Warren Buffett is not only the world’s fourth richest man, but also a role model when it comes to life and finances. He has proved that winning means sharing, which is why his pledge to donate 85 per cent of his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation became the largest act of charitable giving in the history of the United States.
The 83-year-old Oracle of Omaha earned this nickname thanks to his ability to choose undervalued companies which increase in value later on. Mr Buffett has been investing since he was 11 years old, but he always saw himself as a businessman and not an investor. He is the go-to man when it comes to financial lessons and has already “patented” some pieces of advice. The most important lesson one can learn from Mr Buffett is to spend wisely and do your homework, because what you should never do is “invest in a business you cannot understand.” He urges people interested in this domain to invest in quality business and to seek exceptional bargains, which can be found by analysing companies’ mission statement, performance, business process and long term goals.
However, one of the things that Mr Buffett always kept in mind was that focusing on the long term will bring about success after success. “The important thing is finding wet snow and a really long hill,” he used to say. In honour of this concept that helped him amass USD 62.1 billion, Mr Buffett named the first biography he cooperated with “The Snowball,” from which his fans can learn surprising things.
Filed his first tax return at the age of 14
It is common knowledge that Warren Buffett became interested in numbers when he was a child. His father was a stockbroker, which helped Buffett have a front-row view of the domain that would become his occupation.
When he was ten years old, he visited the New York Stock Exchange and Sidney Weinberg, a senior Goldman Sachs partner asked him for a tip. He made a passion for a book entitled One Thousand Ways to Make $1,000 and when he was 11 he announced his parent that he would become a millionaire at 35.
By the time he was 14, he had already made USD1,000 and filed his first tax return.
He is women’s greatest fan
In 2012, during an interview with Fortune magazine Mr Buffett stated that the economy has been using only half of the available labour and brilliance throughout the American history. He offered his sister as an example and said that while his parents loved them equally, they did not expect great things from them, no matter how smart they were.
He also talked about a “terrific” young woman he added to his board of directors. According to Mr Buffett, Tracy Britt has a lot of potential and she can do what his sisters could not succeed in the 1930s.
Mr Buffett plays bridge
Warren Buffett strongly believes that a person should have an extracurricular, which is why he chose to dedicate some of his time to bridge. He plays the card game at least four times per week and his frequent partner is none other than Bill Gates.
He purchased his first stock when he was 12
When he was 12, Mr Buffett took the decision to put his savings into a stock, Cities Services Preferred. He paid USD 114.75 for three shares, but the stock price crashed from USD38.25 to USD27. After the price rose to USD40, he immediately sold and made a USD5 profit. The share skyrocketed to USD202 after he finished the transaction.
He shoplifted and lied
Mr Buffett may have started investing when he was 11 years old, but as a teenager, he was no different than the others. He used to shoplift and lie to his parents and, as he admitted in his biography, “we’d steal stuff for which we had no use.”
Ran multiple businesses when he was 17
Before Berkshire Hathaway, there were other businesses that kept Mr Buffett busy. When he was 17 years old, he sold peddled stamps to collectors, refurbished golf balls, owned a tenanted farm, ran a network of pinball machines and managed a 50-strong paperboy route.
Warren Buffett’s mistakes are worth millions of dollars
The Oracle of Omaha may sit on billions of dollars, but he also lost small fortunes. 57 years ago, he spent USD25.000 on four-cent Blue Eagle stamps which were about to be taken out of circulation by the US government. By controlling the supply, the stamps became worthless.
Also, Mr Buffett lost USD10 million within three years after purchasing The Buffalo Evening News in 1977 and spent millions to turn Berkshire Hathaway into the company it is today.
Even though young Buffett decided to end his investing carrier in his early 30s, he eventually decided that the intellectual challenge of investing was in his blood.