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Warren Edward Buffett ( ; born August 30, 1930) is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is currently the chairman and CEO of
Berkshire Hathaway Berkshire Hathaway () is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational ...

Berkshire Hathaway
. He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world and has a
net worth Net worth is the value of all the non-financial and financial asset In financial accountancy, financial accounting, an asset is any resource owned or controlled by a business or an economic entity. It is anything (tangible or intangible) that c ...
of over $102.1 billion as of December 2021, making him the world's tenth-wealthiest person. Buffett was born in
Omaha, Nebraska Omaha ( ) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Nebraska and the county seat of Douglas County, Nebraska, Douglas County. Omaha is in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about north of the mouth of the Platte River (also kno ...
. He developed an interest in business and investing in his youth, eventually entering the
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania ( ; also known as Wharton Business School, the Wharton School, and Wharton) is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, a Private university, private Ivy League research university ...
in 1947 before transferring to and graduating from the
University of Nebraska A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in various Discipline (academia), academic d ...
at 19. He went on to graduate from
Columbia Business School Columbia Business School (CBS) is the business school of Columbia University in the City of New York in Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as the City and the urban core of the New York metropolitan area, is the most densely populat ...
, where he molded his investment philosophy around the concept of value investing pioneered by
Benjamin Graham Benjamin Graham (; né Grossbaum; May 9, 1894 – September 21, 1976) was a British-born American economist An economist is a professional and practitioner in the social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of sci ...
. He attended
New York Institute of Finance The New York Institute of Finance (NYIF) is an American Education Company that was founded by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 1922. The institute provides continuing education to professionals in the Finance industry, finance Industry and ...
to focus his economics background and soon after began various business partnerships, including one with Graham. He created Buffett Partnership, Ltd in 1956 and his firm eventually acquired a textile manufacturing firm called
Berkshire Hathaway Berkshire Hathaway () is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational ...

Berkshire Hathaway
, assuming its name to create a diversified holding company. In 1978,
Charlie Munger Charles Thomas Munger (born January 1, 1924) is an American billionaire investor, businessman, former real estate attorney, architectural designer, and philanthropist. He is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Berkshire Hathaway () is an Ame ...

Charlie Munger
joined Buffett as vice-chairman. Buffett has been the chairman and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway since 1970. He has been referred to as the "Oracle" or "Sage" of
Omaha Omaha ( ) is the largest city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in Nort ...
by global media. He is noted for his adherence to value investing, and his personal frugality despite his immense wealth. Research published at the
University of Oxford , mottoeng = The Lord is my light , established = , endowment = £6.1 billion (including colleges) (2019) , budget = £2.145 billion (2019–20) , chancellor = The Lord Patten of Barnes Christopher Francis Patten, Baron ...
characterizes Buffett's investment methodology as falling within "founder centrism", defined by a deference to managers with a founder's mindset, an ethical disposition towards the shareholder collective, and an intense focus on exponential value creation. Essentially, Buffett's concentrated investments shelter managers from the short-term pressures of the market. ("From the perspective of founder centrism, 3G Capital's private equity control position in publicly traded companies is conceptually akin to Berkshire Hathaway's management-friendly disposition. Both acquire concentrated positions with a focus on long-term business fundamentals, a disinclination towards discriminatory costs, and an ethical disposition towards fellow shareholders".) Buffett is a notable philanthropist, having pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes, primarily via the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), a merging of the William H. Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation, is an American private foundation founded by Bill Gates, Bill and Melinda Gates. Based in Seattle, Washington, it was lau ...
. He founded
The Giving Pledge The Giving Pledge is a campaign to encourage extremely wealthy people to contribute a majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. , the pledge has 211 signatories from 23 countries. Most of the signatories of the pledge are billionaire ...
in 2009 with
Bill Gates William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate A business magnate is someone who has achieved great success and enormous wealth through the ownership of multiple lines of enterprise. The term characterist ...
, whereby billionaires pledge to give away at least half of their fortunes. Buffett was elected to the
American Philosophical Society The American Philosophical Society (APS), founded in 1743 in Philadelphia Philadelphia, colloquially Philly, is a city in the state of Pennsylvania in the United States. It is the sixth-most populous city in the United States and the mos ...
in 2009.


Early life and education

Buffett was born in 1930 in
Omaha, Nebraska Omaha ( ) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Nebraska and the county seat of Douglas County, Nebraska, Douglas County. Omaha is in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about north of the mouth of the Platte River (also kno ...
, the second of three children and the only son of Leila (née Stahl) and Congressman . He began his education at Rose Hill Elementary School. In 1942, his father was elected to the first of four terms in the
United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with ...

United States Congress
, and after moving with his family to Washington, D.C., Warren finished elementary school, attended Alice Deal Junior High School and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1947, where his senior yearbook picture reads: "likes math; a future stockbroker." After finishing high school and finding success with his side entrepreneurial and investment ventures, Buffett wanted to skip college to go directly into business but was overruled by his father. Buffett displayed an interest in business and investing at a young age. He was inspired by a book he borrowed from the Omaha public library at age seven, '' One Thousand Ways to Make $1000''. Much of Buffett's early childhood years were enlivened with entrepreneurial ventures. In one of his first business ventures, Buffett sold chewing gum,
Coca-Cola Coca-Cola, or Coke, is a carbonated Carbonation is the chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Classically, chemical A chemical subs ...

Coca-Cola
bottles, and weekly magazines door to door. He worked in his grandfather's grocery store. While still in high school, he made money delivering newspapers, selling golf balls and stamps, and detailing cars, among other means. On his first income
tax return A tax return is the completion of documentation that calculates an entity’s or individual's income earned with the amount of tax payable to the government, government organizations or to potential taxpayers. Specific tax forms are intended to ...
in 1944, Buffett took a $35 deduction for the use of his bicycle and watch on his paper route. In 1945, as a high school sophomore, Buffett and a friend spent $25 to purchase a used
pinball Pinball is an arcade entertainment machine in which a ball careens around the machine's interior, hitting various lights, bumpers, ramps, and other targets depending on its design. The game's object is to score as many points as possible by hit ...
machine, which they placed in the local
barber shop Barbershop may refer to: * A place where barbers work * Barbershop music, an ''a cappella'' musical style ** Barbershop quartet, a quartet of singers ''Barbershop'' franchise * Barbershop (franchise), an American comedy film franchise ** Barbersho ...

barber shop
. Within months, they owned several machines in three different barber shops across Omaha. They sold the business later in the year for $1,200 to a war veteran. Buffett's interest in the stock market and investing dated to schoolboy days he spent in the customers' lounge of a regional stock brokerage near his father's own brokerage office. On a trip to New York City at age ten, he made a point to visit the
New York Stock Exchange The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE, nicknamed "The Big Board") is an American stock exchange in the Financial District, Manhattan, Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. It is by far the List of stock exchanges, world's largest st ...

