Warren Edward BUFFETT

Primary Position Chairman Age 85
Primary Company Berkshire Hathaway Birthday 30 Aug 1930
Estimated Net Worth At least $65.9 billion Residences Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Laguna Beach, California, United States
Source Self-Made
Hometown
Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Religion Agnostic
Ethnicity Caucasian
Alternative Names The Oracle of Omaha
Marital Status Married

Biography

Warren Buffett started young in the field of investment; he bought his first shares of Cities Service Preferred at $38 a share and sold it at a $5 profit. He delivered newspapers on his bike, for which he filed his first tax returns. He also bought 40 acres of farmland in Nebraska, from his paper route savings, and collected rent from his tenant. His interest in the investment field continued. In 1950, he graduated with a Bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He then tried to get into Harvard Business School for his Master's program, but was rejected. He chose Columbia Business School instead and graduated in 1951. He joined his father's stockbroking company, Buffett-Falk & Company, and worked as an Investment Salesman. He then worked as a Security Analyst at Graham-Newman Corporation, an investment firm, from 1954 to 1956. He started his own investment partnership firm called Buffett Partnership, with a starting capital base of $100,000. The company was dissolved in 1969, giving out returns of thirty fold. Just prior to dissolving the company, Buffett bought Berkshire Hathaway, a textile company; he started acquiring controlling stakes in a vast array of companies, and built it into a holding company. He currently serves as the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire Hathaway wholly owns companies like GEICO, BNSF, Lubrizol, Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds, FlightSafety International, NetJets, Heinz and an undisclosed stake in Mars; and significant minority holdings in American Express, The Coca-Cola Company, Wells Fargo, IBM, General Motors, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Liberty Global, Heinz, Tesco and International Meralworking Companies, among others.

Education History

Institution Name Qualification Name Education Type Start Date End Date
University of Pennsylvania Transferred Undergraduate
University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) Bachelor's degree Undergraduate 1950
Columbia University Master's degree Graduate 1951
Woodrow Wilson High School Diploma High School 1947

