Warren won't be the only Buffett putting on a show this weekend at the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha.
Peter, his youngest son and an accomplished musician and devoted campaigner against violence targeting women, will perform “Life Is What You Make It: A Concert and Conversation with Peter Buffett,” tomorrow, Friday April 30 at 7:30 PM CT in the Witherspoon Auditorium of Omaha's Joslyn Art Museum.
The title of Peter's performance is also the title of his just-released book, Life is What You Make It: Find Your Own Path to Fulfillment.
With the permission of the publisher, here is an excerpt from the book, in which Peter explains why he has no regrets about his decision years ago to sell inherited Berkshire Hathaway stock that would be worth $72 million today:
One of my father's often-quoted tenets is that a parent, if he has the means to do so, should give his children "enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing." A head start is fine; a free pass is often a crippling disservice. When I turned 19, I received my inheritance—proceeds from the sale of a farm, which my father converted into Berkshire Hathaway stock. At the time I received them, the shares were worth roughly $90,000. It was understood that I should expect nothing more.
So—what to do with the money? I was a student at Stanford University; there were no strings attached. Fortunately, I'd had the advantage of seeing my older siblings burn through most of their cash; I didn't want to follow down that path. At the other extreme, I might have done absolutely nothing with that stock—just left it in an account and forgotten about it. If I'd picked that option, my shares would now be worth around $72 million. But I didn't make that choice, and I don't regret it for a second. People think I'm either lying or crazy when I say this, but it happens to be true, because I used my nest egg to buy something more valuable than money: I used it to buy time.
My inheritance came to me around the time I was finally committing to the pursuit of a career in music. As a pragmatic Midwesterner with a very limited nest egg, I knew that I would have to find a way to turn my creative impulses into a livelihood. But how did one do that? How would I find an audience, or clients, or a way to sell what I'd written and produced? I didn't have a clue, but it was becoming clear to me that I wasn't going to figure it out by staying in a university.
I decided to leave Stanford and use my inheritance to buy the time it would take to figure out if I could make a go of it in music.