Warren Buffett, also known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” currently has a net worth of $44 billion, placing him as the third richest man in the world. He is the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the largest holding company in the United States. He is known for investing in companies with strong financial fundamentals and for his buy and hold strategy of investing, which requires great patience.
Buffett was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on August 30, 1930, during the Great Depression. His father was a stockbroker, which encouraged Buffett to learn about stocks and amass wealth at an early age. He bought Cities Service Preferred shares at the age of 11. He then sold the shares before they rose substantially, which taught him early on about the importance of patience to investing.
In his early twenties, Buffett enrolled at Columbia University to earn his master’s degree in economics. While there, he took the classes of professor Benjamin Graham, who wrote one of Buffett’s favorite books, “The Intelligent Investor,” which advocates value investing. While taking professor Graham’s classes, Buffett learned to see shares not as pieces of paper but rather as representing portions of actual companies.
In 1962, Buffett purchased shares of Berkshire Hathaway, which was then a textile company. He used the profits of the textile company to purchase shares of other companies, which allowed him to substantially increase his wealth. In 1973, the Berkshire Hathaway holding company purchased a significant amount of shares of the Washington Post, which gave Buffett the opportunity to meet the East Coast elites. In 1988, following the stock market crash of October 19, 1987, which caused the stock market to drop 22 percent, Buffett purchased shares of Coca-Cola Company, which gave him an enormous return on investment.
In 2006, Buffett donated $37 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Currently, he is one of three trustees of the foundation, along with Bill and Melinda Gates.