The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, 82, began his illustrious, inspiring and larger than life career by collecting and selling lost golf balls. He also worked as a paper-boy for the Washington Post. That’s right, a Paper boy! The smartest and the richest American Investor believes in spending on things that one really needs and does not encourage wasting money. The man who started with delivering newspapers, today has a net worth of a whopping $53.5 billion, making him the second richest man in America. A financial genius, who claims of having made one of his most successful investments because of salad dressing, is perhaps also the most humble and grounded chairman and a billionaire and an inspiration for many. Known for his humility and self-deprecating humor, here are some fun, trivia-like unknown facts about the “billionaire next door”.
1. A Philanthropist at heart
Buffett, a notable philanthropist, is giving almost all his money to Charity, not to his children. “There’s no reason why future generations of little Buffetts should command society just because they came from the right womb. Where’s the justice in that?” he said. He has announced his plan to give away 99% of his wealth to charity, via Gates Foundation. He has long had an intention to “do good” rather than hoard his money for himself and his family. More surprisingly, his children fully support his decision.
2. Encounter with Mr. Microsoft a.k.a Bill Gates
Bill Gates, the world’s richest man met Warren Buffett for the first time only five years ago. Bill Gates did not think he had anything in common with the richest investor and subsequently scheduled a meeting with him for barely 30 minutes. To his surprise, when he met him, the meeting went on for some 10 odd hours and he became a devotee of Warren Buffett since that day.
3. Has only two rules to do business
The “Wizard of Omaha”, has barely 2 Rules of Business, which he wants his CEOs to follow. First, do not lose any of your shareholder’s money and second, not to forget rule number one. Buffett made it a primary rule of thumb to not lose someone else’s money. He advised that if you’re not using your money, you should treat it twice as frugally and carefully as you would your own. He literally believed that the most important function of a company is to promote the interests of its shareholders.
4. Doesn’t like to socialize
One of the most influential people in the world, he does not like to socialize with the high society crowd. In fact his past time after he gets home is to make himself some popcorn and watch television. The philanthropist doesn’t like to show off and believes in doing what he really enjoys doing. He says “money doesn’t create man but it is man who created money.” Rather he is obsessed with playing Bridge, at least four times a week.
5. Owns most of them but uses none
The man, who was ranked as the world’s wealthiest person in 2008, never travels by a private jet, although he owns the world’s largest private jet company. The grounded billionaire has always been in talks for his personal frugality despite his immense wealth. He believes in accomplishing things economically. This is what sets him apart and makes him a role model for budding businessmen. He once quipped “Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls-Royce to get advice from those to take the subway.” His personality represents humility.
6. Doesn’t carry a cellphone
Warren Buffett, an American business magnate, the second richest man in the world, one of the biggest employers, the most successful investor of the 20th century, DOES NOT carry a cell phone, NOR has a computer on his desk. Yes, you read it correctly. Yes, you may read that once again. Despite being in an infamous profession which entails being on the phone 24*7, the man manages to not succumb to the changing times and sticks to his simplistic lifestyle.
7. Lives in a simple house
The owner of Berkshire Hathaway lives in a small three-bedroom house in mid-town Omaha which he had bought after he got married, 50 years ago. To add to that, the house doesn’t even have a wall or a fence around it. He says that the house has everything he needs. He preaches not to buy more than what you “really need” and also wants the next generation to think in the same way and not spend without thinking.
8. Used to sell chewing gum as a child
He sold chewing gum at seven and Coca Cola when he was eight. Very soon he was chalking stock prices at a local broker’s office. A boy from Omaha, Nebraska, bought a small farm at the age of 14 with his savings from delivering newspapers. One could have bought so many other things from such little savings, who would think of buying a farm?! Undoubtedly he was a billionaire in the making. Also, he filed his first tax return at the age of 14.
9. Drives his own car by himself
He drives his own car everywhere and does not have a Driver or Security people around him. As opposed to VIPs who travel with their cars, even while visiting other countries, the humble billionaire doesn’t even feel the need for a driver and drives around himself, till date, at the age of 82. He says “Life your life as simple as you are”
10. Bought his first share at the age of 11
Warren Buffett bought his first share at an age where most children are busy watching cartoons or playing with dolls (Now Playstation and Smartphones and Youtube). ELEVEN. He first traded when he was 11 and never looked back, the world has witnessed that. Moreover, he now regrets that he started a bit too late. His favourite childhood book was “One thousand ways to make $1000”. No wonder he reached where he is today. In fact the man wants children to be encouraged to invest or start some kind of business, whatsoever.