I recently read an interview with Peter Buffett by Maya Prabhu. Peter is an Emmy Award winning musician, composer, philanthropist, author, and the son of Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. The interview was posted on The Practitioner: An Online Publication of the Family Firm Institute. Here is an excerpt from that interview:
MP: Is there one bit of advice you would give to the next generation, and one bit of advice you would give to the parent’s generation on how families of wealth can get this right?
PB: It ultimately gets down to deep and fundamental psychology, because money is such a potentially corrupting force. What matters is the kind of the intention in why you made it, and the character of the person who has it. And again, we all have our stories and they are always complex in some way or another in terms of self-worth and expectations. If you are a solid human being, then the money is just energy, essentially—it’s just a vehicle to do something with. If you’re holding onto a lot of money, then there’s some fear in you that you either don’t trust yourself, or you’re not enough unless you have it.
The advice I’d give to any generation is: know yourself, be comfortable with yourself. Because from that, all things flow. This can be very difficult, especially if you’ve grown up with wealth, because wealth distorts so many things. And again that’s the greatest fortune for me—funny I would use the word “fortune” —that I grew up not knowing that there was money around, so I didn’t have that distortion with my friends or with people I didn’t know. In the past 10 years, however, having the foundation and a father known worldwide, I see just how potentially distorting money can be. So again, it’s fundamentally about being comfortable in your own skin and knowing that the money isn’t the thing that either got you somewhere or will take you somewhere.
As a Wealth Manager, Peter’s thoughts speak to me. His statement that “…money is just energy, essentially,” follows my philosophy that, without goals or intentions, money is just a number on a statement.
The root of Wealth Management is understanding what my clients’ goals are for their lives, and creating a money plan that will energize those goals.
Read the entire interview on The Practitioner.