Interesting Facts

Buffett has a keen sense of the stock market. One of his investments includes the American Express Company. He bought American Express, when it was on an all time low, when it had lent in excess to Allied Crude Vegetable Oil, which was caught in the salad oil scandal. He bought the stock for $12 million and it is now worth more than $7.8 billion.
In February 2015, Buffett in an interview reportedly admitted that he drinks at least five cans of Coca-Cola a day, enjoys chocolate-chip ice cream for breakfast and often carries a tube of Potato Stix around with him. When asked for the reason behind this diet, he said "I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among six-year-olds,' so I decided to eat like a six-year-old. It's the safest course I can take."
In March 2014, David Winters, the CEO of Wintergreen Advisers, a New York-based money manager company, which holds 2.5 million shares in beverage company Coca-Cola, launched a public campaign against Coca-Cola's employee stock plan. He then asked Buffett to oppose it. But Buffett, who holds stake in Coca-Cola, through Berkshire Hathaway, abstained from a vote on the proposal, for which Winters alleged that Buffett might have planned to buy out Coca-Cola with private equity group 3G Capital. However, Buffett denied any plans to privatize the company.
Buffett and his late ex-wife, Susan, separated in 1977, but remained friends and even vacationed together occasionally. She met Astrid Menks at a restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska, and the two women soon became friends. Later Susan introduced Astrid to Buffett. The three became quite close, even sending gifts to relatives signed "Warren, Susie and Astrid."
In February 2014, Buffett declared that Berkshire Hathaway would relinquish its 23.4% stake, worth $1.1 billion, in Graham Holdings. He filed the same with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission. In exchange, Graham Holdings would spin-off some portion of its assets, including its profitable broadcast television and cable subsidiaries, as well as the for-profit Kaplan education business into a new unit that would be owned by Berkshire Hathaway. As part of the deal, Buffett would receive $3 million in cash for small number of Berkshire Hathaway shares, which were owned by Graham Holdings.
At the age of 11, Buffett purchased his first stock in his father's brokerage, which was three shares of Cities Service Preferred at $38 a share. He sold it too early and made only $5 profit. He learnt at that young age, that patience was virtue. In high school, Buffett used to deliver nearly 500,000 copies of newspaper on his bicycle. He filed his first tax returns at the age of 13, taking care to claim a $35 deduction for his bike because he used it to deliver newspapers. At the age of 14, he bought 40 acres of farmland in Nebraska, from his paper route savings, and started collecting rent from his tenant.
Buffett is nicknamed and often referred to as the "Oracle of Omaha." He has also been referred as the "Sage of Omaha."
In October 2013, Berkshire Hathaway planned to buy U.K.'s beverage-dispensing machine business IMI for more than $1 billion. In November 2013, it bought a stake in American multinational oil and gas company Exxon Mobil in a deal reported to be worth $3 billion. In 2014, Berkshire Hathaway reportedly sold around 41 million share of its stake in Exxon Mobil, which was estimated to be worth about $3.74 billion, as global oil prices continued to fall. In February 2015, the company had disclosed a 17.1 million-share stake in Moline, Illinois-based agricultural equipment maker Deere, which was estimated to be worth around $1.51 billion.
In November 2014, Berkshire Hathaway reportedly agreed to acquire a product line of batteries and smart power systems Duracell battery, owned by American consumer goods company Procter & Gamble (P&G) where Berkshire would give $4.7 billion of the shares it owns in P&G, rather than paying cash and P&G would contribute approximately $1.8 billion in cash to the Duracell company before the expected closing in the second half of 2015.
In 2012, Berkshire Hathaway's subsidiary, NetJets, made a record purchase of 425 jets from Bombardier and Textron for a reported $9.6 billion, thus eclipsing the company's previous highest purchase of 120 Bombardiers for $6.7 billion in 2011.
After returning to Omaha, Nebraska, from New York, Buffett did not want to use his accumulated savings, preferring to retain it as investment capital. He formed Buffett Partnership with his father-in-law, his college roommate, his mother, aunt, sister, brother-in-law and his lawyer; Buffett contributed only $100 of his own money to the partnership. More and more investors started putting in their money into the partnership. Graham-Newman Corporation was being liquidated at the same time, and Benjamin Graham, directed investors of Graham-Newman to go to Buffett, which in turn helped his company grow. When the partnership was dissolved, investors, including Buffett, experienced a thirty-fold gain in their value per share.
Buffett believes in holding on to the values he grew up with. He still lives in a house in Omaha, Nebraska, which he bought in 1958 and drives his own car. He does not like showing off his fortune. His granddaughter, Nicole Buffett, the adopted daughter of son Peter, appeared in Jamie Johnson's documentary "The One Percent," which depicts the gap between the rich and the poor. Buffett was unhappy about it, and mailed a harsh letter to Nicole saying, "I have not emotionally or legally adopted you as a grandchild, nor have the rest of my family adopted you as a niece or cousin."
