As chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett is widely considered the most successful investor of the last century. Less well known is the fact that he impersonates super heroes such as Batman and Spiderman in his spare time.
He has Andy Heyward, a seasonal resident of Katama and the creator of Inspector Gadget, to thank for this.
In 1993 Mr. Heyward sold his production company to Walt Disney. At the time Warren Buffett was the main shareholder. Mr. Heyward remained as a consultant and later produced benefit shows for Mr. Buffett’s favorite charity, the Omaha Children’s Theatre. Mr. Heyward then began producing the movie that shows annually at the Berkshire shareholders meeting. Cue Mr. Buffett in tights or playing a character from American Idol.
Evidently, the pairing worked. When Mr. Heyward came up with the idea to create a program that aims to teach children important life lessons through the lens of building small businesses and the difficulties that arise in these ventures, Mr. Buffett immediately signed on. He helped develop the curriculum for the show and does his own voice-over work for his animated character. The show is called The Secret Millionaires Club and it began airing earlier this year on the Hub Network.
To go with the show, Mr. Heyward has recently published a book of the same name with his wife Amy and Mr. Buffet. The Heywards will give a reading and host a discussion this Saturday, August 31, at 11 a.m. at the Edgartown Bookstore.
The book and the show fall under what Mr. and Mrs. Heyward consider their mission these days: “to create content with a purpose,” Mr. Heyward said. In addition to the Secret Millionaires Club, they are producing an animated series with Martha Stewart to teach cooking to kids, and another venture that aims to put science back “on the front burner” of the minds of American kids.
The Secret Millionaires Club “is not about how to read a balance sheet,” Mr. Heyward said. “It is about learning basic lessons and wisdom on how to be successful in life and business.” It is aimed for children ages 6 to 11. Adults might like to take a refresher course, too. There are 26 short chapters, including Don’t Borrow Money, Love What You Do, Make Time for Both Work and Play and Be Thoughtful of Others. Each chapter details a group of kids, advised by Mr. Buffett, embarking on a new financial adventure.
In a way the book as a whole represents the lesson in chapter 7: “The experience of others is the biggest classroom you will ever find!”