New York Stock Exchange
. At 11, he bought three shares of
Cities Service Citgo Petroleum Corporation (or Citgo, stylized as CITGO) is a United States-based refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. Headquartered in the Houston Energy Corridor, E ...
Preferred for himself, and three for his sister
Doris Buffett Doris Eleanor Buffett (February 12, 1928 – August 4, 2020) was an American philanthropist also known as the 'retail' philanthropist and the founder of ''The Sunshine Lady Foundation'', ''The Learning By Giving Foundation'', and ''The Letters ...
(who also became a philanthropist). At 15, Warren made more than $175 monthly delivering ''Washington Post'' newspapers. In high school, he invested in a business owned by his father and bought a 40-acre farm worked by a tenant farmer. He bought the land when he was 14 years old with $1,200 of his savings. By the time he finished college, Buffett had accumulated $9,800 in savings (about $ today). In 1947, Buffett entered the
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania ( ; also known as Wharton Business School, the Wharton School, and Wharton) is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, a Private university, private Ivy League research university ...
. He would have preferred to focus on his business ventures, but his father pressured him to enroll. Warren studied there for two years and joined the
Alpha Sigma Phi:''For the fraternity in the Philippines, see Alpha Sigma Phi Philippines, Inc.'' Alpha Sigma Phi (ΑΣΦ), commonly known as Alpha Sig, is a collegiate men's social fraternity with 179 active chapters. Founded at Yale in 1845, it is the 10th old ...
fraternity. He then transferred to the
University of Nebraska A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in various Discipline (academia), academic d ...
where at 19, he graduated with a
Bachelor of Science A Bachelor of Science (BS, BSc, SB, or ScB; from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as L ...
in
Business Administration Business administration (also known as business management) is the administration of a commercial enterprise. It includes all aspects of overseeing and supervising business operations. From the point of view of management Management (or man ...
. After being rejected by
Harvard Business School Harvard Business School (HBS) is the graduate Graduate refers to someone who has been the subject of a graduation, namely, someone who has completed the requirements of an academic degree. Education * Graduate, an alumnus * Graduate diploma, ...
, Buffett enrolled at
Columbia Business School Columbia Business School (CBS) is the business school of Columbia University in the City of New York in Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as the City and the urban core of the New York metropolitan area, is the most densely populat ...
of
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a in . Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of in , Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in and ...

Columbia University
upon learning that
Benjamin Graham Benjamin Graham (; né Grossbaum; May 9, 1894 – September 21, 1976) was a British-born American economist An economist is a professional and practitioner in the social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of sci ...
taught there. He earned a
Master of Science A Master of Science ( la, Magisterii Scientiae; abbreviated MS, M.S., MSc, M.Sc., SM, S.M., ScM or Sc.M.) is a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completio ...
in
Economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was fo ...

Economics
from Columbia in 1951. After graduating, Buffett attended the
New York Institute of Finance The New York Institute of Finance (NYIF) is an American Education Company that was founded by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 1922. The institute provides continuing education to professionals in the Finance industry, finance Industry and ...
.


Investment career


Early business career

Buffett worked from 1951 to 1954 at Buffett-Falk & Co. as an investment salesman; from 1954 to 1956 at Graham-Newman Corp. as a securities analyst; from 1956 to 1969 at Buffett Partnership, Ltd. as a general partner; and from 1970 as
Chairman The chairperson (also chair, chairman, or chairwoman) is the presiding officer of an organized group such as a board, committee, or deliberative assembly. The person holding the office, who is typically elected or appointed by members of the gro ...
and CEO of
Berkshire Hathaway Inc Berkshire Hathaway () is an American Multinational corporation, multinational conglomerate (company), conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. The company wholly owns GEICO, Duracell, Dairy Queen, Burlington ...

Berkshire Hathaway Inc
. In 1951, Buffett discovered that
Graham Graham and Graeme may refer to: People * Graham (given name), an English language given name * Graham (surname), an English language surname * Graeme (surname), an English language surname * Graham (musician) (born 1979), Burmese singer * For ...
was on the board of
GEICO The Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO ) is a private American auto insurance company with headquarters in Chevy Chase, Maryland Chevy Chase is the name of both a town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally ...

GEICO
insurance. Taking a train to Washington, D.C. on a Saturday, he knocked on the door of GEICO's headquarters until a janitor admitted him. There he met Lorimer Davidson, GEICO's vice president, and the two discussed the insurance business for hours. Davidson would eventually become Buffett's lifelong friend and a lasting influence, and would later recall that he found Buffett to be an "extraordinary man" after only fifteen minutes. Buffett wanted to work on
Wall Street Wall Street is an eight-block-long street in the Financial District, Manhattan, Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. It runs between Broadway (Manhattan), Broadway in the west to South Street (Manhattan), South Street and t ...

Wall Street
but both his father and Ben Graham urged him not to. He offered to work for Graham for free, but Graham refused. Buffett returned to Omaha and worked as a stockbroker while taking a
Dale Carnegie Dale Carnegie (; spelled Carnagey until c. 1922; November 24, 1888 – November 1, 1955) was an American writer and lecturer, and the developer of courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal ...
public speaking course. Using what he learned, he felt confident enough to teach an "Investment Principles" night class at the
University of Nebraska-Omaha The University of Nebraska Omaha (Omaha or UNO) is a public university, public research university in Omaha, Nebraska. Founded in 1908 by faculty from the Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Omaha, Nebraska), Omaha Presbyterian Theological Seminary ...
. The average age of his students was more than twice his own. During this time he also purchased a Sinclair gas station as a side investment but it was unsuccessful. In 1952, Buffett married Susan Thompson at Dundee
Presbyterian Church Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of ...
. The next year they had their first child, Susan Alice. In 1954, Buffett accepted a job at
Benjamin Graham Benjamin Graham (; né Grossbaum; May 9, 1894 – September 21, 1976) was a British-born American economist An economist is a professional and practitioner in the social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of sci ...
's partnership. His starting salary was $12,000 a year (about $ today). There he worked closely with
Walter Schloss Walter Jerome Schloss (August 28, 1916 – February 19, 2012) was an American investor, fund manager, and philanthropist Philanthropy consists of "private initiatives, for the Public good (economics), public good, focusing on quality of li ...
. Graham was a tough boss. He was adamant that stocks provide a wide margin of safety after weighing the trade-off between their price and their intrinsic value. That same year the Buffetts had their second child, . In 1956, Benjamin Graham retired and closed his partnership. At this time Buffett's personal savings were over $174,000 (about $ million today) and he started Buffett Partnership Ltd. In 1957, Buffett operated three partnerships. He purchased a five-bedroom stucco house in
Omaha Omaha ( ) is the largest city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in Nort ...
, where he still lives, for $31,500. In 1958 the Buffetts' third child, Peter Andrew, was born. Buffett operated five partnerships that year. In 1959, the company grew to six partnerships and Buffett met future partner
Charlie Munger Charles Thomas Munger (born January 1, 1924) is an American billionaire investor, businessman, former real estate attorney, architectural designer, and philanthropist. He is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Berkshire Hathaway () is an Ame ...

