Warren Buffett has proven over the years that strategic investment results in sustainable wealth. He is arguably the best investor of all time with a net worth of $105 billion at the time of writing.
He has become one of the most successful and famous investors in history. For anyone that invested $10,000 with Buffett in 1966, today they would have more than $160 million. The same amount, if it was invested in the S&P, would be worth about $140,000.
The billionaire has pledged to give away 99% of his wealth to charity before he dies. He said that 83% of that money will go to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It equates to about $41 billion making it the biggest charitable gift in human history. Through his philanthropy, other billionaires have come in to pledge up to 50% of their net worth to charity during their lifetimes.
Warren Buffett was born in Omaha, Nebraska on August 30, 1930. He began education at Rose Hill Elementary School where he developed an interest in business and investing at a young age. At 7 years, he read a book by the title “One Thousand Ways to Make $1000.” Which inspired him to start growing his fortune as a pre-teen.
He bought his first stock at 11 years and then acquired some Oklahoma farmland using the money he was paid from his paper route. By the time he was a sophomore in high school, he was running a pinball machine business and had a net worth of around $6,000 which is the same as $60,000 today.
Buffett attended Alice Deal Junior High School and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1947. Notably, his senior yearbook picture has this description: “likes math; a future stockbroker.”
He enrolled at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and after two years he joined the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. Buffett graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska. He got his Master of Science in Economics from Columbia Business School in 1951.
Buffett started working as an investment salesman for Buffett-Falk & Co and also taught “Investment Principles” at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He used the money to buy a gas station but the business failed. Buffett left Buffet-Falk & Co. to work for the Graham-Newman Corp as a securities analyst.
While working With Graham for four years, he discovered that he was ready to take more risks than his boss. When Graham retired, Buffett took his $174,000 savings and launched Buffett Partnership Ltd. In three years, his business grew from three partnerships to six and the number nearly doubled in the next two years. He became a bonafide millionaire by 1962.
After investing and taking over textile manufacturer Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett started aggressive investments, takeovers, and restructuring moves. Through that strategy, his assets increased exponentially, and managed to solidify his status as an investor to watch and follow.
He had a knack for acquiring stock in different majorly undervalued firms and riding the increase in their fortunes to massive profits. His company started trading at $775 in 1979 and ended the year worth about $1310. He earned the nickname, the “Oracle of Omaha.” In the early 1980s when his net worth surged to over $620 million.
By 1990, he became a billionaire with Berkshire Hathaway shares worth $7,175 each. Buffett is known to invest in products that he uses. He owns Fruit of the Loom since he enjoyed their underwear and shirts. Notably, he made headlines when he invested in the Chinese firm Trands Co due to his love for their suits. Bill Gates and former Chinese President Hu Jintao are big fans of the brand.
Warren Buffet Wealth History
Most of Buffett’s wealth is due to his 18% interest in Berkshire Hathaway. The share earned him 20.8% every year from 1965 to 2016. He has about 150,000 Class B shares and 300,000 Class A shares of the company. He has over two million shares of Wells Fargo and Seritage Growth Properties, 9,000 more shares of IBM, and about 900,000 shares of U.S. Bancorp.
Despite all that diversification, his Berkshire Hathaway shares represent 98% of his net worth. Each summer, he donates 5% of that stock to charity. Interestingly, 99% of his net worth was made after Buffett turned 50 years old.
The billionaire lives in the modest 5-bedroom house he acquired in Omaha, Nebraska in 1956 for $31,500. Currently, houses in that neighborhood cost above $2 million.