Born in the 1930’s, Warren Buffett is one of the richest men in the world at the ripe old age of 87. With an estimated worth of some $62 billion he is known to be one of the richest entrepreneurs in America… but what makes this Nebraskan quite so wealthy, and how does a man who co-founded the Giving Pledge and has already earmarked more than 90% of his fortune for charity hold on to all that wealth?
Buffett studied Business at the Wharton School in the University of Pennsylvania in 1947 but transferred to the University of Nebraska to be closer to his family. He graduated at 19 and went to business school; where he particularly reveled in the idea of Value Investing (Investopedia). After Business School he studied at the New York Institute of Finance, only to develop numerous business partnerships on his own when he graduated. Primarily his association with Charlie Munger produced the Buffett Partnership which later procured a business known as Berkshire Hathaway – the firm that eventually made him his billions.
From as young as 14 years old Buffett had already bought a 40 acre farm with his own savings. He is a known frugal man who spends little on his day to day living expenses but reinvests in stocks with favorable returns and only small risks. He has had stints in public speaking and his investing techniques are known industry cornerstones. Throughout the years he has had business partnerships with all sorts of high fliers, including Walter Schloss and an interest in the Benjamin Graham partnership.
Buffett’s success is mainly down to his methodology and his firm belief in his established system. He invests in sound firms with well established custom bases and acquires new businesses on a regular basis. He purchased General Re in the 90’s then went on to work with Maurice R. Greenberg in 2002. In the financial crisis of 2008 they purchased 10% of Goldman Sachs and aided the purchase of Rohm & Haas. Later he would also acquire General Electric, the USG Corporation, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp and IBM shares. There is no limit to this man’s ability to keep his fingers in as many pies as he can… and to reap the rewards in the process.
A prolific writer of articles, papers and giver of interviews (CNBC); there is plenty of media coverage (he owns various media corporations) of his knowledge and his acquisitions. What we can say is that this is a man who, having made billions in his own right, has pledged to give away as much as 99% of it to charity. With principles like that we can only hope he has a long life, buys many more businesses and leaves a wealth for those less fortunate. That being said, if one wanted to learn how to ‘win’ at business, Warren Buffet is an exemplary example to follow.