Money Talks: Jay-Z, Warren Buffett & Steve Forbes

By MXL on 9/23/2010 05:30:00 PM

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To celebrate the latest Forbes 400 — the magazine's annual list of the nation's wealthiest people (and those in-the-making) — Warren Buffett (#2 on the list) and Jay-Z (in the making) met up in the heartland for a sit-down and heart-to-heart (to heart) with Steve Forbes:

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.

Big money talk, indeed. More after the stretch.


Jay: ...We've never seen the maturation of hip-hop in this sort of way. People would get to a certain age and still try to pinpoint at this young demographic because hip-hop is a young man's sport. But, you know, people that listen to hip-hop when they're 18 listen to it when they're 28. It's just that the voices of hip-hop are not speaking directly to them anymore. Or weren't. They're speaking to an 18 year old. I'm not going to do that anymore. I'm just going to make the music I love to make and I'm going to mature with my music. Luckily for me, it was the right decision.

Buffett: As you go along, you learn what things you're not going to understand. Knowing what to leave out is just as important as knowing what to focus on. Somebody said how to beat Bobby Fischer; you play him any game except chess. And so I don't play Bobby Fischer at chess.

Buffett: Part of making good decisions in business is recognizing the poor decisions you've made and why they were poor. I've made lots of mistakes. I'm going to make more. It's the name of the game. You don't want to expect perfection in yourself. You want to strive to do your best. It's too demanding to expect perfection in yourself.

Jay: As entertainers, we're the first generation to capitalize on our talent. For many years artists were dying broke, because the record companies took advantage of them. ... The first thing for me is to lead by example and show how these things have an effect on people's lives in a real way.

Read the full interview here.

Supplier: Forbes

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