Charlie Munger
. By 1960, Buffett operated seven partnerships. He asked one of his partners, a doctor, to find ten other doctors willing to invest $10,000 each in his partnership. Eventually, eleven agreed, and Buffett pooled their money with a mere $100 original investment of his own. In 1961, Buffett revealed that 35% of the partnership's assets were invested in the Sanborn Map Company. He explained that Sanborn stock sold for only $45 per share in 1958, but the company's investment portfolio was worth $65 per share. This meant that Sanborn's map business was being valued at "minus $20." Buffett eventually purchased 23% of the company's outstanding shares as an
activist investor An activist shareholder is a shareholder that uses an Equity (finance), equity stake in a corporation to put pressure on its management. A fairly small stake (less than 10% of outstanding shares) may be enough to launch a successful campaign. In com ...
, obtaining a seat for himself on the Board of Directors, and allied with other dissatisfied shareholders to control 44% of the shares. To avoid a
proxy fight A proxy fight, proxy contest or proxy battle (sometimes even called a proxy war) is an unfriendly contest for the control over an organization. The event usually occurs when a corporation's stockholders develop opposition to some aspect of the corp ...
, the Board offered to repurchase shares at fair value, paying with a portion of its investment portfolio. 77% of the outstanding shares were turned in. Buffett had obtained a 50% return on investment in just two years.


Assuming Berkshire

In 1962, Buffett became a millionaire because of his partnerships, which in January 1962 had an excess of $7,178,500, of which over $1,025,000 belonged to Buffett. He merged these partnerships into one. Buffett invested in and eventually took control of a textile manufacturing firm,
Berkshire Hathaway Berkshire Hathaway () is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational ...

Berkshire Hathaway
. He began buying shares in Berkshire from Seabury Stanton, the owner, whom he later fired. Buffett's partnerships began purchasing shares at $7.60 per share. In 1965, when Buffett's partnerships began purchasing Berkshire aggressively, they paid $14.86 per share while the company had
working capital Working capital (abbreviated WC) is a financial metric which represents Accounting liquidity, operating liquidity available to a business, organization, or other entity, including governmental entities. Along with fixed assets such as plant and equ ...
of $19 per share. This did not include the value of fixed assets (factory and equipment). Buffett took control of Berkshire Hathaway at a board meeting and named a new president, Ken Chace, to run the company. In 1966, Buffett closed the partnership to new money. He later claimed that the textile business had been his worst trade. He then moved the business into the insurance sector, and, in 1985, the last of the mills that had been the core business of Berkshire Hathaway was sold. In a second letter, Buffett announced his first investment in a private business — Hochschild, Kohn and Co, a privately owned Baltimore department store. In 1967, Berkshire paid out its first and only dividend of 10 cents. In 1969, Buffett liquidated the partnership and transferred their assets to his partners including shares of Berkshire Hathaway. In 1970, Buffett began writing his now-famous annual letters to shareholders. He lived solely on his salary of $50,000 per year and his outside investment income. In 1973, Berkshire began to acquire stock in the
Washington Post Company Graham Holdings Company (formerly The Washington Post Company) is a diversified American conglomerate holding company. Headquartered in Arlington County, Virginia Arlington County is a County (United States), county in the Commonwealth of ...
. Buffett became close friends with
Katharine Graham Katharine Meyer Graham (June 16, 1917 – July 17, 2001) was an American publisher. She led her family's newspaper, ''The Washington Post ''The Washington Post'' (also known as the ''Post'' and, informally, ''WaPo'') is an American daily new ...
, who controlled the company and its flagship newspaper and joined its board. In 1974, the SEC opened a formal investigation into Buffett and Berkshire's acquisition of Wesco Financial, due to possible conflict of interest. No charges were brought. In 1977, Berkshire indirectly purchased the ''
Buffalo Evening News ''The Buffalo News'' is the daily newspaper of the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area, located at 1 News Plaza in downtown Buffalo, New York. The paper was for decades the only paper fully owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. On Jan ...
'' for $32.5 million. Antitrust charges started, instigated by its rival, the ''
Buffalo Courier-Express The ''Buffalo Courier-Express'' was a morning newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background. ...
''. Both papers lost money until the ''Courier-Express'' folded in 1982. In 1979, Berkshire began to acquire stock in
ABC ABC are the first three letters of the Latin script known as the alphabet. ABC or abc may also refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Broadcasting * American Broadcasting Company, a commercial U.S. TV broadcaster ** Disney–ABC Television ...
.
Capital Cities A capital or capital city is the municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws ...
announced a $3.5 billion purchase of ABC on March 18, 1985, surprising the media industry, as ABC was four times bigger than Capital Cities at the time. Buffett helped finance the deal in return for a 25% stake in the combined company. The newly merged company, known as Capital Cities/ABC (or CapCities/ABC), was forced to sell some stations due to U.S. Federal Communications Commission ownership rules. The two companies also owned several radio stations in the same markets. In 1987, Berkshire Hathaway purchased a 12% stake in Salomon Inc., making it the largest shareholder and Buffett a director. In 1990, a scandal involving John Gutfreund (former CEO of
Salomon Brothers Salomon Brothers, Inc., was an American multinational bulge bracket investment bank To invest is to allocate money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III a ...
) surfaced. A
rogue traderA rogue trader is person who makes financial trades in an unauthorised manner. Rogue trader may also refer to: *Rogue Trader (book), ''Rogue Trader'' (book), the autobiography of (and later a movie about) Nick Leeson, the man who caused the collapse ...
, Paul Mozer, was submitting bids in excess of what was allowed by Treasury rules. When this was brought to Gutfreund's attention, he did not immediately suspend the rogue trader. Gutfreund left the company in August 1991. Buffett became Chairman of Salomon until the crisis passed. In 1988, Buffett began buying
The Coca-Cola Company The Coca-Cola Company is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational ...
stock, eventually purchasing up to 7% of the company for $1.02 billion. It would turn out to be one of Berkshire's most lucrative investments and one which it still holds.


As a billionaire

Buffett became a billionaire when Berkshire Hathaway began selling class A shares on May 29, 1990, with the market closing at $7,175 a share. In 1998 he acquired General Re (Gen Re) as a subsidiary in a deal that presented difficulties—according to the ''Rational Walk'' investment website, "underwriting standards proved to be inadequate," while a "problematic derivatives book" was resolved after numerous years and a significant loss. Gen Re later provided
reinsurance Reinsurance is insurance Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management, primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss. An entity which provides insurance is known as a ...
after Buffett became involved with Maurice R. Greenberg at
AIG American International Group, Inc., also known as AIG, is an American multinational finance and insurance corporation with operations in more than 80 countries and jurisdictions. , AIG companies employed 49,600 people. During a 2005 investigation of an accounting fraud case involving AIG, Gen Re executives became implicated. On March 15, 2005, the AIG board forced Greenberg to resign from his post as chairman and CEO after New York state regulators claimed that AIG had engaged in questionable transactions and improper accounting. On February 9, 2006, AIG agreed to pay a $1.6 billion fine. In 2010, the U.S. government agreed to a $92 million settlement with Gen Re, allowing the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary to avoid prosecution in the AIG case. Gen Re also made a commitment to implement "corporate governance concessions," which required Berkshire Hathaway's Chief Financial Officer to attend General Re's audit committee meetings and mandated the appointment of an independent director. In 2002, Buffett entered in $11 billion worth of
forward contract In finance, a forward contract or simply a forward is a non-standardized contract between two parties to buy or sell an asset at a specified future time at a price agreed on at the time of conclusion of the contract, making it a type of derivati ...
s to deliver U.S. dollars against other currencies. By April 2006, his total gain on these contracts was over $2 billion. In 2006, Buffett announced in June that he gradually would give away 85% of his Berkshire holdings to five foundations in annual gifts of stock, starting in July 2006—the largest contribution would go to the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), a merging of the William H. Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation, is an American private foundation A private foundation is a charitable organization A charitable organization or cha ...
. In 2007, in a letter to shareholders, Buffett announced that he was looking for a younger successor, or perhaps successors, to run his investment business.


