It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
Warren Buffett is an American investor, industrialist and quite plainly one of the greatest philanthropists the world has ever known. Renowned for being a legendary investor and sometimes referred to as the “Oracle of Omaha” he is especially well-known for his highly respected financial analysis skills and personal frugality despite tremendous personal wealth.
The Early Days
He was born in 1930 (yes, he’s that old!) in Omaha, Nebraska where he has remained based ever since. He was the 2nd of 3 children and had a regular education at Rose Hill High, showing an early inclination towards making and saving money; he filed his first tax returns at the age of 14 for a paper route he used to run! He even displayed interest in the financial markets and investing at a young age and bought his first shares at the age of 11! By the time he had finished college he had already saved $90,000 by making some shrewd investments.
Forbes named him the wealthiest person in the world in 2008 and as of 2011 he is the world’s third richest person. His current worth is estimated at about $47 billion, every penny of which is self-made. Not that he spends too much of it on himself, given that he gives 99% of it away to charitable causes, mostly through the Gates Foundation. He made his money by deploying his wizard-like abilities to pick winning stocks and buy companies that would later accrue tremendous increases in value.
A decent writer himself, Buffett is known to be a sometimes brutally honest public speaker. Here're our favourites among his many, many famous quotes:
-“A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.”
-“Beware of geeks bearing formulas.”
-“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.“
-“Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction.”
-“I always knew I was going to be rich. I don't think I ever doubted it for a minute.”
-“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.”
This man remains something of a mystery to all who encounter him. His lifestyle leads to much speculation as no one can understand how his tremendous wealth does not seem to affect him in the slightest. Here are some facts about this bespectacled billionaire that aren't that well known:
-He drives his own car everywhere and has never employed a driver or security guard
-He absolutely never travels by private jet even though he owns the world’s largest private jet company
-He still resides in the same small 3-bedroom house in mid-town Omaha where he has lived since 1950, and claims it holds everything he could possibly need
-His company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns 63 other businesses; yet, he never interferes with their functioning. Rather, he prefers to send an annual letter to each CEO discussing goals for the year ahead
-Bill Gates is a well-known admirer after a meeting several years ago which lasted for 10 hours!
-He doesn’t carry a cell phone, nor does he have a computer on his desk!
-He doesn’t believe in dynastic wealth so when he dies 99% of his wealth will be given to charitable causes.
In an age filled with blatant displays of wealth and unabashed self-promotion, Buffet really is a breath of fresh air. He lives life on his own terms--and he's clearly made that work incredibly well!
-Pictures courtesy Reuters-
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