.
“You know,” says Hubbard, “Warren is close to the school. He visits and sees our students. And he says amazing things. He says that Columbia Business School changed his life. It’s terrific. But that’s not going to happen.”
Asked if that’s because Buffett prefers to put his money into saving lives rather than training investment bankers, Hubbard insists that a business school has social value.
“I think what we are doing makes a social difference. I think people who go out and create wealth are a noble thing. I often sit with donors who say they would rather give to the hospitals or the medical school and I talk them out of it — not because I don’t think giving to medicine is not valuable but we are valuable, too. It’s not just minting investment bankers. That’s not what our life is about. I have made this argument to Warren. I have made so many arguments to Warren,” adds Hubbard.
“One of his points was, ‘I invest better than you and so I want to hold the money.’
“And I said, ‘Well I have a great deal for you, Warren. Just give me stock. I won’t sell it. I will hold it.’
“He said, ‘You’re good but you’re not that good.’”
For the rest of our interview with Hubbard which includes his views on the value of the MBA, the impact of online technology on business education, and why he felt like Wile E. Coyote when the school’s MBA applications plunged 19% last year, see PoetsandQuants.com:Leave a reply →