2007–08 financial crisis

Buffett ran into criticism during the
subprime mortgage crisis The United States subprime mortgage crisis was a multinational financial crisis that occurred between 2007 and 2010 that contributed to the 2007–2008 global financial crisis. It was triggered by a large decline in home prices after the collaps ...
of 2007 and 2008, part of the
Great Recession The Great Recession was a period of marked general decline (recession) observed in national economies globally that occurred between 2007 and 2009. The scale and timing of the recession varied from country to country (see map). At the time, the ...
starting in 2007, that he had allocated capital too early resulting in suboptimal deals. "Buy American. I am." he wrote for an opinion piece published in the New York Times in 2008. Buffett called the downturn in the financial sector that started in 2007 "
poetic justice Poetic justice is a literary device Literature broadly is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities invo ...
". Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway suffered a 77% drop in earnings during Q3 2008 and several of his later deals suffered large
mark-to-market Mark-to-market (MTM or M2M) or fair value accounting refers to accounting for the "fair value" of an asset or liability based on the current market price, or the price for similar assets and liabilities, or based on another objectively assessed " ...
losses. Berkshire Hathaway acquired 10% perpetual preferred stock of
Goldman Sachs The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. () is an American multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in New York City. It offers services in investment management, securities, asset management, prime brokerage Prime ...

Goldman Sachs
. Some of Buffett's put options (European exercise at expiry only) that he wrote (sold) were running at around $6.73 billion mark-to-market losses as of late 2008. The scale of the potential loss prompted the SEC to demand that Berkshire produce, "a more robust disclosure" of factors used to value the contracts. Buffett also helped
Dow Chemical The Dow Chemical Company (TDCC) is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States, and a subsidiary of Dow Inc. The company is among the three largest chemical producers in the world. Dow manu ...
pay for its $18.8 billion takeover of
Rohm & Haas Rohm and Haas Company is a chemical industry, manufacturer of speciality chemicals for end use markets such as building and construction, electronic devices, packaging, household and personal care products. Headquartered in Philadelphia, the compan ...
. He thus became the single largest shareholder in the enlarged group with his Berkshire Hathaway, which provided $3 billion, underlining his instrumental role during the crisis in debt and equity markets. In 2008, Buffett became the richest person in the world, with a total net worth estimated at $62 billion by
Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family The Forbes family is one of the Boston Brahmins—a wealthy extended American family long prominent in Boston, Massachusett ...

Forbes
and at $58 billion by
Yahoo Yahoo (, styled as yahoo''!'') is an American provider. It is headquartered in and operated by the namesake company , which is 90% owned by s managed by and 10% by . It provides a , , and related services, including , , , , and its adve ...

Yahoo
, overtaking
Bill Gates William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate A business magnate is someone who has achieved great success and enormous wealth through the ownership of multiple lines of enterprise. The term characterist ...
, who had been number one on the
Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family The Forbes family is one of the Boston Brahmins—a wealthy extended American family long prominent in Boston, Massachusett ...
list for 13 consecutive years. In 2009, Gates regained the top position on the Forbes list, with Buffett shifted to second place. Both of the men's values dropped, to $40 billion and $37 billion respectively—according to Forbes, Buffett lost $25 billion over a 12-month period during 2008/2009. In October 2008, the media reported that Buffett had agreed to buy
General Electric General Electric Company (GE) is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Mult ...
(GE) preferred stock. The operation included special incentives: He received an option to buy three billion shares of GE stock, at $22.25, over the five years following the agreement, and Buffett also received a 10% dividend (callable within three years). In February 2009, Buffett sold some Procter & Gamble Co. and Johnson & Johnson shares from his personal portfolio. In addition to suggestions of mistiming, the wisdom in keeping some of Berkshire's major holdings, including The Coca-Cola Company, which in 1998 peaked at $86, raised questions. Buffett discussed the difficulties of knowing when to sell in the company's 2004 annual report:
That may seem easy to do when one looks through an always-clean, rear-view mirror. Unfortunately, however, it's the windshield through which investors must peer, and that glass is invariably fogged.
In March 2009, Buffett said in a cable television interview that the economy had "fallen off a cliff ... Not only has the economy slowed down a lot, but people have really changed their habits like I haven't seen". Additionally, Buffett feared that inflation levels that occurred in the 1970s—which led to years of painful
stagflation In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods ...
—might re-emerge.


A capitalized Berkshire

On August 14, 2014, the price of Berkshire Hathaway's shares hit $200,000 a share for the first time, capitalizing the company at $328 billion. While Buffett had given away much of his stock to charities by this time, he still held 321,000 shares worth $64.2 billion. On August 20, 2014, Berkshire Hathaway was fined $896,000 for failing to report December 9, 2013, purchase of shares in
USG Corporation USG Corporation, also known as United States Gypsum Corporation, is an American company which manufactures construction materials, most notably drywall and joint compound. The company is the largest distributor of wallboard in the United States ...
as required. In 2009, Buffett invested $2.6 billion as a part of
Swiss Re Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd,
" Swiss Re. Retrieved on 18 January 2011. "Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd ("Swiss Re") ...
's campaign to raise equity capital. Berkshire Hathaway already owned a 3% stake, with rights to own more than 20%. Also in 2009, Buffett acquired Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. for $34 billion in cash and stock. Alice Schroeder, author of ''Snowball'', said that a key reason for the purchase was to diversify Berkshire Hathaway from the financial industry. Measured by
market capitalization Market capitalization, commonly called market cap, is the market value of a publicly traded company A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company A public limited compan ...
in the
Financial Times Global 500The FT Global 500 is an annual snapshot of the world's largest companies to show how corporate fortunes have changed in the past year, highlighting relative performance of countries and sectors. The companies are ranked by market capitalisation. The ...
, Berkshire Hathaway was the eighteenth largest corporation in the world as of June 2009. In 2009, Buffett divested his failed investment in ConocoPhillips, saying to his Berkshire investors,
I bought a large amount of ConocoPhillips stock when oil and gas prices were near their peak. I in no way anticipated the dramatic fall in energy prices that occurred in the last half of the year. I still believe the odds are good that oil sells far higher in the future than the current $40–$50 price. But so far I have been dead wrong. Even if prices should rise, moreover, the terrible timing of my purchase has cost Berkshire several billion dollars.
The merger with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (
BNSF The BNSF Railway is the largest freight railroad hauled container freight train on the West Coast Main Line, United Kingdom Rail freight transport is the use of rail transport, railroads and train pulling passenger cars in Nevad ...

BNSF
) closed upon BNSF shareholder approval during Q1 of 2010. This deal was valued at approximately $44 billion (with $10 billion of outstanding BNSF debt) and represented an increase of the previously existing stake of 22%. In June 2010, Buffett defended the credit-rating agencies for their role in the US financial crisis, claiming:
Very, very few people could appreciate the
bubble Bubble or Bubbles may refer to: Physical bubbles * Bubble (physics), a globule of one substance in another, usually gas in a liquid ** Soap bubble, commonly referred to as a "bubble" People * Bubbles, a contestant on ''Real Chance of Love ( ...
. That's the nature of bubbles – they're mass delusions.
On March 18, 2011,
Goldman Sachs The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. () is an American multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in New York City. It offers services in investment management, securities, asset management, prime brokerage Prime ...

