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Warren Buffett's definition of 'true success' has nothing to do with money

Erin Fuchs
Deputy Managing Editor

In a new exclusive interview with Yahoo Finance, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-ABRK-B) CEO and investing legend Warren Buffett offered his definition for “true success.”

“Well, I've said many times that, if you get to be 65 or 70 and later, and the people that you want to have love you actually do love you, you're a success,” Buffett, 88, told Yahoo Finance’s editor-in-chief, Andy Serwer, during a wide-ranging interview.

The billionaire CEO also suggested that he doesn’t believe money makes a person successful. “I've seen some very, very wealthy people that they give testimonial interviews to, and name schools after, and everything, and they're miserable. Nobody loves them,” he said.

Business magnate Warren Buffett and his wife Astrid Menks arrive for a State Dinner held in honor of Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha at the White House in Washington March 14, 2012. REUTERS/Benjamin Myers (UNITED STATES MEDIA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - GM1E83F0QBU01

In his interview with Yahoo Finance, Buffett covered a range of topics from what he wants in a president to Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to negative interest rates. Immediately after he offered a general definition for “true success,” Buffett provided three pieces of advice for people looking to succeed in business and life.

The first piece of advice: Invest in yourself, and in particular, try to improve your communication skills. “If you can't communicate to somebody, it's like winking at a girl in the dark,” Buffett noted.

‘You get exactly one mind and body’

Buffett’s second piece of advice? Take care of your mind and body. “You get exactly one mind and one body in this world. And you can't start taking care of it when you're 50,” he said. Of course, the 88-year-old junk food and Coca-Cola fanatic acknowledged he might get criticized for “not living” that advice.

Lastly, he advised people to associate themselves with others who “are better than you are.” He added, “Basically, you'll go in the direction of the people that you associate with. And you want to have the right heroes.”

For his part, Buffett has cited the now-deceased investor, Jack Bogle, who founded the first index fund, as one of his heroes.

“In his early years, Jack was frequently mocked by the investment management industry,” Buffett wrote in a letter to shareholders for the year 2016. “Today, however, he has the satisfaction of knowing that he helped millions of investors realize far better returns on their savings than they otherwise would have earned. He is a hero to them and to me.”

Tune into Yahoo Finance on Saturday, May 4, for its exclusive live stream of Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting.

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