Warren Buffett, USA
Warren Edward Buffett, born on August 30, 1930, has left an indelible mark on the world of finance. This American business magnate, financial specialist, philanthropist, and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is revered as one of the greatest investors in history. With a staggering net worth of US$86 billion as of December 2019, he ranked as the fourth-wealthiest individual globally.
Buffett’s journey began in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was born. Even during his formative years, he displayed a keen interest in business and investments. This passion led him to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1947. However, he decided to change course and graduated from the University of Nebraska at the tender age of 19. His pursuit of knowledge took him further, as he completed his education at Columbia Business School. It was here that he began to formulate his investment philosophy, deeply influenced by the ideas of Benjamin Graham, a pioneer in value investing. Buffett also expanded his economic knowledge by attending the New York Institute of Finance.
Armed with his education and burgeoning expertise, Buffett embarked on a journey that would reshape the financial world. He entered into various business partnerships, one of the most notable being with Benjamin Graham. In 1956, he established Buffett Partnership, Ltd. His firm later acquired a textile manufacturing company known as Berkshire Hathaway, eventually adopting its name to create a diversified holding company. The addition of Charlie Munger as vice-chairman in 1978 marked another pivotal moment in the company’s history.
Buffett has been at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway since 1970, not only as its CEO but also as its largest shareholder. Often referred to as the “Oracle” or “Sage” of Omaha by global media outlets, his investment strategy is anchored in value investing and personal frugality, despite his vast wealth. Researchers at the University of Oxford have classified his approach as “founder anti-extremism,” characterized by an unwavering commitment to visionary leadership, ethical treatment of shareholders, and a relentless focus on creating exponential value. In essence, Buffett’s concentrated investments shield managers from the short-term pressures of the market.
Beyond his investment prowess, Buffett is renowned for his philanthropic endeavors. He pledged to donate 99 percent of his wealth to charitable causes, primarily through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2009, he collaborated with Bill Gates to launch The Giving Pledge, a commitment by billionaires to give away at least half of their fortunes. In the realm of politics, Buffett supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. His future political choices, including whether to vote for then-President Donald Trump in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, were contingent on the national health, economic growth, and financial investment outcomes.
Warren Buffett’s life and career are a testament to the power of astute investing, unwavering principles, and a commitment to the greater good. As one of the most successful investors in history and a dedicated philanthropist, he continues to leave an indelible mark on the worlds of finance and philanthropy.
Warren Buffett’s net worth as of December 2019 was US$86 billion.
Value investing involves purchasing stocks that are undervalued according to various metrics. Buffett’s strategy is deeply rooted in this approach, seeking to invest in companies with intrinsic value that may be overlooked by other investors.
Warren Buffett’s investment philosophy and success have influenced countless investors and fund managers worldwide. His emphasis on long-term value and prudent decision-making has become a cornerstone of modern investment practices.
Some key principles include a focus on intrinsic value, a long-term perspective, a margin of safety, and a commitment to ethical and shareholder-friendly management.
The Giving Pledge is a commitment by billionaires to donate a significant portion of their wealth to philanthropic causes. Warren Buffett, along with Bill and Melinda Gates, initiated this effort to encourage fellow billionaires to give back to society.