Goldman Sachs
was given
Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve or simply the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States of America. It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, after a series ...

Federal Reserve
approval to buy back Berkshire's preferred stock in Goldman. Buffett had been reluctant to give up the stock, which averaged $1.4 million in dividends per day, saying:
I'm going to be the
Osama bin Laden Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, ') (March 10, 1957 – May 2, 2011), also transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script Script may refer to: Writing systems * Script, a distinctive writing ...

Osama bin Laden
of capitalism. I'm on my way to an unknown destination in Asia where I'm going to look for a cave. If the U.S. Armed forces can't find Osama bin Laden in 10 years, let Goldman Sachs try to find me.
In November 2011, it was announced that over the course of the previous eight months, Buffett had bought 64 million shares of International Business Machine Corp (IBM) stock, worth around $11 billion. This unanticipated investment raised his stake in the company to around 5.5 percent—the largest stake in IBM alongside that of
State Street Global Advisors State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) is the investment management Investment management is the professional asset management of various securities, including shareholdings, bonds, and other asset In financial accountancy, financial accounting, ...
. Buffett had said on numerous prior occasions that he would not invest in technology because he did not fully understand it, so the move came as a surprise to many investors and observers. During the interview, in which he revealed the investment to the public, Buffett stated that he was impressed by the company's ability to retain corporate clients and said, "I don't know of any large company that really has been as specific on what they intend to do and how they intend to do it as IBM." In May 2012, Buffett's acquisition of Media General, consisting of 63 newspapers in the south-eastern U.S., was announced. The company was the second news print purchase made by Buffett in one year. Interim publisher James W. Hopson announced on July 18, 2013, that the ''
Press of Atlantic City ''The Press of Atlantic City'' is the fourth-largest daily newspaper in New Jersey, United States. Originally based in Pleasantville, New Jersey, Pleasantville, it is the primary newspaper for southeastern New Jersey and the Jersey Shore. The Desi ...
'' would be sold to Buffett's BH Media Group by ABARTA, a private holding company based in
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh ( ) is a city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States and the county seat of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Allegheny County. A population of 302,971 residents lives within the city limit ...

Pittsburgh
, U.S. At the Berkshire shareholders meeting in May 2013, Buffett explained that he did not expect to "move the needle" at Berkshire with newspaper acquisitions, but he anticipates an annual return of 10 percent. The ''Press of Atlantic City'' became Berkshire's 30th daily newspaper, following other purchases such as Virginia, U.S.' ''Roanoke Times'' and ''The Tulsa World'' in Oklahoma, U.S. During a presentation to
Georgetown University Georgetown University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly ...

Georgetown University
students in
Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscaped ...
in late September 2013, Buffett compared the U.S. Federal Reserve to a hedge fund and stated that the bank is generating "$80 billion or $90 billion a year probably" in revenue for the U.S. government. Buffett also advocated further on the issue of wealth equality in society:
We have learned to turn out lots of goods and services, but we haven't learned as well how to have everybody share in the bounty. The obligation of a society as prosperous as ours is to figure out how nobody gets left too far behind.
After the difficulties of the
economic crisis An economy (from Greek οίκος – "household" and νέμoμαι – "manage") is an area of the production, distribution and trade Trade involves the transfer of goods or services from one person or entity to another, often in exc ...
, Buffett managed to bring its company back to its pre-recession standards: in Q2 2014, Berkshire Hathaway made $6.4 billion in net profit, the most it had ever made in a three-month period.


COVID-19 pandemic

In a June 2021 interview with
CNBC CNBC is an American pay television Pay television, also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to subscription The subscription business model is a busin ...
, Buffet said that the economic impact of the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic A pandemic (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a c ...

COVID-19 pandemic
has increased
economic inequality There are wide varieties of economic inequality, most notably measured using the distribution of incomeIn economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (econom ...
and bemoaned that most people are unaware that "hundreds of thousands or millions" of small businesses have been negatively impacted. He also stated that the markets and the economy will likely be unpredictable well into the post-pandemic recovery period, even with the
Biden administration The presidency of Joe Biden began at noon EST (17:00 UTC) on January 20, 2021, when Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of gove ...
and the United States
Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve or simply the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States of America. It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, after a series ...

Federal Reserve
having a plan in place. He said the unpredictability and the effects of COVID-19 are far from over.


Investment philosophy

Warren Buffett's writings include his annual reports and various articles. Buffett is recognized by communicators as a great story-teller, as evidenced by his annual letters to shareholders. He has warned about the pernicious effects of inflation: In his article, "
The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville "The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville" is an article by Warren Buffett Warren Edward Buffett ( ; born August 30, 1930) is an American investor, business tycoon, philanthropist, and the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is consi ...
", Buffett rebutted the academic
efficient-market hypothesis The efficient-market hypothesis (EMH) is a hypothesis in financial economics Financial economics is the branch of economics characterized by a "concentration on monetary activities", in which "money of one type or another is likely to appear o ...
, that beating the
S&P 500 The Standard and Poor's 500, or simply the S&P 500, is a stock market index tracking the performance of 500 large companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States. It is one of the most commonly followed equity indices. As of December ...

S&P 500
was "pure chance", by highlighting the results achieved by a number of students of the Graham and Dodd value investing school of thought. In addition to himself, Buffett named Walter J. Schloss, Tom Knapp, Ed Anderson ( Tweedy, Browne LLC), William J. Ruane (Sequoia Fund),
Charlie Munger Charles Thomas Munger (born January 1, 1924) is an American billionaire investor, businessman, former real estate attorney, architectural designer, and philanthropist. He is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Berkshire Hathaway () is an Ame ...

Charlie Munger
(Buffett's partner at Berkshire), Rick Guerin (Pacific Partners Ltd.), and Stan Perlmeter (Perlmeter Investments). In his November 1999 ''Fortune (magazine), Fortune'' article, he warned of investors' unrealistic expectations:


Index funds vis-à-vis active management

Buffett has been a supporter of index funds for people who are either not interested in managing their own money or don't have the time. Buffett is skeptical that active management can outperform the market in the long run, and has advised both individual and institutional investors to move their money to low-cost index funds that track broad, diversified stock market indices. Buffett said in one of his letters to shareholders that "when trillions of dollars are managed by Wall Streeters charging high fees, it will usually be the managers who reap outsized profits, not the clients." In 2007, Buffett made a bet with numerous managers that a simple
S&P 500 The Standard and Poor's 500, or simply the S&P 500, is a stock market index tracking the performance of 500 large companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States. It is one of the most commonly followed equity indices. As of December ...

S&P 500
index fund will outperform hedge funds that charge exorbitant fees. By 2017, the index fund was outperforming every hedge fund that made the bet against Buffett.


Personal life

In 1949, Buffett was infatuated with a young woman whose boyfriend had a ukulele. In an attempt to compete, he bought one of the instruments and has been playing it ever since. Though the attempt was unsuccessful, his music interest was a key part of his becoming a part of Susan Thompson's life and led to their marriage. Buffett often plays the instrument at stockholder meetings and other opportunities. His love of the instrument led to the commissioning of two custom Dairy Queen ukuleles by Dave Talsma, one of which was auctioned for charity. Buffett married Susan Buffett (born Thompson) in 1952. They had three children, Susan Alice Buffett, Susie, Howard Graham Buffett, Howard and Peter Buffett, Peter. The couple began living separately in 1977, although they remained married until Susan Buffett's death in July 2004. Their daughter, Susie, lives in Omaha, is a national board member of Girls, Inc., and does charitable work through the Susan A. Buffett Foundation. In 2006, on his 76th birthday, Buffett married his longtime companion, Astrid Menks, who was then 60 years old—she had lived with him since his wife's departure to San Francisco in 1977. Susan had arranged for the two to meet before she left Omaha to pursue her singing career. All three were close and Christmas cards to friends were signed "Warren, Susie and Astrid". Susan briefly discussed this relationship in an interview on the ''Charlie Rose (talk show), Charlie Rose Show'' shortly before her death, in a rare glimpse into Buffett's personal life. Buffett disowned his son Peter's adopted daughter, Nicole, in 2006 after she participated in the Jamie Johnson documentary ''The One Percent (film), The One Percent'' about the growing economic inequality between the wealthy and the average citizen in the United States. Although his first wife referred to Nicole as one of her "adored grandchildren", Buffett wrote her a letter stating, "I have not emotionally or legally adopted you as a grandchild, nor have the rest of my family adopted you as a niece or a cousin." His 2006 annual salary was about $100,000, which is small compared to senior Executive compensation, executive remuneration in comparable companies. In 2008, he earned a total compensation of $175,000, which included a base salary of just $100,000. He continued to live in the same house in the central Dundee-Happy Hollow Historic District, Dundee neighborhood of Omaha that he bought in 1958 for $31,500, a fraction of today's value. He also owns a $4 million house in Laguna Beach, California. In 1989, after spending nearly $6.7 million of Berkshire's funds on a private jet, Buffett named it "The Indefensible". This act was a break from his past condemnation of extravagant purchases by other CEOs and his history of using more public transportation. Buffett is an avid Contract bridge, bridge player, which he plays with fellow fan Gates—he allegedly spends 12 hours a week playing the game. In 2006, he sponsored a bridge match for the Buffett Cup. Modeled on the Ryder Cup in golf—held immediately before it in the same city—the teams are chosen by invitation, with a female team and five male teams provided by each country. He is a dedicated, lifelong follower of Nebraska Cornhuskers football, Nebraska football, and attends as many games as his schedule permits. He supported the hire of Bo Pelini, following the 2007 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team, 2007 season, stating, "It was getting kind of desperate around here". He watched the 2009 game against Oklahoma from the Nebraska sideline, after being named an honorary assistant coach. Buffett worked with Christopher Webber on an animated series called "Secret Millionaires Club" with chief Andy Heyward of DiC Entertainment. The series features Buffett and Munger and teaches children healthy financial habits. Buffett was raised as a Presbyterian, but has since described himself as agnostic. In December 2006, it was reported that Buffett did not carry a mobile phone, did not have a computer at his desk, and drove his own automobile, a Cadillac DTS. In contrast to that, at the 2018 Berkshire Hathaway's shareholder meeting, he stated he uses Google as his preferred search engine. In 2013 he had an old Nokia flip phone and had sent one email in his entire life. In February 2020, Buffett revealed in a CNBC interview that he had traded in his flip phone for an iPhone 11. Buffett reads five newspapers every day, beginning with the ''Omaha World Herald'', which his company acquired in 2011. Buffett's speeches are known for mixing business discussions with humor. Each year, Buffett presides over Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting in the Qwest Center in
Omaha Omaha ( ) is the largest city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in Nort ...
, Nebraska, an event drawing over 20,000 visitors from both the United States and abroad, giving it the nickname "Woodstock of Capitalism". Berkshire's annual reports and letters to shareholders, prepared by Buffett, frequently receive coverage by the financial media. Buffett's writings are known for containing quotations from sources as varied as the Bible and Mae West, as well as advice in a folksy, Midwestern style and numerous jokes. In April 2017, Buffett (an avid
Coca-Cola Coca-Cola, or Coke, is a carbonated Carbonation is the chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Classically, chemical A chemical subs ...

Coca-Cola
drinker and shareholder in the company) agreed to have his likeness placed on Cherry Coke products in China. Buffett was not compensated for this advertisement.


Health

On April 11, 2012, Buffett was diagnosed with stage I prostate cancer during a routine test. He announced he would begin two months of daily radiation treatment from mid-July. In a letter to shareholders, Buffett said he felt "great – as if I were in my normal excellent health – and my energy level is 100 percent." On September 15, 2012, Buffett announced that he had completed the full 44-day radiation treatment cycle, saying "it's a great day for me" and "I am so glad to say that's over."


Wealth and philanthropy

In 2008, Buffett was ranked by ''
Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family The Forbes family is one of the Boston Brahmins—a wealthy extended American family long prominent in Boston, Massachusett ...

Forbes
'' as the richest person in the world with an estimated
net worth Net worth is the value of all the non-financial and financial asset In financial accountancy, financial accounting, an asset is any resource owned or controlled by a business or an economic entity. It is anything (tangible or intangible) that c ...
of approximately $62 1000000000 (number), billion. In 2009, after donating billions of dollars to charity, he was ranked as the second richest man in the United States with a net worth of $37 billion with only
Bill Gates William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate A business magnate is someone who has achieved great success and enormous wealth through the ownership of multiple lines of enterprise. The term characterist ...
ranked higher than Buffett. His net worth had risen to $58.5 billion as of September 2013. In 1999, Buffett was named the top money manager of the Twentieth Century in a survey by the Carson Group, ahead of Peter Lynch and John Templeton. In 2007, he was listed among Time 100, ''Time'' 100 Most Influential People in the world. In 2011, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Buffett, along with
Bill Gates William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate A business magnate is someone who has achieved great success and enormous wealth through the ownership of multiple lines of enterprise. The term characterist ...
, was named the most influential global thinker in Foreign Policy's 2010 report. Buffett has written several times of his belief that, in a market economy, the rich earn outsized rewards for their talents. His children will not inherit a significant proportion of his wealth. He once commented, "I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing". Buffett had long stated his intention to give away his fortune to charity, and in June 2006, he announced a new plan to give 83% of it to the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), a merging of the William H. Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation, is an American private foundation founded by Bill Gates, Bill and Melinda Gates. Based in Seattle, Washington, it was lau ...
(BMGF). He pledged about the equivalent of 10 million
Berkshire Hathaway Berkshire Hathaway () is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational ...

