3 Things Everyone Can Learn From Warren Buffett and Elon Musk

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Betty Liu, anchor of Bloomberg's In the Loop with Betty Liu, has had the privilege of meeting and interviewing numerous influential CEOs and leaders of corporate America. We recently asked Betty a few questions about her new book, Work Smarts: What CEOs Say You Need to Know to Get Ahead, including what we can learn from the likes of Warren Buffett and Elon Musk. Her answers are below.

The Motley Fool: A lot has been written and said about Warren Buffett over the years. Is there anything that surprised you after talking with him, and what are some things we can learn from him?

Betty Liu: The No. 1 question people ask me about Buffet is, "Is he for real?" And the answer is, from what I've seen, yes. He really IS that passionate about what he does and his beliefs, and he really is as "folksy" as he's portrayed in the media. That also goes for his children, especially Howard. And yes, he does give people rides to and from the Omaha airport in his car.

I've learned two things from him through the years: 

1. Stop overthinking things. His investments are usually very basic in ideas -- many people will drink Coca-Cola, chew Wrigley's gum, and buy insurance. It's basic.

2. Read a lot. Buffett is known to pour over financial statements, annual reports, newspapers, books -- he's a big consumer of information. He will read what others glance over. On occasions when I've sent him articles or videos of interest, I know he's watched or read them fully. I'm no expert in dissecting people's personalities, but I'm sure that's part of what's made him a great investor and communicator. 

The Fool: You interviewed one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time – Elon Musk. What can people, and specifically aspiring entrepreneurs, learn from him?

Liu: Elon is an unconventional thinker -- when others go right, he goes left. He mentioned his way of thinking is to reason by first principles. Most people, he said, reason by analogy. Essentially, whenever anyone says, "It's just the way it's been done," that's his cue to find a better, different way. Elon has done this with electric cars and with space rockets. To his point, you can't do that with everything in life because then you'd never be able to get out of bed; but if you pick the right areas, you can break new ground. 

The wisdom of Warren
Warren Buffett has made billions through his investing, and he wants you to be able to invest like him. Through the years, Buffett has offered up investing tips to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. Now you can tap into the best of Warren Buffett's wisdom in a new special report from The Motley Fool. Click here now for a free copy of this invaluable report.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2849458, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/2/2015 8:15:56 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Brendan Byrnes

Originally joining The Motley Fool in 2011 as editor of the Industrials sector, Brendan is now based in New York City where he interviews executives, authors, and influential people from across the investing and business world. He also provides analysis for

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,351.38 293.03 1.82%
S&P 500 1,948.86 35.01 1.83%
NASD 4,749.98 113.87 2.46%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes