Before this week, my familiarity with Warren Buffet was limited to his net worth. But from a weird sense, late in the morning hours before a snow storm in New York, I learned that world as I knew up until this point, put the money in front of the man, and the man, in front of his wife—Susan Buffet. At these early hours, HBO brought to me the Becoming Warren Buffet. A beautiful story that chronicled the life of the world's most notable philanthropist and value investor struck me as very revealing to the habits and influences of an American, father and husband. Watching the documentary in subtitles made for a more engaging experience as I noticed that one of Buffet's final statements highlighted how his wife help influence him to become the man he is today.
Buffet married Susan in his early twenties and the couple bore three children. As Warren continued being the man that he always was, a man of ambition and avid reader, his business interest may have yielded him absent from family life as a result of his mind always turning and thinking ahead. In spite of what can be characterized as a flaw, he remained open to the influence of his wife about, giving, politics, and the countries social issues at the time that grew contrary to the thinking of his late father. As Buffet's investing strategies and businesses blossomed, his eye remained close on his wealth but in time, his life of giving began to reside as high in respect as his net worth. His gift to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was notable and from my perspective the culmination of Susan’s prime influence. Susan Buffet in old interviews I perceived spoke highly of Mr. Buffet and due to her character, she never let wealth determine her worth or in turn their children.
One of the core thoughts of Mr. Buffet strategies is compounding interest. And after watching the documentary, I came to understand how some of life choices are indeed investments that provide much interest over a chosen period of time. As the arc of time progresses, you start to see returns in your life based on the choices that you make. In Buffet’s case, his choice of making Susan Buffet his wife, provided compounding interest for him in the form of family, his philanthropic efforts, and his world views. I don't seek to reduce marriage down to a financial term but understanding the concept and coming to understand marriage more and more day by day by stories like Susan Buffet, my wife, and her parents who have been married for 35 years, I come to see the intrinsic value in the person you recognize as family that aides you in building family and your wealth.
Becoming Warren Buffet