Born in Omaha, Nebraska on August 30th 1930, Warren Edward Buffett seemed destined to follow in his stockbroker father’s footsteps. Warren Buffett had an amazing ability for numbers and could correctly add multiple columns of numbers at once. At just 11 years old he had already started investing. In 1942, his father Howard was elected to the House of Representatives and their family moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia. A short time after the move, young Buffett and a friend of his from high school bought a pinball machine which they installed in a barber shop in Washington. The machine did well and they bought more machines. Buffett enrolled in college at 16, graduating with a business degree at just 20 years old. He then attended graduate studies at Columbia University, where he was mentored by professors David Dodd and Ben Graham who helped him perfect his trading skills.
In 1956, he moved back to Omaha, Nebraska and formed Buffett Associates Ltd. Mr. Buffett had a knack for picking undervalued stocks that were about to take off and his investment portfolio soared. Ten years after forming the Buffett partnership, its net worth was over 44 million dollars, climbing to 104 million by 1968. A year later the partnership stocks were liquidated. However, Berkshire Hathaway stock was retained as he was the director of this company. In 1970, Warren Buffett became chairman of the board of Berkshire Hathaway; about a year later he purchased Sees candies through Berkshire Hathaway. Moreover, in 1976 he bought shares of Geico, which later became a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. By the late 70’s, Buffett’s personal portfolio was worth 140 million. By 1982, his portfolio was worth 1.3 billion. In 1988, Mr. Buffett started buying large quantities of Coca Cola stock and by 1989 he was worth more than 3.8 billion dollars. His stocks continued to climb in the 1990’s, until the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, at this time he made large corrections to his portfolio and his investments continued to grow.
Today at 81, Warren Buffett has holdings valued at 44.7 billion dollars. He has remained near the top of the Forbes Billionaires list for more than a decade and is currently ranked third internationally and second in the US. Mr. Buffett is a philanthropist and has given away billions to charities. He strongly believes that rich people should pay a much higher income tax rate of 30%. Thus, some people have dubbed this tax suggestion ”the Buffett Rule.” In February of this year, he announced that he might be stepping down from Berkshire Hathaway. He is now searching for the right candidate to be his successor. Mr. Buffett’s entrepreneurial spirit, amazing math abilities, and knowledge of the stock market have earned him the title: “the Oracle of Omaha.”
(1) bio.truestory (2012) warrenbuffett.biography. Retrieved July 28, 2012, from http://www.biography.com/people/warren-buffett-9230729
(2) Forbes (2012) Warren Buffett. Retrieved July 29, 2012, from http://www.forbes.com/profile/warren-buffett/
(3) Kennon, Joshua (2012) Warren Buffett Biography– the story of Berkshire Hathaways Billionaire Chairman. Retrieved July 28, 2012, from http://beginnersinvest.about.com/cs/warrenbuffett/a/aawarrenbio.htm.