Berkshire Hathaway
Class B shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (worth approximately $30.7 billion as of June 23, 2006), making it the largest charitable donation in history, and Buffett one of the leaders of philanthrocapitalism. The foundation will receive 5% of the total each July, beginning in 2006. The pledge is conditional upon three requirements: *Bill or Melinda Gates must be alive and active in BMGF *BMGF must continue to qualify as a charity *Each year BMGF must give away an amount equal to the prior year's Berkshire gift plus the additional 5% of net assets as required of all US foundations Buffett joined the Gates Foundation's board, but did not plan to be actively involved in the foundation's investments. Buffett announced his resignation as a trustee of the Gates Foundation on June 23, 2021. This represented a significant shift from Buffett's previous statements, to the effect that most of his fortune would pass to his Buffett Foundation. The bulk of the estate of his wife, valued at $2.6 billion, went there when she died in 2004. He also pledged $50 million to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, in Washington, where he began serving as an adviser in 2002. In 2006, he auctioned his 2001 Lincoln Town Car on eBay to raise money for Girls, Inc. In 2007, he auctioned a luncheon with himself that raised a final bid of $650,100 for the Glide Foundation. Later auctions raised $2.1 million $1.7 million and $3.5 million. The winners traditionally dine with Buffett at New York's Smith and Wollensky steak house. The restaurant donates at least $10,000 to Glide each year to host the meal. In 2009, Ralph Nader wrote the book ''Only the Super Rich Can Save Us'', a novel about "a movement of billionaires led by Warren Buffett and featuring, among others, Ted Turner, George Soros and Barry Diller, who use their fortunes to clean up America." On C-SPAN BookTV, Nader said Buffett invited him to breakfast after the book came out and was "quite intrigued by the book." He also told Nader of his plan to get "billionaires all over the world to donate 50% of their estate to charity or good works." On December 9, 2010, Buffett, Bill Gates, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg signed a promise they called the "Gates-Buffett Giving Pledge", in which they promise to donate to charity at least half of their wealth, and invite other wealthy people to follow suit. In 2018, after making almost $3.4 billion donations, Buffett was ranked 3rd in the ''
Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family The Forbes family is one of the Boston Brahmins—a wealthy extended American family long prominent in Boston, Massachusett ...

Forbes
''' List of Billionaire 2018. Warren Buffett continues to help fund and support his family's individual foundations which include Susan Buffett's ''Buffett Foundation, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation'', Susan Alice Buffett's ''Sherwood Foundation'', Howard Graham Buffett's ''Howard G. Buffett Foundation'', and Peter Buffett's ''NoVo Foundation''. Warren Buffett was also supportive of his sister
Doris Buffett Doris Eleanor Buffett (February 12, 1928 – August 4, 2020) was an American philanthropist also known as the 'retail' philanthropist and the founder of ''The Sunshine Lady Foundation'', ''The Learning By Giving Foundation'', and ''The Letters ...
's ''Letters Foundation'' and ''Learning By Giving Foundation''.


Political and public policy views

In addition to political contributions over the years, Buffett endorsed and made campaign contributions to Barack Obama's Barack Obama 2008 presidential campaign, presidential campaign. On July 2, 2008, Buffett attended a $28,500 per plate fundraiser for Obama's campaign in Chicago. Buffett intimated that John McCain's views on social justice were so far from his own that McCain would need a "lobotomy" for Buffett to change his endorsement. During the second 2008 United States presidential election debates, 2008 U.S. presidential debate, McCain and Obama, after being asked first by presidential debate mediator Tom Brokaw, both mentioned Buffett as a possible future Secretary of the Treasury. Later, in the third and final presidential debate, Obama mentioned Buffett as a potential economic advisor. Buffett was also a financial advisor to Republican candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger during the 2003 California gubernatorial election. On December 16, 2015, Buffett endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for president.Warren Buffett Endorses Hillary Clinton and Calls for Higher Taxes on Wealthy
December 16, 2015
On August 1, 2016, Buffett challenged Donald Trump to release his tax returns. On October 10, 2016, after a reference to him in 2016 United States presidential election debates, the second presidential debate, Buffett released his own tax return. He said he had paid $1.85 million in federal income taxes in 2015 on an adjusted gross income of $11.6 million, meaning he had an effective federal income tax rate of around 16 percent. Buffett also said he had made more than $2.8 billion worth of donations last year. In response to Trump saying he was unable to release his tax information due to being under audit, Buffett said, "I have been audited by the IRS multiple times and am currently being audited. I have no problem in releasing my tax information while under audit. Neither would Mr. Trump — at least he would have no legal problem." Buffett has said he would judge President Donald Trump by his results on national safety, economic growth and economic participation when deciding if he would vote for him in the 2020 United States presidential election, 2020 presidential election.


Health care

Buffett described the Health care reform in the United States, health care reform under President Barack Obama as insufficient to deal with the costs of health care in the US, though he supports its aim of expanding health insurance coverage. 6 minutes in. Buffett compared health care costs to a tapeworm, saying that they compromise US economic competitiveness by increasing manufacturing costs. Buffett thinks health care costs should head towards 13 to 14% of GDP. Buffett said "If you want the very best, I mean if you want to spend a million dollars to prolong your life 3 months in a coma or something then the US is probably the best", but he also said that other countries spend much less and receive much more in health care value (visits, hospital beds, doctors and nurses per capita). Buffett faults the incentives in the United States medical industry, that payers reimburse doctors for procedures (fee-for-service) leading to unnecessary care (overutilization), instead of paying for results. 9 to 10 minutes in. He cited Atul Gawande's 2009 article in the ''New Yorker'' as a useful consideration of US health care, with its documentation of unwarranted variation in Medicare expenditures between McAllen, Texas and El Paso, Texas. Buffett raised the problem of lobbying by the medical industry, saying that they are very focused on maintaining their income.


Curbing population growth

Buffett has been reported to have concerns about unchecked population growth. In 2009, he met with several other billionaires to discuss healthcare, education and slowing population growth. Called "The Good Club" by an insider, the billionaires had given away $45 billion to Philanthropy, philanthropic causes and included well known names such as Oprah Winfrey, Michael Bloomberg and David Rockefeller, Jr.. The meeting has drawn criticism from some right-wing alarmists, with some fringe elements believing the group to be a part of a secret Population control, sterilization society. Buffett is a long time supporter of family planning. The Buffett Foundation has given over $1.5 billion to abortion research to include $427 million to Planned Parenthood.


Taxes

Buffett stated that he only paid 19 percent of his income for 2006 ($48.1 million) in total federal taxes (due to their source as dividends and capital gains), while his employees paid 33 percent of theirs, despite making much less money. "How can this be fair?" Buffett asked, regarding how little he pays in taxes compared to his employees. "How can this be right?" He also added, "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning." After Donald Trump accused him of taking "massive deductions," Buffett countered, "I have copies of all 72 of my returns and none uses a Tax Attractiveness Index#Loss carryforward, carryforward." Buffett favors the inheritance tax, saying that repealing it would be like "choosing the 2020 Olympic team by picking the eldest sons of the gold-medal winners in the 2000 Olympics". In 2007, Buffett testified before the Senate and urged them to preserve the Estate tax in the United States, estate tax so as to avoid a plutocracy. Some critics argued that Buffett (through Berkshire Hathaway) has a personal interest in the continuation of the estate tax, since Berkshire Hathaway benefited from the estate tax in past business dealings and had developed and marketed insurance policies to protect policy holders against future estate tax payments. Buffett believes government should not be in the business of gambling, or legalizing casinos, calling it a tax on ignorance.


