One of the wealthiest men in the world is Warren Buffet. He did not make his money by digging oil well; he did not make his money by loan sharking; he did not make his money by dealing with drugs or through other illicit manners. He made his big pile of money by investing– by using his brain.
It is often said that if you want to be a successful investor, you have to follow your brain and not your heart. In other words, you have to be rational and not emotional. I think Warren Buffet did that- a feat easier said than done.
What differentiates him from other rich is that he donates most of his money to charity. He did not stay in a 24 million house in Shah Alam; rather, despite his riches, he has always stayed in the simple house in Omaha , Nebraka since his youth.
This is what is written in Wikipedia about his plan to donate most of his fortune away:
His children will not inherit a significant proportion of his wealth. These actions are consistent with statements he has made in the past indicating his opposition to the transfer of great fortunes from one generation to the next. Buffett once commented, “I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing”.
In June 2006, he announced a plan to give away his fortune to charity, with 83% of it going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He pledged about the equivalent of 10 million Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (worth approximately US$30.7 billion as of 23 June 2006), making it the largest charitable donation in history, and Buffett one of the leaders in thephilanthrocapitalism revolution. The foundation will receive 5% of the total donation on an annualised basis each July, beginning in 2006. Buffett also will join the board of directors of the Gates Foundation, although he does not plan to be actively involved in the foundation’s investments
He is one who did not believe in giving lots and lots of fish to his children but rather he believes in giving fish to all those who have no fish to eat, while at the same time, he is satisfied with teaching his children how to fish.
There is an article today in Yahoo about one of his sons, Peter, thanking his father for making him a happy person rather than a spoilt brag (read here). Peter also mentioned that his father had said that those who are born with the silver spoons in their mouth can become victims of ‘having silver daggers in their back”.
What this means is that we should allow our children to go through tough competition and hardship even if we have the means to give them a very comfortable life. We should allow them to compete fairly and squarely with other kids. We should not spoil them by making their lives too easy.
The same thing must be said of society. Everyone , regardless of colour or creed, must be given a fair and square chance to compete against each other in order to toughen them up and in order to make them useful persons rather than those who depends on handouts.
By not giving his fortune to his children and making his children realise the importance of building their own careers, Warren Buffet shows the greatest love a parent can have for his children.