Warren Buffett

Published: 15th October 2009
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Born August 30, 1930 (1930-08-30) (age 79) Omaha, Nebraska

Nationality American

Occupation Chairman & CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

Salary US$ 100,000

Net worth US$ 62.0 billion (2008)

Spouse(s) Susan Buffett (1952–2004) (her death),
Astrid Menks (2006-)

Children Susie Buffett, Howard Graham Buffett, Peter Buffett

He is said to have no cellphone or computer at his desk. He drives his own car and has no security guard with him.Buffett continues to live in the same house in Omaha that he bought in 1958 for $31,500. He says that he has everything he needs in that house. His house does not have a wall or a fence

“Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful,” Buffett has often said.

“Buy when people are selling and sell when people are buying” Buffett

1936: (6 years old)
Buffett purchased 6-packs of Coca Cola from his grandfather’s grocery store for twenty five cents and resold each of the bottles for a nickel, pocketing a five cent profit. While other children his age were playing hopscotch and jacks, Warren was making money.

1941: (11 years old)
Buffett bought his first stock. He purchases 6 shares of Cities Service preferred stock: 3 shares for himself, 3 for his sister, Doris, at $38 per share. The stock fell to $27 but went up to $40. Warren and Doris sold their stock for a small margin. Immediately after that, the stock zoomed to $200 per share, much to his disappointment.
That’s when he learnt a very important lesson in life: Patience pays!

1943: (13 years old)
Buffett filed his first income tax return, deducting his bicycle and watch as a work expense for $35 for his work as newspaper delivery boy

1945: (15 years old)
Buffett and a friend spent $25.00 to purchase a used pinball machine, which they placed in a barber shop. Within months, they owned three machines in different locations.

1950: (20 years old)
Buffett applied for admission to Harvard Business School, but was turned down
Buffett enrolled at Columbia Business School after learning that Benjamin Graham and David Dodd, two well-known securities analysts, taught there.
Benjamin Graham was one of his influential mentors. In Buffett’s own words: “I’m 15 percent Fisher and 85 percent Benjamin Graham.”

1951: (21 years old)
Buffett graduated from Columbia and wanted to work on Wall Street. Both his father and Ben Graham urged him not to. Buffett offered to work for Graham for free, but Graham refused. He purchased a Sinclair Texaco gas station as a side investment, but that venture did not work out as well as he had hoped. Meanwhile, he worked as a stockbroker. During that time, Buffett also took a Dale Carnegie public speaking course. Using what he learned, he felt confident enough to teach a night class at the University of Nebraska, “Investment Principles.” The average age of the students he taught was more than twice his own.

1952: (22 years old)
Buffett married Susan Thompson.

1953: (23 years old)
Susan and Warren Buffett had their first child, Susan Alice Buffett.

1954: (24 years old)
Benjamin Graham offered Buffett a job at his partnership with a starting salary of $12,000 a year. Here, he worked closely with Walter Schloss.
Graham, who was a tough man to work for, was adamant that a stock provide a wide margin of safety after weighting the trade-off between its price and intrinsic value. Graham’s demand that a stock be worth more than its price made sense to Buffett, but it also made him question whether the criteria were too stringent, causing them to miss out on some big winners that had more qualitative values
Susan and Warren Buffett had their second child, Howard Graham Buffett.

1956: (26 years old)
Benjamin Graham retired and closed his partnership.
Buffett’s personal savings were now over $140,000.
Buffett returned home to Omaha and created Buffett Partnership Ltd., an investment partnership.

I’ll tell you why I like the cigarette business. It costs a penny to make. Sell it for a dollar. It’s addictive. And there’s fantastic brand loyalty. ” —Warren Buffett, 1987

1958: (28 years old)
Susan and Warren Buffett had their third child, Peter Andrew Buffett
Buffett had five partnerships operating the entire year.

1959: (29 years old)
Buffett had six partnerships operating the entire year.
Buffett was introduced to Charlie Munger.

1960: (30 years old)
Buffett had seven partnerships operating the entire year.
The partnerships were: Buffett Associates, Buffett Fund, Dacee, Emdee, Glenoff, Mo-Buff, and Underwood.
Buffett asked one of his partners, a doctor, to find ten other doctors who would be willing to invest $10,000 each in his partnership. Eventually, eleven doctors agreed to invest.

1961: (31 years old)
Buffett revealed that Sanborn Map Company accounted for 35% of the partnerships’ assets.
Buffett explained that in 1958, Sanborn sold at $45 per share when the value of the Sanborn investment portfolio was $65 per share. This meant buyers valued Sanborn at “minus $20″ per share, and buyers were unwilling to pay more than 70 cents on the dollar for an investment portfolio with a map business thrown in for nothing.
Buffett revealed that he earned a spot on the board of Sanborn.

1962: (32 years old)
Buffett became a millionaire because Buffett’s partnerships, in January 1962, had in excess of $7,178,500 of which over $1,025,000 belonged to Buffett.
Buffett merged all partnerships into one partnership.
Buffett discovered a textile manufacturing firm, Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett’s partnerships began purchasing shares at $7.60 per share.

1965: (35 years old)
When Buffett’s partnerships aggressively began purchasing Berkshire, they paid $14.86 per share while the company had working capital (current assets minus current liabilities) of $19 per share. This did not include the value of fixed assets (factory and equipment).
Buffett took control of Berkshire Hathaway at the board meeting and named a new president, Ken Chace, to run the company.

1966: (36 years old)
Buffett closed the partnership to new money.
Buffett wrote in his letter “unless it appears that circumstances have changed (under some conditions added capital would improve results) or unless new partners can bring some asset to the partnership other than simply capital, I intend to admit no additional partners to BPL.”
In a second letter, Buffett announced his first investment in a private business — Hochschild, Kohn and Co, a privately owned Baltimore department store.

1967: (37 years old)
Berkshire paid out its first and only dividend of 10 cents.

1969: (39 years old)
Following his most successful year, Buffett liquidated the partnership and transferred their assets to his partners. Among the assets paid out were shares of Berkshire Hathaway.

1970: (40 years old)
As chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, began writing his now-famous annual letters to shareholders.

1973: (43 years old)
Berkshire began to acquire stock in the Washington Post Company. Buffett became close friends with Katharine Graham, who controlled the company and its flagship newspaper, and became a member of its board of directors.

1974: (44 years old)
The SEC opened a formal investigation into Warren Buffett and one of Berkshire’s mergers due to possible conflict of interest. Nothing ever came of it.

1977: (47 years old)
Berkshire indirectly purchased the Buffalo Evening News for $32.5 million. Antitrust charges started.

1979: (49 years old)
Berkshire began to acquire stock in ABC. With the stock trading at $290 per share, Buffett’s net worth neared $140 million. However, he lived solely on his salary of $50,000 per year.
Berkshire began the year trading at $775 per share, and ended at $1,310. Buffett’s net worth reached $620 million, placing him on the Forbes 400 for the first time.

1987: (57 years old)
Berkshire Hathaway purchased 12% stake in Salomon Inc., making it the largest shareholder and Buffett the director.

1988: (58 years old)
Buffett began buying stock in Coca-Cola Company, eventually purchasing up to 7 percent of the company for $1.02 billion. It would turn out to be one of Berkshire’s most lucrative investments, and one which it still holds.

1990: (60 years old)
Scandals involving Maurice R. Greenberg and John Gutfreund (former CEO of Salomon Brothers) surfaced.

1999: (69 years old)
Buffett was named the top money manager of the twentieth century in a survey by the Carson Group, ahead of Peter Lynch and John Templeton.

2002: (72 years old)
Buffett entered in $11 billion worth of forward contracts to deliver U.S. dollars against other currencies. By April 2006, his total gain on these contracts was over $2 billion.

2004: (73 years old)
His wife, Susan, died.

2006: (75 years old)
Buffett announced in June that he gradually would give away 85% of his Berkshire holdings to five foundations in annual gifts of stock, starting in July 2006. The largest contribution would go to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

2007: (76 years old)
In a letter to shareholders, Buffett announced that he was looking for a younger successor, or perhaps successors, to run his investment business.Buffett had previously selected Lou Simpson, who runs investments at Geico, to fill that role. However, Simpson is only six years younger than Buffett.

2008: (77 years old)
Buffett became the richest man in the world, worth $62 billion according to Forbes, and $58 billion according to Yahoo. Bill Gates had been number 1 on the Forbes list for 13 consecutive years.

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