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Here’s What Warren Buffett Says Made Him Successful

September 20, 2016, 10:37 PM UTC
Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit 2015
October 13th, 2015. Washington, D.C., USA Fortune Most Powerful Women 2015 Summit 9:20 am CONVERSATION Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway Interviewer: Carol Loomis, Retired Senior Editor at Large, Fortune Photograph by Danuta Otfinowski/Fortune Most Powerful Women
Photograph by Danuta Otfinowski — Fortune Most Powerful Women

Some people think Warren Buffett became the “Oracle of Omaha” with the same deliberation he uses to pick stocks—but that’s not so.

On a video conference during the Concordia Summit in New York on Tuesday, the Oracle himself said he couldn’t take sole credit for his business successes, among which include being chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A).

“I’m a product of this country, of this education system,” he said. “There’s all kinds of people who have contributed to my well being that I can’t repay specifically.”

That’s part of the reason why the investor has promised to give away at least half his wealth throughout his lifetime—even if it might not be enough to address income inequality.

“It can’t change my life—everything money can buy I’ve had,” he said, noting that holding onto his $65.5 billion fortune would be “so that a lot of great grandchildren a hundred years from now can sit around and do nothing but fan themselves.”


Buffett was invited to speak at Concordia about the Giving Pledge campaign he co-founded with Bill and Melinda Gates in an effort to address society’s most pressing problems by inviting the wealthiest individuals to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic or charitable causes, according to the campaign’s website. So far bllionaires Paul Allen, Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg, and Ted Turner have committed to this exchange.

When asked if he presented the pledge to Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, Buffett, who endorsed Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton back in December, laughed.

“He’s not one I’d call, I’m not sure Bill [Gates] has called him or not,” he said. “We’ve probably called a majority of the names (on the Forbes 400), but maybe we haven’t gotten to the Ts yet.”