That Time I Met Warren Buffett AND Mark Cuban

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I met Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban last week! While awestruck and nervous, I got to overhear wisdom from both business titans and took a picture as well!

When was the last time you were so awestruck that you didn’t know what to say? I tend to be pretty level headed and don’t often find myself at a loss for words, though I’m sure my lovely wife might debate that at times.

Anywho, this past Wednesday I got to meet BOTH Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban! The best part of the meeting was where and how I got to meet them – at a local Dairy Queen and by complete happenstance.

Warren buffet

How it Happened


We’ve lived in Warren Buffet’s backyard (a.k.a. Omaha) for the past 13 years and in all that time I’ve never met him in person. I’d seen him from afar at past Berkshire Hathaway Annual Conventions and have driven by his modest home (a VERY nice house, but still very unassuming based off his wealth).

My Dad was in town for a visit for the Memorial Day weekend. We had taken the little Frugal Rules’ to the park and Grandpa announced he wanted to take the kids to DQ for a lunch of blizzards. Of course, once they heard the word ice cream there was no convincing them otherwise.

We had a few errands to run and stopped at the nearest DQ. Side note, Berkshire Hathaway owns Dairy Queen so we have plenty of locations to choose from in the city.

We’ve been to this location numerous times over the years and Buffett is well-known for his liking of blizzards. But, alas, we’ve never had the luck of running into him.

Anyway, as we walked into the restaurant I saw Mark Cuban sitting at the opposite end of restaurant. Instantly, my mind was racing at cyber speed.

Why in the hell was Mark Cuban eating at a Dairy Queen in Omaha?

What would I ask him?

Would my speech spill out like incoherent babble?

Would one of the little Frugal Rules’ pick their noses as they walked by him to get to the counter? (Sadly, as a parent, this is a thought I have WAY too often.)

Well, as I took a few more steps and my head ever so briefly got out of the clouds I noticed he wasn’t alone. From behind, the back of the man he was sitting with looked like a really famous old rich guy. He was wearing a modest sport coat and had balding white hair.

‘Could it be?’ was the thought that ran through my mind. No, of course, it couldn’t be. I never get this lucky. As I got closer I realized I was about to hit the mother load of PF heaven! Yes, it was Warren!

Psyching Myself Out


We ordered our lunch of ice cream and fries. As I’m on the final homestretch of losing 100 pounds I knew I’d just be rocking a cup of ice water and nothing else.

Our oldest ran off to grab a table, something I absolutely hate her doing, and completely on her own chose the table right next to Buffett and Cuban!

So, for the next 30 minutes, I sat about three feet from the two of them and listened…cough cough eavesdropped…cough cough to their conversation. All the while, trying not to be the guy who couldn’t get up the gumption to ask the girl out for Senior Prom.

You’d think that the conversation between two business titans would be high brow or hard to follow. But Buffet and Cuban’s conversation was nothing of the sort. Some of the things I overheard them discuss were:

  • The foolishness of short-term thinking in the market
  • Whether or not the current equity market was overpriced and what opportunities might be present if so
  • The current state of Europe and German bonds in particular
  • A myriad of other conversations that got me in full on nerd mode

Meanwhile, people were walking by, eating, drinking and licking ice cream cones with no apparent indication that they knew there were two billionaires enjoying ice cream together.

The manager came and spoke with them for a few minutes. Outside of that, they were two men having what seemed to be a somewhat light hearted, albeit serious, conversation.

What I was thinking while hearing said conversations was:

  • Should I tell them I run a personal finance blog and ask one of them to write a post? 😉
  • Could I convince one of them to buy our business?
  • Do I give them my business card?
  • Please, dear God, don’t allow the littlest Frugal Rule to chuck his blizzard across the table and hit Cuban in the face. (I mean, we’ve all seen how he can be at a basketball game. 😉 )

Basically, I was doing my best to psyche myself out and tried to think of every way not to say something to one of them or to even ask to take a picture with them.

After calming myself down some I decided to let the men have their conversation and not be “that guy” and act like a complete doofus by tripping all over myself to try and work some angle.