Dollar and gold

The trade deficit induced Buffett to enter the foreign currency market for the first time in 2002. He substantially reduced his stake in 2005 as changing interest rates increased the costs of holding currency contracts. Buffett remained Bear market, bearish on the dollar, stating that he was looking to acquire companies with substantial foreign revenues. Buffett has been critical of gold as an investment, with his critique being based primarily on its non-productive nature. In a 1998 address at Harvard, Buffett said:
It gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head.
In 1977, about stocks, gold, farmland and inflation, he stated:
Stocks are probably still the best of all the poor alternatives in an era of inflation – at least they are if you buy in at appropriate prices.


China

Buffett invested in PetroChina Company Limited and in a rare move, posted a commentary on Berkshire Hathaway's website stating why he would not divest over its connection with the Second Sudanese Civil War, Sudanese civil war that caused Harvard to divest. He sold this stake soon afterwards, sparing him the billions of dollars he would have lost had he held on to the company in the midst of the steep drop in oil prices beginning in the summer of 2008. In October 2008, Buffett invested $230 million for 10% of battery maker BYD Company (), which runs a subsidiary of electric automobile manufacturer BYD Auto. In less than one year, the investment reaped over 500% return. In May 2018, BYD's shares had a substantial fall with a total net investment loss of $9 billion. This was Buffett's worst investment in China.


Tobacco

During the RJR Nabisco, Inc. hostile takeover fight in 1987, Buffett was quoted as telling John Gutfreund: Speaking at Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s 1994 annual meeting, Buffett said investments in tobacco are:


Coal

In 2007, Buffett's PacifiCorp, a subsidiary of his MidAmerican Energy Company, canceled six proposed coal-fired power plants. These included Utah's Intermountain Power Project Unit 3, Jim Bridger Unit 5, and four proposed plants previously included in PacifiCorp's Integrated Resource Plan. The cancellations came in the wake of pressure from regulators and citizen groups.


Renewable energy

Native American tribes and salmon fishermen sought to win support from Buffett for a proposal to remove four hydroelectric dams from the Klamath River owned by PacifiCorp which is a
Berkshire Hathaway Berkshire Hathaway () is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational ...

Berkshire Hathaway
company. David Sokol responded on Buffett's behalf, stating that the FERC would decide the question.


Expensing of stock options

He has been a strong proponent of stock option expensing on corporate income statements. At the 2004 annual meeting, he lambasted a bill before the United States Congress that would consider only some company-issued stock options compensation as an expense, likening the bill to one that was almost passed by the Indiana House of Representatives to Indiana Pi Bill, change the value of Pi from 3.14159 to 3.2 through legislative fiat.
When a company gives something of value to its employees in return for their services, it is clearly a compensation expense. And if expenses don't belong in the earnings statement, where in the world do they belong?


Technology

In May 2012, Buffett said he had avoided buying stock in new social media companies such as Facebook and Google because it is hard to estimate future value. He also stated that initial public offering (IPO) of stock are almost always bad investments. Investors should be looking to companies that will have good value in ten years.


Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies

In an interview with
CNBC CNBC is an American pay television Pay television, also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to subscription The subscription business model is a busin ...
in January 2018, Buffett said that the recent craze over Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies won't end well, adding that "when it happens or how or anything else, I don't know." But he said he would not take a short position on bitcoin futures.
In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say with almost certainty that they will come to a bad ending.


Film and television

Aside from countless television appearances on various news programs, Buffett has appeared in numerous films and TV programs, both documentary, and fiction. Some film and television cameos he has made include ''Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps'' (2010), ''The Office (American TV series), The Office'' (U.S.), ''All My Children,'' and ''Entourage_(film), Entourage'' (2015). He has been a guest 10 times on Charlie Rose (talk show), ''Charlie Rose'', and was the subject of the HBO documentary feature ''Becoming Warren Buffett'' (2017) and the BBC production ''The World's Greatest Money Maker'' (2009).


See also

* Buffett indicator * List of University of Nebraska–Lincoln people, List of University of Nebraska-Lincoln people * List of Columbia University alumni * List of University of Pennsylvania people


Bibliography


Books about Buffett

In October 2008, ''USA Today'' reported at least 47 books were in print with Buffett's name in the title. The article quoted the CEO of Borders Books, George Jones, as saying that the only other living persons named in as many book titles were U.S. presidents, world political figures and the 14th Dalai Lama, Dalai Lama.Del Jones
"Book titles like to play the Warren Buffett name game,"
''USA Today'', October 22, 2008.
Buffett said that his own personal favorite is a collection of his essays called ''The Essays of Warren Buffett'', which he described as "a coherent rearrangement of ideas from my annual report letters". Books or publications by Buffett: * ''The Essays of Warren Buffett : Lessons for Corporate America'', Warren Buffett and Lawrence A. Cunningham, The Cunningham Group; revised edition (April 11, 2001), * ''The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second Edition'', Warren E. Buffett and Lawrence A. Cunningham, The Cunningham Group; 2nd edition (April 14, 2008), Some best-selling, or otherwise notable, books about Buffett: * Carol J. Loomis, ''Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2012: A Fortune Magazine Book.'' * Preston Pysh, ''Warren Buffett's Three Favorite Books''. (An interactive book that reference
Buffett's Books
for online videos) * Roger Lowenstein, ''Buffett, Making of an American Capitalist'' * Robert Hagstrom, ''The Warren Buffett Way''. * Alice Schroeder, ''The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life''. (Written with Buffett's cooperation.) * Mary Buffett and David Clark, ''Buffettology'' and four subsequent books. (Combined sales of more than 1.5 million copies.) * Janet Lowe, ''Warren Buffett Speaks: Wit and Wisdom from the World's Greatest Investor''. * John Train (investment advisor), John Train, ''The Midas Touch: The Strategies That Have Made Warren Buffett 'America's Preeminent Investor'.'' * Andrew Kilpatrick, ''Of Permanent Value: The Story of Warren Buffett''. (The longest of the books about Buffett, with 330 chapters, 1,874 pages and 1,400 photos, weighing 10.2 pounds.) * * John P. Reese, "The Guru Investor: How to Beat the Market Using History's Best Investment Strategies". (Includes step-by-step stock-picking method based on Buffett's approach) * *


References


Further reading

* *


External links


Berkshire Hathaway official website

The Buffett



Forbes Profile
*
Berkshire Hathaway SEC 13F Filings
* * * * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Buffett, Warren Articles containing video clips 1930 births 20th-century American businesspeople 21st-century American businesspeople 21st-century philanthropists American agnostics American billionaires American businesspeople in insurance American chief executives of financial services companies American financial analysts American financial company founders American financiers American investors American money managers American philanthropists American stockbrokers American stock traders American venture capitalists Berkshire Hathaway employees Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation people Buffett family, Warren Businesspeople from Omaha, Nebraska Columbia Business School alumni Chief executives in the finance industry Directors of Berkshire Hathaway Directors of The Coca-Cola Company Equity securities Giving Pledgers Grinnell College people Living people Nebraska Democrats Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients Stock and commodity market managers Technical analysts The Washington Post people University of Nebraska–Lincoln alumni Woodrow Wilson High School (Washington, D.C.) alumni Members of the American Philosophical Society American chief executives of Fortune 500 companies