In August 2013, Berkshire Hathaway invested around $5 billion in Bank of America, a banking and financial services provider, during its financial crisis. According to the deal, Berkshire Hathaway received preferred stock worth $5 billion with 6% of dividend paid annually. The company also received warrants for 700 million shares that can be exercised at any time with a premium of 5%. In February 2014, the terms of the agreement were planned to be changed to seek favor of the regulators towards the investment, which allowed the bank to consider preferred shares, which were worth $2.9 billion as Tire 1 capital, and also it had to wait for at least five years to redeem the preferred stock. This amendment was yet to be approved by Bank of America's shareholders.
While working at Graham-Newman Corporation in New York, Benjamin Graham told Buffett that he would be retiring, and offered him a chance to become a junior Partner. But Buffett chose to go back to Omaha, Nebraska, to start something on his own. Buffett sent his family from New York back to Omaha ahead of him and then drove back to Nebraska on his own, performing due diligence on companies he was interested in investing in on the way. He stopped in Hazleton, Pennsylvania to visit the Jeddo-Highland Coal Company; in Delaware, Ohio, to visit Greif Brothers Cooperage.in Michigan at the Kalamazoo Stove & Furnace Company, which was being liquidated at the time;
In an Op-Ed piece for The New York Times, Buffett urged U.S. lawmakers to raise taxes on the Americans making more than $1 million, to help cut the budget deficit. This new rule came to be known as Buffett Rule. In 2010, he paid $6.9 million in federal taxes. For introducing the new rule, in 2012, Buffett received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama, the President of the U.S., at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Berkshire Hathaway holds companies like GEICO, BNSF, Lubrizol, Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds, FlightSafety International, NetJets, Heinz and an undisclosed stake in Mars; a significant minority holdings in American Express, The Coca-Cola Company, Wells Fargo, and IBM. In 2006, Berkshire Hathaway paid $4 billion for an initial 80% stake in International Metalworking Companies, and another $2.1 billion for the remaining 20% stake in 2013. In 2014, Berkshire Hathaway disclosed that it holds 12 million shares in American investment banker Goldman Sachs Group and a stake worth $246 million stake in American telecommunications company Liberty Global. In August 2014, it was reported that Berkshire Hathaway had bought about 3 million shares in American automobile company General Motors and by the end of 2014, the company had increased its stake by 1 million shares more to 41 million shares and was said to be a major shareholder of the company. According to the company's SEC filings, by the end of fourth quarter of 2014, Buffett had reportedly purchased around 4.7 million shares worth about $161 million in American multinational mass media company 21st Century Fox. The company also holds stakes in American multinational banking and financial services company Wells Fargo.
In August 2014, Berkshire Hathaway announced that it would help Miami, Florida-based fast food burger restaurant chain Burger King acquire Ontario, Canada-based coffee shop Tim Hortons by providing financing of $3 billion in preferred equity. In return, the company would receive preferred shares of 9% in the combined company. In September, it was reported that Buffet called Orrin Hatch, the senior U. S. Senator for Utah, to get the possible information about what Congress would do about tax inversions in efforts to stop corporations from leaving the U.S., before financing the Burger King- Tim Hortons deal.
In 2012, Buffett revealed to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that he had early-stage cancer and would undergo treatment. Later that year, he announced that he had completed his cancer treatment after undergoing 44 radiation sessions.
Buffett reportedly made his first earnings at the age of six. He bought packs of gum at his grandfather's grocery store and went door to door selling them to the neighbors. In his biography "The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life" written by American author Alice Schroede, Buffett recalls that he had met a woman named Virginia Macoubrie, who wanted to buy just one stick of gum from the pack, which he denied and said, "We don't break up packs of gum." Buffett said that he stood his ground that day with principles he follows even today.
In December 2013, Berkshire Hathaway reportedly bought Phillips Specialty Products, a chemical unit of Houston, Texas-based energy company Phillips 66, for $1.4 billion. As of August 2015, Berkshire Hathaway owned roughly a 10.8% stake in Phillips 66 estimated to be worth about $4.5 billion.
In 2014, Borsheims, a fine jewelry and gifts store owned by Berkshire Hathaway, reportedly planned to sell 26 loose diamonds, which were laser-inscribed with Buffett's signature. The diamonds would range from $5,000 to more than $200,000. It also reportedly displayed diamond pendant necklaces embedded with signed diamonds worth $1,750 each.
In January 2014, Berkshire Hathaway supported a $1 billion prize offer made by Quicken Loans, a Detroit, Michigan-based online retail mortgage lender, called the "Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge." According to the challenge rules, any contestant who predicts the winner of all 63 games in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's men's basketball tournament would be paid a total sum of $1 billion, which would be paid in 40 annual installments of $25 million each. Since the contest was held in March 2014 and was called the "March Madness." The prize was however left unclaimed as the contestants made mistakes and failed to guess the correct winners. Buffett expressed his interest in conducting a similar contest in 2015, with less complex procedures. Speaking on this, he said, "I'd like to modify it a little bit so people have an even better shot to win it than they had this year."
Buffet has been living in the same house since he bought it for $31,500 in 1958. It is a stucco house with five bedrooms and two and a half baths. Buffet called his house his "third best investment." He talks about happiness from materialistic things saying, "I like having an expensive private plane, but owning half-dozen homes would be a burden." He still says that he would have made even more money if he had rented the house and used the purchase money to buy stocks.
Buffet's love for investing in textile brands is shrewd; he invests in products he actually uses. He invested, through Berkshire Hathaway, in Fruit of the Loom, because he enjoyed wearing their shirts and underwear. His taste in wearing a specific brand of suit led him to invest in Trands Company, a Chinese firm. He made a video commemorating Trands Company's 30th anniversary, and sported nine Trands suits in the video. He has reportedly not even spent a dime for his wardrobe. Trands Company's stock rose 70% after Buffett's video went public.
In 2013, Buffett reportedly started a real estate brokerage franchisee network, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, to expand in the residential real estate brokerage business in the U.S. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is operated by real estate firm HSF Affiliates, and includes real estate firms like Prudential Trend Realty and Prudential California Realty. In May 2014, HomeServices of America, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, reportedly announced the acquisition of Intero Real Estate Services for an undisclosed amount. The company had also purchased Berkadia Commercial Mortgage.
In May 2013, one of Berkshire Hathaway's energy unit, MidAmerican Energy Holdings, agreed to acquire NV Energy, for $5.6 billion. In May 2014, MidAmerican Energy Holdings, now known as Berkshire Hathaway Energy, agreed to acquire Canadian power transmission company AltaLink, which is owned by engineering services company SNC-Lavalin Group, for around $2.9 billion. It was also reported that AltaLink would run as a separate company within Berkshire Hathaway Energy. In June 2014, Buffett reportedly announced that Berkshire Hathaway would invest around $15 billion in renewable energy projects that are aided by tax benefits as the U.S. strives to reduce carbon emissions. The investment, which would be made through its energy unit Berkshire Hathaway Energy, would be spent on construction of wind farms in Iowa and Wyoming and solar farms in California and Arizona.
In 2011, Buffett was reported to have publicly declared his intention to acquire Geneva, Switzerland-based luxury watch manufacturer Rolex.
In August 2015, Berkshire Hathaway agreed to acquire Portland, Oregon-based industrial goods and metal fabrication company Precision Castparts in an all-cash-and-stock transaction valued at about $37.2 billion, including debt.
In February 2013, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and private equity firm 3G Capital acquired Heinz, the food company famous for its ketchup and baked beans, for a reported $28 billion.
In July 2014, Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, along with Sheldon Adelson, the Chairman of Las Vegas Sands, criticized Congress over its failure to reform immigration laws. In an op-ed published in the American daily newspaper the 'New York Times', they wrote, "The three of us vary in our politics and would differ also in our preferences about the details of an immigration reform bill. But we could without a doubt come to together to draft a bill acceptable to each of us and it's time this brand of thinking finds its way to Washington." They believed that the U.S. should adopt a clear interest in enacting immigration legislation that would favor both immigrants living in the U.S. and for the well-being of U.S. citizens. The response came after John Boehner, the Republican Speaker in the United States House of Representatives, refused to pass an immigration reform bill submitted by U.S. President Barack Obama.
In 2013, Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway agreed to acquire Hartford Financial Services Group's U.K. variable-annuity business with assets under management worth $1.75 billion. The same year, it also purchased New Jersey's local newspaper, The Press of Atlantic City. It also signed a re-insurance deal with Voluntary Health Insurance Board ( Vhi Healthcare), through which Berkshire Hathaway would provide re-insurance cover for up to $930 million worth of claims risks of Vhi Healthcare.

