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Friday, January 20, 2012

jay z warren buffett

jay z warren buffett

jay z warren buffett Jay- Z throws star-studded party, Rapper Jay-Z, 42, hit the town to celebrate the reopening of his New York City club 40/40 . Among the many guests who attended were film director Spike Lee and multi-billionaire Warren Buffett. The event was Jay-Z's first public appearance since becoming a new dad

The first Forbes 400 Summit was surreal, amazing and, in the end, moving. We gassed up a Gulfstream 450 one warm September morning and flew one of the most successful recording artists of all time, Jay-Z, to meet the most successful investor of all time, Warren Buffett, on the latter's home turf of Omaha, Neb. The intent was to capture their very different perspectives on success and wealth and to talk about the social obligations that come with each. They ended up finding out they had more in common than anyone would have expected between a 40-year-old rapper from the Brooklyn projects and the 80-year-old sage of compounded returns.The main event was an hourlong, videotaped talk at Buffett's office building. (What you read here comes from that session.) But first there was lunch. The early crowd at the Hollywood Diner ("Where the customer is the star") was unmoved by Buffett, a fixture with his usual order of chicken-fried steak with extra mashed potatoes. When Jay-Z strode in, well over 6 feet tall in a tailored blue suit, blue tie, white shirt, blue pocket square and black loafers, you could hear whispers buzz around. He slid into Buffett's round booth, across from Steve Forbes. Watching over them was a plastic statue of Elvis Presley, whom this year Jay-Z eclipsed in having the most number-one albums sold by a recording artist. (He's also one of 15 we're picking to make the 400 in 2015.)

Neither Jay-Z nor Buffett would admit to being nervous. It was their behavior that gave them away. Jay-Z the wordsmith said little at first but stared at Buffett intently, taking in every word. He ordered what Buffett ordered: a strawberry malt, thin. He barely touched it. Buffett never stopped talking, telling childhood stories about stealing syrup from nickel Coke machines and peeling off zingers. "When you see me reach for the check," he told the photographer, "you'll know I'm posing." They warmed up quickly and were soon laughing every minute or so. As they left Jay-Z headed over toward his Escalade. Warren called him back, "I'll give you a lift. Sit up in the front with me. My rates are very competitive."Steve Forbes: You two are unique. In very different spheres you've each reached a level of success that's almost legendary. What did you do that made you different?

Warren Buffett: Well, I was lucky that I got started early. My dad happened to be in the investment business, so I would go down to his office on Saturdays. At age 7 or so I started reading these books that were around the place. I knew what I wanted to do early. That's a huge advantage.

You don't need a lot of brains in this business. I've always said if you've got an IQ of 160, give away 30 points to somebody else, because you don't need it in investments. What you need is emotional stability. You have to be able to think independently, and when you come to a conclusion you have to really not care what other people say. Just follow the facts and your reasoning. That's tough for a lot of people. But that part, I was just lucky with. I was born that way.

SF: But what was that extra thing? So many will acknowledge that, and yet, as we saw in the current crisis, they panicked while you went into seemingly potential disasters like GE and Goldman Sachs.

WB: I can't really tell you. I didn't learn it in school or anything. It never bothered me if people disagreed with what I thought, as long as I felt I knew the facts. There's a whole bunch of things I don't know a thing about. I just stay away from those. I stay within what I call my circle of competence. Tom Watson [IBM founder] said it best. He said, "I'm no genius, but I'm smart in spots, and I stay around those spots."

SF: We were talking at dinner the other day about how in tennis, most of us are never going to get to Wimbledon. But if we just focus, get the ball over the net, don't try to be fancy about it, we'll do fine.

WB: That's a little bit like these rules I have. The first rule is don't lose, and the second rule is never forget the first rule. It isn't so much having a lot of brilliant decisions, it's just not having some terrible ones. I learned from Ben Graham how to avoid ever having any disasters in investments. He also taught me to see a stock not as something with a ticker symbol that wiggles around but to think about it as part of a business. Don't get elated because something had gone up or depressed because it went down. If I knew the facts, and it went down, I bought more of it. He also taught me that famous lesson about a margin of safety, that you don't drive a truck that weighs 9,900 pounds across a bridge that says "Limit 10,000 pounds" because you can't be that sure. If you see something like that, go a little further down the road and find one that says, "Limit 20,000 pounds." That's one you drive across.
SF: Jay, you're in a business even more competitive. There's not a young person in the country who at some point in their lives doesn't want to be a star. And you not only have done it but done it consistently.

Jay-Z: As I was listening to Warren, I could just hear all the similarities and all the things in what he's saying, right? Because if you don't look at the tickers, you're really just searching for the truth within all the numbers and all the chaos. And that's the key to being a recording artist. You're telling your story or finding your truth at the moment.

My story's a little opposite from Warren because I started a little later. My first album didn't come out until I was 26, so I had a bit more maturity. The album had all these emotions and complexities and layers that a typical hip-hop album didn't have if you were making it at 16, 17 years old. That isn't enough wealth of experience to share with the world. I had so much wealth to share with the world at that time, and I've never forgotten those things, like you say. You never forget those true things that you stick to, your basic things that make you successful.

And for me, it's that truth, finding the truth of the moment, of where I am at the time, not trying to cater to a certain demographic or being something I'm not, not driving the truck over a 10,000-pound bridge. There are so many similarities in what he was just saying. So for me, it's just having the discipline, and the confidence in who I am. If I go into a studio and find my truth of the moment, there are a number of people in the world who can relate to what I'm saying, and are going to buy into what I'm doing. Not because it's the new thing of the moment, but because it's genuine emotion. It's how I feel. This is how I articulate the world.

Jay-Z was recently spotted out in Omaha, Nebraska at the Hollywood Diner to chat with billionaire investor Warren Buffett and Editor-in-Chief and publisher of Forbes magazine. Although Forbes magazine is keeping tight lipped, the resulting conversation of this meeting is apparently set to appear in the magazine's upcoming "400 Richest People in the World" issue.
To some, the trio of Buffett, Forbes and Hov may appear strange, reports indicate that the Roc Nation emcee is apparently worth an hefty $150 million. Although that's close to $900 million short of making Jay eligible for the magazine's list, it has led many to speculate that the three moguls "...talked about some of Buffett's favorite topics: money and philanthropy."


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