Warren Buffet was born on Aug 30, 1930, to Howard & Leila Buffet, in Omaha, Nebraska. He was the 2nd of 3 children & the only boy. His father was a successful stockbroker and a 4-term U.S congressman. Buffet showed a very early interest in making money; sold soft-drinks and had a paper route as well.He saved up all this money and at the age of 14 invested it in 40 acres of land. He then rented this out for a profit and making money became a habit with him.
Time to Get Educated
His father urged him to join The University of Pennsylvania but Warren left within 2 years and transferred to the University of Nebraska. Later, he faced rejection at Harvard, but gained admission in Columbia. Benjamin Graham was his tutor there and these years at Columbia became and the foundation of his luminous career.
After Buffet graduated, Graham refused to hire him. In fact, he also suggested that Warren should not venture into a Wall Street career and he went onto working at his father’s brokerage firm in Omaha. During this time, Buffet married Susan Thompson and they also started a family.
A Plan Change
Somewhere along the way, Graham changed his mind and offered Warren a job in NY. Before long, Buffet worked on the investing concepts that Graham had taught him and expanded on them. In 1956, he moved back to Omaha and started a company- Buffett Associates, Ltd and by 1962, at the age of 30 years was already a millionaire.
This is when he and Charlie Munger joined forces and they developed an investment philosophy that was based on Warren’s innovative investment idea. They also acquired a dying textile mill, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A). Soon, the business started revising and the cash flow that came from the mills was used as a sinking fund for a number of other investments.
Buffet’s Business Mantra
Buffet shut-down the textile business, but retained the company name for his business ventures. Over the years, Buffet has stuck to his investment policy- he acquires stocks of undervalued but well-managed companies. In some cases, he makes an outright purchase of these companies while in others, he invests indefinitely and Coca Cola, Gillette and American Express are examples of the latter.
Buffet is looked upon as one of the most successful and innovative investors in the world. But money does not hold so much of sheen for him- he simply gives most of it away. In 2006, he shocked the world by donating a large part of his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. But he also does a lot of charity work through the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation which supports pro choice family-planning causes & works to effectively discourage nuclear proliferation.
The Trail Blazer
It’s no secret that Warren Buffet always planned to give-away a large portion of his vast wealth to various charitable causes and had insisted that this would take place posthumously. And though he changed his stand somewhere along the way, it’s a move that’s considered to be quintessentially Buffet.
Though some may call it an impulsive move, one should not forget that and he has always been a maverick, a trail blazer and a very decisive one at that. And this is only the beginning of this trend. He has stated over and over again that dynastic wealth does not enthuse him and when his immense wealth can do so much good for millions of people, there is no reason why he would want to hoard it.
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About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.