10 Facts About The Oracle of Omaha : Warren Buffett

1. Started making profits as a 6-yr-old

Being one of the richest men in the world now, there’s no doubt that he started making money at a very young age. When he was 6-yrs-old, Buffett bought six packs of Coca-Cola bottles for Rs. 18, making a 5% profit.

Continuing his young entrepreneurial hustle, he and his friend bought a pinball machine and placed it in one of the local barbershops. When they earned some pennies out of this, they purchased three more and placed them in three different barbershops across Omaha. This business got them nearly Rs. 88,000 when they sold it.

2. Young investor

Did you know Buffett bought his very first stock at the age of 11? During his visit to New York City, he was lucky enough to meet one of the members of the New York Stock Exchange. This got him interested in investments.

At the age of 11, he started buying stocks with the money he earned by delivering newspapers. He purchased six shares of Cities Service Preferred, which is now known as CITGO, for Rs. 2,700 per share. By the time he was 16, his earnings were near Rs. 37 lakh! Sweet sixteen, indeed.

3. Rejection from a prestigious university

Immediately after graduating from the University of Nebraska, he attended an interview at Harvard Business School, where the staff taking the interview said that he wouldn’t be joining this university.

Buffett was disappointed but didn’t lose hope. He contacted one of his idols, David Dodd, who taught at Columbia Business School. He wrote them a letter which said “Dear Professor Dodd. I thought you guys were dead, but now that I found out that you’re alive and teaching at Columbia, I would really like to come.” And the rest is history.

4. Oracle of Omaha

The community at Omaha closely monitors and follows Buffett’s investment choices and market statements because of his investment strategy.

Wondering what that strategy is, aren’t you? Well, his investments are of the companies that are trading below their intrinsic value but have the potential to make money. Return of equity and profitability are two fundamental aspects he looks at while investing in a company.

No wonder people call him the Oracle of Omaha.

5. Salad dressing scandal success

In the 1960s, there was a not-so-famous Salad Oil scandal. Allied Crude Vegetable Oil Company passed all the tests that inspectors held to check if the oil tanks were full. However, the management failed to see that the oil floats on water. The tanks were filled with water with only a few feet of oil on the top. The scam finally came to light with over Rs. 1,200 cr. bn. worth of salad oil missing which obviously caused an uproar in the market.

Thinking how is this related to Warren Buffett? The victim of this scandal was American Express. Buffett had accumulated a 5% stake in the company which is why he suggested that Amex would pay the cost of settling the collaterals. Buffett is known for his long-term prospects in stocks. He knew that if they hadn’t settled, it would hurt the long-term reputation of the company.

Isn’t it amazing?

6. Bought Berkshire Hathaway

It all started in 1962. Buffett saw an opportunity to invest in Berkshire Hathaway, a New England textile company, and bought some of the stocks. Even though he agrees that buying Berkshire Hathaway was one of his big regrets, he changed its future.

In the span of 10 years, from 1965-75, the company’s book value rose from Rs. 1,400 per share to around Rs. 7,000. All Buffett said was that the company’s performance depends on how the management team is.

Over many years, Buffett has bought, held, and sold many companies of a variety of industries. Some of the well-known subsidiaries include Dairy Queen NetJets, Benjamin Moore & Co., and many others.

7. Million-dollar lunch

Did you know that people would pay millions of dollars to have lunch with Buffett? Yes, you heard that right. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have a lunching experience with the Oracle of Omaha? Buffett can most definitely teach us a lot. Some people were so eager to sit with him to have lunch that they have bid up to millions!

But we have a winner here, Justin Sun, Founder of TRON Foundation placed a record-breaking Rs. 33 cr. bid for this lunch. Buffett donates the money raised for these lunches to charity.

8. ‘Bridge’-ing the gap with Bill Gates

We all know how important it is to set aside some time for mental health relaxation. Buffett practices the same too. And guess with whom? Bill Gates!

Here’s a small little fact. Did you know Bill Gates didn’t even want to meet Buffett? He only agreed upon his mother’s request to meet Buffett for not more than 2 hours. And now they’ve been friends for over 25 yrs!

Buffett and Gates play a card game called bridge together for 12 hrs a week. Where can we find a balance like this in today’s time?

9. The charity man

As John D. Rockefeller Jr. has quoted – “Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege”. The co-founders of the Giving Pledge, Buffett has donated more than Rs. 2.7 lakh cr. to charities.

His main beneficiaries are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, and the charities that his three children run. He has also pledged to donate 85% of his Berkshire Hathaway stock to foundations. Of course, this also includes The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. What a man!

10. Received an award from Barack Obama

Warren Buffett has time and again proved that integrity is not only a desirable quality but good for business too. In 2011, Buffett was awarded the most prestigious civilian award, the “Presidential Medal of Freedom”, by former president Barack Obama. He received this award for his donations.