Warren Buffett also known as “Oracle of Omaha” is regarded as one of the greatest and richest investors of all time. His life is a mirror image of a typical billionaire, and even though his net worth is a staggering $70 billion, he still enjoys a modest lifestyle. He plays bridge instead of throwing parties and still lives in his $31,000 house that he bought in 1957.
During a visit to New York City, Buffett and his father joined At Mol, a Dutchman who was a member of the New York Stock Exchange, for lunch.
“After lunch, a guy came along with a tray that had all these different kinds of tobacco leaves on it,” Buffett recalled. “He made a cigar for Mr. Mol, who picked out the leaves he wanted. And I thought, this is it. It can’t get any better than this. A custom-made cigar.”
It was at that moment Buffett realized he would dedicate his life to making money.
- Business Insider
He bought three shares of Cities Services Preferred at $38 per share. The young Buffett held on to them despite a quick price drop, to $27 per share, but sold them as soon as they reached $40.
Buffett’s small profit could have been tremendous if he had waited it out a little longer, as the price of Cities Services Preferred’s stock ultimately soared to nearly $200 per share.
The experience imparted an important financial lesson, which has informed his investment decisions to this day: Buy and hold.
He accumulated so much money as a teenager that he didn’t see the point in accepting his offer of admission from the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
But he ultimately gave into the will of his father and went off to college, only to return to Nebraska two years later, at which point he attended the University of Nebraska.
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Buffett’s frugality is a trademark of his “brand.” The 89-year old doesn’t own a cellphone and prefers to travel on public transportation. This does not mean Buffett is a stingy miser.
In 2016, he beat his own personal philanthropic record by donating $2.86 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock to numerous charities, including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. That donation brought his lifetime givings to more than $28.5 billion.
In addition, Buffett and fellow billionaire Bill Gates agreed to donate at least half of their fortunes to charity when they created and signed the Giving Pledge.
Since 2010, over 150 people have made the pledge, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.