Some celebrities also shared their experiences with the legacy of money. Cramer had interviewed Meet the Press' Tim Russert and his son, Luke, as well as billionaire financier Carl Icahn to see how financial management was taught to them growing up. Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett, NBC Nightly News' Brian Williams and Hardball's Chris Matthews also shared their stories via tape.
Williams vividly remembers his thrifty dad: “Didn’t spend a lot. Didn’t waste anything.” His paternal grandmother was so frugal she used to dry out paper towels for reuse later.
Russert learned investing from his son, Luke, actually. At Luke’s 16th birthday, Tim promised to give the boy $21,000 when he turned 21 as long as he behaved and kept his grades up. Luke asked his dad to invest the money in the meantime, so they bought Nike and a few other stocks. When it came time to collect, the $21,000 had turned into $25,000.
Icahn’s father didn’t think Carl’s chances for success were good given his middle-class Jewish background in Queens, so he didn’t pay much attention to the business world. But he believed in the power of education. Those values can be seen today in the charter school Icahn started, where teachers are motivated by bonuses.
Cramer asked Icahn his eternal question: Is it better to be lucky or good?
“The guy who works the hardest, he gets the luckiest anyway,” Icahn said.
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