He is a known as the most successful investor who single-handedly turned the fortune of his small company and made it a giant investment vehicle. Forbes lists him as one of the richest man in the world and is often referred to as ‘Oracle of Omaha’. Warren Buffett’s life is an extraordinary story of determination, will power and the right vision of success. For the billionaire that he is, Buffett leads a very simple lifestyle, lives in a house he bought ages back and dresses up in normal clothes instead of big brand names. He contributed a huge sum of his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in order to improve living conditions of poor people.
Warren Buffett was born on August 30th, 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska. Since a very young age, he displayed a keen interest and extraordinary talent in numbers and at the mere age of 11, he started buying shares in the stock market. Buffett brought three shares of Cities Service at $38 for himself and his older sister. The shares rebounded to $40 after falling to almost $27 and that was the time he sold them. However, after some time, the value rose to $200. He learnt one of the most important lessons of investment through this experience - Patience is a Virtue.
He graduated from high school but never wanted to go to college as such. On persistence from his father, he enrolled himself into the Wharton Business School. He stayed there for two years and then moved back home and got transferred to the University of Nebraska, teaching students twice his age. He tried to get into Harvard Business School, but got rejected because they thought he was too young! He moved to do a Master’s in Economics at Columbia University and there he found his mentor - Benjamin Graham.
After working here and there for sometime, he was offered to work for Benjamin Graham as a security analyst. His fortune rose to $140,000. Thereafter, he began his own company, ‘Buffet Partnership’ and increased his capital wealth to $300,000 by the end of the year. At that time, Berkshire Hathaway was a small textile company in which he had invested. This company was liquidated after sometime but the name was retained and was turned into an investment business.
Buffett became the chairman of the company and with time and persistence he tuned the small textile company into a giant investment vehicle that it is today. Buffett leads a very simple life considering his status. He absolutely loves Coca-Cola and burgers and is an ardent player of the game Bridge. Buffett is a very generous man and has donated huge sums of his fortune to many helpful foundations, the biggest sum going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Checkout his time line as given below.
Warren Buffett Time Line
- 1930 - August 30th, Warren Buffett born in Nebraska, Omaha USA
- 1943 - Filed his first income tax return at the mere age of 13, deducting his bicycle as a work expense for $35
- 1945 - Spent $25 to purchase a used pinball machine. Owned three more machines from profits within months
- 1949 - Initiated into the Alpha Sigma Fraternity while pursuing his under-graduation at Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania
- 1950 - Enrolled at Columbia Business School when he learnt that two famous analysts, Benjamin Graham and David Dodd taught there
- 1951 - Graduated from Columbia and tried to work with Graham for free but was rejected. Worked as a stockbroker for sometime and also took night classes for students in the University of Nebraska
- 1952 - Got married to Susan Thompson
- 1954 - Had their first child Howard Graham Buffett. Entered a partnership with Benjamin Graham and worked for a salary of $12,000 p.a.
- 1956 - Graham retires, ends partnership. Buffet saves over $140,000 and returns to Omaha and starts an investment partnership, Buffett Associates, Ltd.
- 1960 - Business grew; buffet had seven partnerships operating the entire year. 11 doctors agree to invest $10,000 each into his partnership.
- 1962 - Buffett’s partnership had in excess of $7,178,500 out of which $1,025,000 belonged to Buffett. Merges all partnerships into one. Discovers Berkshire Hathaway
- 1965 - Buffett’s partnerships begin to purchase Berkshire shares aggressively. Takes control of Berkshire Hathaway and names a new President (Ken Chace) to run the company.
- 1967 - Berkshire pays out its first and only dividend of 10 cents.
- 1969 - Buffet liquidates partnership and transfers the assets to his partners, including the shares of Berkshire
- 1973 - Berkshire begins to acquire stocks in Washington Post Company
- 1979 - Berkshire acquires stocks in ABC. Buffett’s net worth rocketed to $140 million. The year ended at $1310 in share trading sending his net worth to $620 million, placing him on the Forbes 400 for the first time
- 1988 - Buys stock in Coca-Cola for $1.02 billion, which turns out to be one of the most lucrative investments
- 2004 - Susan, his wife, dies
- 2006 - Buffet announced to give away 80% of his total fortune to five foundations, the largest contribution going to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- 2007 - Buffett announced he is looking for a younger successor to run his business. Lou Simpson was chosen by Buffett for the role, though he is only six years younger!
- 2008 - Forbes announces Buffett as the richest man in the world