Leon Cooperman, CEO and Chairman of Omega Advisors, told Yahoo Finance that his commitment to philanthropy is an important part of his life.
At an event for Portfolios with Purpose, which hosts fantasy stock contests for charity, Cooperman said there are only four things you can do with money.
“The first thing you can do is pleasure yourself and spend it on yourself. And I’ve made the kind of living that’s in excess of what I need to live on,” Cooperman said. “The second thing is you can give it to your kids, but I believe in giving my kids the opportunity to be self-achieved and not spoiling them. The third is you give it to the government in the form of taxation and only a fool gives money to the government that they don’t have to legally give them.”
“Fourth, you recycle it back into society to make the place you came into a better place when you leave.,” Cooperman said. “And that’s the decision I made that the vast bulk of my resources are going to be recycled back into society.”
Cooperman has taken the Giving Pledge with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, agreeing to give away the majority of his wealth upon his death.
“The right thing to do is to help those less fortunate,” he said.
Cooperman, who said he is concerned about rising inequality, sees better education as one way to help. He has already given to education, including giving $25 million to the Cooperman College Scholars program, which covers college tuition for 500 high school graduates in New Jersey.
Nicole Sinclair is markets correspondent at Yahoo Finance.
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