New Delhi: On his maiden visit to India, world’s third richest billionaire Warren Buffett termed inflation as a cruel tax on people and said that improving one’s earnings is the best guard against price rise.

During an interaction with investors, policyholders and panelists here, Buffett fielded a slew of queries on various topics, including business, stock markets, investments and philanthropy.

"The best investment against inflation is to improve your own earnings. Whatever may be, that is the best protection against a currency that decline at a rapid rate and the best investment passive investment I think is a good business," Buffett said.

Emphasising that he has had a "lot of luck" in life, Buffett said, "I am not ashamed or enormously proud about it (being lucky).”

Expressing optimism over opening up of the insurance sector, Buffett said that his impression is that the government would continue to open up as they have done in the recent years to benefit more open investment and broader investment that become obvious.

Buffett-led conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway recently entered the non-life insurance market as a corporate agent for Bajaj Allianz General. Berkshire insurance online has sold about 200 policies of the insurance company.

“Certainly India is in the top four or five countries in the world would have sort of businesses we are looking for," he said.

On a query about stock markets, the billionaire investor quipped that a person need not be really smart to make money out of it.
"(There needs to be) reasonable intelligence and a passion for activity ... An important ingredient (to deal with stock market) is temperament," he said.