Warren Buffett is NOT a hero.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Warren Buffett
James Altucher goes through the many reasons why people should not idolize Warren Buffett, among them:
1. He owns the largest insurance company in the world. Insurance is great business because it profits off fear and human misery.
2. He demands other people pay more taxes. Taxes don't hurt the rich; they keep people from becoming rich. Berkshire Hathaway has been disputing its taxes with the IRS since 2002; he wants other people to pay taxes but not him.
3. He pretends to give to charity. Because he thinks it's better to compound his money while he's alive and then let someone else do the charity work when he's dead.
4. He lies about his kids. He often says that his kids will get nothing from him, which is untrue: each kid has a foundation with a billion-dollar endowment that will pay their salaries in perpetuity.
5. He's a dirty old man. He speaks with sexual innuendos regularly.
6. He wants people to buy stocks and hold them. Even though he does not buy and hold stocks forever.
Altucher's main point:
My main point is: always look at agendas. Try to understand the real reasons behind someone’s “good reasons”. And yes, I know there will be comments like “blah blah Buffett is 1000x the investor and man you are.” He probably is. I’m probably a worse punk thank he is. But I admit it. Also, before anyone brings it up: why is this on TechCrunch? Buffett has long commented that “tech is too complicated for me to invest in” and yet now he is one of the largest tech investors on the planet with his investments in IBM, INTC, and DTV. When someone who is so good at crafting agendas turns his eye towards you, you better keep your hands on your wallet.
"He owns the largest insurance company in the world. Insurance is great business because it profits off fear and human misery." - There is nothing wrong with selling the product, which people buy... If you can calculate risks better, do not buy insurance...
"He demands other people pay more taxes." - Yep, totally agree. He perfected the system of minimizing taxes. Getting people to pay more taxes will get more people to follow his strategy. With him being the inventor of the rules of the game, he will benefit from more "players".
"He wants people to buy stocks and hold them. Even though he does not buy and hold stocks forever." In fact, stocks is pretty small portion of his potfolio. He, mostly, own the whole companies, if not industries...
Those are excellent points.