Instead, I’d let it play out and see where it went. After all, they’re simply having a conversation and I don’t want to be the twit that interrupts them.

Truth be told, it was Mrs. Frugal Rules who convinced me not to get all star struck but ask for a picture when I could as I’d only kick myself for not doing at least that.

She was right. Minutes before we were ready to leave, the two of them got up and what Warren said was priceless. “How about we take a minute for a quick picture?”

That was all I needed to hear. It told me two things, that I was obviously coming across with a major man crush and that he deals with this all the time. They were both very approachable, warm and happy to take a picture.

There was another group of people there wanting a picture, so I didn’t get much time to ask any questions – just a handshake really and me telling them how much I admire who they are and what they do.

That’s also not to mention the fact that I was in serious crush mode and couldn’t remember my name and, of course, had a flurry of questions rush to mind once we walked out.

Walking the Walk


We’ve all heard the stories about Buffett. He is notably frugal, in a smart way, and folksy, yet legendary in his wit and knowledge. Listening to him you’d never know that he’s worth $70 some odd billion, nor would you think that Cuban is worth billions either.

Aside from the chauffeured Lincoln Town Car you likely would not have noticed they can bathe themselves in cash for fun. We’ve also heard that we can’t innovate, invest or live like Buffett and Cuban because we don’t have billions of dollars.

I get that sentiment, on one level, but it’s simply not true.

It wasn’t the combined billions of dollars they’re worth that exuded confidence – rather it was the fact that they are walking the walk. That’s something we can all do, regardless of the balance in our bank account and is what will make that balance grow larger year by year.

Oh…and for those interested…Cuban had a medium blizzard and Buffett had a Peanut Buster Parfait and an Orange Julius – though he left half of the Orange Julius behind. For a brief second I considered taking it home to see if I could get anything via osmosis. 😉


What is one question you’d ask Warren Buffett or Mark Cuban if given the chance? Would it necessarily be for a stock tip? Who do you get awestruck over? What celebrity sightings have you enjoyed? Did you ask for a picture?

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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.


  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde says:

    This is SUCH an awesome story and I couldn’t wait to read it once I saw this pic you posted on Facebook. It’s funny that some people my lose it by seeing a different kind of celebrity, but financial nerds like us geek out on seeing successful entrepreneurs and investors. If I met either of them in person, I would ask their biggest investing regret. They have had so many successes in their lives, but I am more interested in the failures just to prove they are human like the rest of us. πŸ™‚

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks Shannon, it was pretty cool – to say the least. That is a great question, I’d love to hear from both on it.

  • Brian @DebtDiscipline says:

    What a freaking great chance meeting! I may have asked if they consider this a business lunch and would they write it off? πŸ™‚ Tough to come up with a question on the spot, I think I would mention I run a PF blog and ask a passive income or frugal tip just to get a conversation started.

  • Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says:

    I wish I was with you to meet Warren Buffet and Mark Cuban. You’re such a lucky man. I would ask this question (Have you learned any fundamental lessons that you didn’t already think you knew before it erupted?) to Mr. Buffet.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I’m normally not very lucky, though after this I think I may go out and buy a lottery ticket. πŸ˜‰

  • Holly@ClubThrifty says:

    That is so awesome, John! I wonder what kind of business deals they were cooking up!

  • Kalie says:

    I’m sure I would’ve been too nervous to ask, but I’m intrigued by Warren Buffet’s stance on leaving on inheritance. I think it’s really cool that he doesn’t want to ruin his children’s character by leaving them billions of dollars. I’d love to hear more on his philosophy. (Not that I’m in danger of leaving my kids billions of dollars!)

    • John Schmoll says:

      That would be interesting to talk to him more in-depth about. He’s spoken briefly on it, and leaving money in general, at the conventions but would love to talk with him about it more in detail.

  • Natalie @ Financegirl says:

    This is AMAZING!!! Nice job not psyching yourself out too much! That is so cool – what an awesome experience. And I get super nervous. Whatever I would want to ask either of them, I wouldn’t. I’d probably just stare and not be able to say a word. #fail

    • John Schmoll says:

      I was definitely nervous Natalie! If it weren’t for Mrs. Frugal Rules I don’t know if I would’ve gotten up the nerves to ask for a pic.

  • Adam@MoneyRebound says:

    That’s pretty amazing John, great pic too! I think I’d be like you in wondering whether to be “that guy” or not but then these opportunities don’t come along every day, so I think I’d have to just take the risk and go for it.

  • Robin @ The Thrifty Peach says:

    Love hearing about your man crush! I would’ve been way too nervous to speak, but I like that your daughter just so happened to choose the table next to them. (That’s why we have kids, am I right?)
    I saw a YouTube video where Mark Cuban briefly mentions the DQ run with Buffet. I’ll send you the link if you want. (Unfortunately he does not mention the other awesome people he meets there as well.)

    • John Schmoll says:

      Lol, while I hate that she does it – it does come with benefits at times. πŸ™‚ I saw that as well. I’ve not watched it yet, but have it bookmarked to watch later – the other group was several teenage girls and I think they must’ve submitted their pic to the local news because I’ve seen it all over the place.

  • Abi@Bunnyonabudget says:

    I watched a documentary about Warren Buffett a few years ago, and like you I couldn’t believe how modest his house was considering how much money he has. That for me made me respect him even more than before.

    Great pic by the way! πŸ™‚

    • John Schmoll says:

      Yep, it’s a relatively modest house – considering what he’s worth. He could VERY easily spend all sorts of money on a house, but has stayed in the same place for decades.

  • Kathy says:

    I would ask Buffett if he feels hypocritical for advocating high estate taxes for other people but he channels his money into foundations so he won’t have to pay them. I don’t mean to be a party pooper but as you can probably see, I’m not a huge fan. I’d congratulate Cuban for taking on the SEC and winning.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Not a party pooper at all Kathy, it’s a justifiable question. The Cuban vs. SEC ordeal was something we were talking about on the way home from DQ actually.

  • Abigail @ipickuppennies says:

    I don’t know much of anything about either man, so I’m just tickled by the idea of billionaires eating Blizzards.

  • Andrew@LivingRichCheaply says:

    I’m a big fan of Buffet and Cuban…pretty awesome that you were able to meet them. I probably would have chickened out and stumbled on my words and forgotten my name.

  • Kim says:

    Do you think one of them called up the other and said, “Let’s go to DQ?” I probably couldn’t think of anything clever to say, but I’d love to know if he bought the company because he loved blizzards or if that love developed after he already owned it. I sadly tend not to recognize famous people if I do run into them. I got to meet Slash in Las Vegas. He’s hard to miss.

  • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says:

    First, love the beard you’re rocking and you look fantastic. So major kudos again with the weight loss. And OMG!!! Warren Buffet and Mark Cuban together at DQ!! I would have been pinching myself and geeking out too. Love hearing that they were gracious and humble too. And I would have considered taking the Orange Julius too. πŸ™‚

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks Shannon! I need to have you speak with my Mother-in-Law because she hates it. Glad to know I’m not alone on my thinking on the Orange Julius. πŸ™‚

  • Jason B says:

    Wow. That’s pretty cool. I would probably ask Mark Cuban a question about his Mavericks.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I was thinking that myself. But, you know how passionate he gets – I might’ve gotten myself in trouble. πŸ˜‰

  • Tawcan says:

    Wow what a cool story. Very cool that you got to meet Buffet and Cuban.

  • Mark@BareBudgetGuy says:

    WHAT!?!?! Now that is just crazy. Maybe it’s good you weren’t able to have a big conversation. If it were me I’d probably stumble all over myself and be kicking myself all the way home. That is awesome.

  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    Awesome story, John! When you posted that pic on Facebook I was freaking out. The fact that you met them both at the same time – at a fast food restaurant – is incredible! So awesome. The last ‘celebrity’ I really geeked out over was Ron Paul. He completely changed many of my political, economic, financial, and social views. I was starstruck when I met him after one of his speeches here in Minneapolis.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks DC! It was pretty incredible indeed. I think I knew you had met Ron Paul. He would be a fascinating person to sit down and have a conversation with.

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