Friday, May 20, 2016

The Wisdom of Byron

Barron's profiles Byron Wien, 83, master strategist of Blackstone Group ($340 billion under management). A sampling: [bold added]
Byron Wien (Barron's photo)
his approach to philanthropy is “to try to relieve pain rather than spread joy. Music, theater, and art museums have many affluent supporters, give the best parties, and can add to your social luster in the community. They don’t need you. Social service, hospital, and educational institutions can make the world a better place and help the disadvantaged make their way toward the American dream.”

On politics, his prediction of an election victory by Hillary Clinton and Democratic control of the Senate looks good now, but he forecast the wrong Republican insurgent to win the nomination: Ted Cruz. With the possibility now of a Trump presidency, he says, “I’m hopeful that the checks and balances in the American political system will restrain Trump from implementing some of his more extreme ideas.”

When speaking before audiences of wealthy individuals, he has fielded questions about how to avoid overindulging their children. He warns them about flying their kids in private jets: “It changes them, and not for the better.”
I like listening to the wisdom of elderly, successful people. They're usually past puffing themselves up, being defensive about past failures, or trying to enrich themselves by lying or leaving out crucial information. We may certainly disagree with their opinions, but they are very likely to be speaking the truth as they see it.

Some of Byron Wien's "life lessons":

No comments: