Warren Buffett – A Source of Inspiration

Warren Buffett, age 75, is the 2nd richest man in the world. In June 2006, he shook the world by pledging 85% of his Berkshire stock (valued at over $37billion USD) to charitable foundations. Here are a few tidbits from his life. I hope they inspire you as much as they inspire me!

  • He bought his first stock at age 11, three shares of Cities Service Preferred for the price of $38 a share. He sold them when the price went up to $40 a share. Within the next few years the price rose to $200 a share, teaching Buffett one of his first lessons in investing - patience.

  • He filed his first income tax return at age 13, deducting his bicycle as a work expense.

  • His first real estate purchase was at age 14. He used $1200 saved from his two paper routes to buy 40 acres of Nebraska farmland, which he leased to tenant farmers.

  • Even after becoming a billionaire, he maintains a very frugal life style. He continues to live in the same house that he bought in 1958 for $31,500.

  • His only indulgence is a corporate jet he bought in 1989. He calls it "The Indefensible" because of his past criticisms of such purchases by other CEOs.

  • His salary in 2005 as CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway: $100,000 USD. Average CEO salary for 2004 according to this MSN money article: $10.7 million USD.

  • His net worth: $46billion USD. Amount pledged to charity: $37billion USD – over 80% of his net worth.

  • One of his famous quotes: "[The perfect amount of money to leave children is] enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing."

  • Berkshire Hathaway averaged a phenomenal 25%+ annual return to its shareholders for the last 25 years while employing large amounts of capital and minimal debt.

  • Berkshire's Class A shares sell for over $100,000 apiece! They have never had a stock split. Class B stock, have a value of 1/30th of that of the class A shares.

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