God it’s nauseating when an exact university contemporary of yours turns out to have become a hugely successful investor with a fund worth many millions. The bit during our meeting where I most wanted to throw up my ravioli was when this fellow — Guy Spier his name is; read PPE at Brasenose with my old mucker Dave Cameron at the same time I was at Christ Church — told me how he’d once paid nearly £250,000 in a charity auction just for the privilege of having lunch with Warren Buffett.
A quarter of a million quid. Imagine all the things you could do with that. I could make a thousand and one such wish lists, I reckon, and no matter how many I compiled I still very much doubt a single one of them would include: ‘Blow the lot on lunch with the Sage of Omaha.’
But the rich, as we know, are different. One way that they’re different is that they’re much better than the rest of us at making money. This is something I found most definitely to be the case with Guy Spier. By the end of my lunch, I felt much the same way about Spier as I know he did after his lunch with Buffett: that the knowledge he had imparted was so valuable that even if I’d paid (which I didn’t: he being so much richer than me it seemed obscene not to let him foot the tab), it would have been worth many hundreds of times the outlay.