Interests, Passion, Hobbies

Hobby Name Description
Sports - American Football Avid football fan, closely follows the University of Nebraska football team; reportedly tries to watch as many games as he can.
Card Games - Bridge Avid bridge player puts in around 12 hours a week at the table for the game. He competes in tournaments and online under the name "T-Bone." He also shares this passion with Microsoft founder William Gates.
Card Games - Poker Buffett is a passionate poker player. The Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary NetJets hosts the NetJets Poker Invitational. Participants in the event, where Buffett regularly plays, are required to be a NetJets fractional owner.
Sports - Basketball Buffet appears to have an interest in basketball. He was photographed at a game in December 2014 between the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers and Charlotte Hornets, cheering a play by Cavaliers forward LeBron James.
Technology - Social Networks Buffett reportedly does not have a computer at home and rarely switches on a mobile phone. Though a technophobe, he joined Twitter in 2013, announcing "Warren is in the house." He reached approximately 60,000 Twitter followers in less than an hour, adding an average of 1,000 per minute.
Food Buffett loves to drink Cherry Coke, eat hamburgers and Dairy Queen ice cream for dessert. He reportedly went to a Four Seasons Hotel and Resort and demanded hamburgers and Dairy Queen for dessert. Also enjoys steak, chicken parmigiana and mashed potatoes; loves to dine at the Gorat's steakhouse in Omaha, Nebraska.
Politics Buffett has donated more than $300,000 to Democratic candidates and causes.
Reading Buffet's favorite book is "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham. Buffet reportedly used what he read from the book to make investments. Talking about the book he said "To invest successfully what is needed is a sound intellectual framework for making decisions and the ability to keep emotions from corroding that framework. This book precisely and clearly prescribes the proper framework."
Human Rights - Women's Rights Reportedly supports Planned Parenthood and has donated more than $1 billion to pro-choice groups.
Reading - Newspaper Buffett reportedly reads five newspapers a day, starting with the Journal, the Financial Times, the New York Times, USA Today and the Omaha World-Herald.
Music Plays the ukulele and has given instruments and lessons to children's clubs; auctioned one of his ukuleles for charity for a reported $11,000. In an interview, he said he first began to play the instrument 60 years ago as a way to pick up girls. In 2012, Buffett had also played a duet with American singer-songwriter Jon Bon Jovi to raise funds for the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.
Philanthropy In 2006, Buffett pledged to give away 85% of his Berkshire shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and to four foundations set up by his family. He has also pledged to give away more than $30 billion spread over 20 years to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Sports - Baseball Buffett is reportedly a baseball fan and once owned a minor-league team in his hometown of Omaha. He will often use baseball analogies to draw parallels to investing, among them the notion that there are no called strikes in investing. In a 1984 appearance on 'Adam Smith's Money World', he observed: "There are no called strikes in this business. The pitcher just stands there and throws balls at you....you sit there and they throw U.S. Steel at 25 and they throw General Motors at 68, and you don't have to swing at any of them. They may be wonderful pitches to swing at, but if you don't know enough, you don't have to swing. And you can sit there and watch thousands of pitches, and finally you get one right there where you want it, something that you understand - and then you swing. I might not swing for two years."

Philanthropy

Giving Profile
Buffett is a Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to which he has donated generously. In 2006, Buffett pledged to give away 85% of his Berkshire shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and to four foundations set up by his family. In the same year, he also pledged to give more than $30 billion spread over 20 years to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Between 2001 and 2014, Buffett has reportedly donated more than $1 billion to pro-choice groups. Recipients include Planned Parenthood, The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and NARAL. In 2010, Buffett turned over $1.9 billion to the foundation. In 2011, he teamed with Gates to create the Giving Pledge, which signed up 69 wealthy individuals and families to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. In 2012, he donated $20 million worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares to eight unidentified charities and 10 shares to each of the 15 elementary school children who were finalists in a business contest. On his 82nd birthday, Buffett pledged to donate an additional 12.2 million class B shares worth over $3 billion to his three children's foundations. In 2013, Buffett donated $2.6 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock to five foundations, out of which the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation received $2 billion worth of stock. Buffett participates annually in a charity auction on online platform, ebay, through the Annual Warren Buffett Charity Auction, to raise money and benefit the Glide Foundation, a non-profit which works to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization. In July 2014, Buffett donated Berkshire Hathaway stocks worth $2.8 billion to five charitable foundations, of which the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation received $2.1 billion and the remainder was donated to his family foundations. In February 2015, Buffett's car, a 2006 Cadillac DTS, was reportedly auctioned for $122,500 to raise money to benefit Girls Incorporated of Omaha, a non-profit which provides educational and recreational opportunities to girls in the U.S. and Canada. In July 2015, Buffett donated part of his stock in Berkshire Hathaway worth more than $2.8 billion to charity. The recipients included the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the foundations of Buffett's family members.

Clubs & Boards

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Known Associates

Total known associates: 116. Total known associates net worth: $204.9 billion. To view details, sign up for Wealth-X Professional or Contact Us.

Family Details

Political Interests

Party Affiliation Democratic Party Political Profile Generous political donor gives primarily to Democratic candidates and causes. Lifetime giving exceeds $300,000. Recipients include Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Matthew Campbell, John Kerry, Thomas Daschle, Bob Graham, Bill Bradley, Thomas Osborne, Debbie Dingell, Charles Hassebrook, Robert Kerrey, Benjamin Nelson, Russell Feingold, Bill White, Wesley Clark, Thomas Vilsack, Pete Festersen, Arlen Specter, Pete Festersen, Heidi Heitkamp, Harry Reid, Daniel Moynihan, Erskine Bowles, Byron Dorgan, Richard Durbin, and Dorothy Lamm. In December 2014, Buffett reportedly donated $25,000 to "Ready for Hillary", a super political action committee (PAC) supporting 2016 U.S democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton.