- Berkshire Hathaway CEO and billionaire investor Warren Buffett turns 88 years old on Aug. 30, 2018.
- He recently made headlines for his family’s investments in prominent social movements, such as #MeToo and LGBTQ+ rights.
- The “Oracle of Omaha” has been worrying investors as he builds his record-breaking cash stockpile.
Chances are, you’ve heard the name Warren Buffett, whether that might be as a business magnate, philanthropist or successful investor. From dining in Dairy Queen to giving 99 percent of his wealth to charity, Buffett has built an empire over his long-lived path to prosperity. Read more about the almost-90-year-old’s ventures and mistakes, including how he has shared his success along the way. Buffett was named number 16 on Forbes’ Powerful People of 2018 list and is currently ranked as the 3rd wealthiest person in the world.
Click to read about Warren Buffett and 14 other celebrities who donate millions to charity.
Warren Buffett Net Worth: $85.7B
- Net worth: $85.7 billion
- Age: 88
- Birthday: Aug. 30, 1930
- Primary sources of wealth: Business, investments
- Career highlights: Forbes’ 16th most powerful person in 2018, philanthropy
Check Out: How Rich Was Warren Buffett at Your Age?
Warren Buffett’s Company: Berkshire Hathaway
The centerpiece of Buffett’s success comes from his work as CEO in the conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire Hathaway owns more than 60 companies, including ice cream retailer Dairy Queen, insurer Geico and battery brand Duracell, the company recently reported a sharp rise in second-quarter earnings this year, totaling about $12 billion, according to the Associated Press. The profit report was a shock, as in the previous quarter the company had announced a $1.1 billion loss in the first three months of the year.
As a result of its success, Berkshire Hathaway’s class B stocks rose from $160 at the beginning of 2017 to $215 in 2018. Although the price has been fluctuating, Forbes has estimated the conglomerate to continue growing throughout the year.
Find Out: How Much Is Berkshire Hathaway Worth?
Warren Buffett Investments and Stocks
The Nebraska-bred business mogul also recently broke headlines as he secured more than $2 billion with Apple shares. Berkshire Hathaway held 239.6 million shares in the technology company when it rose 5.9 percent, thus contributing to the astounding rebound in earnings from the conglomerate in 2018’s second quarter. The investor has not been shy about his interest in Apple, as Buffett told CNBC in May that he “would love to own 100 percent of it” and admires its management and “the way they think.”
As a value investor, Buffett tends to invest his money in companies that seem undervalued compared to their fundamental value.
Here’s a look at some of Buffett’s investments that have paid off:
- American Express
- Wells Fargo
Not even the Oracle of Omaha is infallible, and Buffett has endured his fair share of investment mistakes. At least one investment mistake stands out, mainly because Buffett has openly acknowledged how bad it was.
Dexter Shoe Company possessed exactly the features Buffett sought in a company: It had solid management, a valuable brand and competitive edge in the industry. So, in 1993, Buffett acquired Dexter at a cost of $443 million in Berkshire Hathaway stock.
From this promising beginning, Buffett’s investment in Dexter turned south as cheaper overseas labor costs prevented the company from taking off. By 2001, Dexter had gone nowhere, and Buffett pulled the plug, merging it with another Berkshire subsidiary.
Berkshire shareholders lost as much as $3.5 billion from the deal. Looking back on the investment, Buffett said in a 2007 shareholder letter, “To date, Dexter is the worst deal that I’ve made.”
Warren Buffett Philanthropy
Having learned from his father the importance of giving back to the community, Buffett regularly donates his wealth to charity. He has committed to giving more than 99 percent of his fortune to charity, and so far has given away almost $32 billion, much of it to the Gates Foundation.
Buffett and fellow business magnate Bill Gates launched The Giving Pledge in 2010, asking billionaires to donate half their wealth to charitable causes. This ongoing commitment has been taken up by 183 billionaires from 22 countries as of 2018, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft’s Paul Allen.
The generosity does not stop at one generation. Warren’s son, Peter Buffett, runs the NoVo Foundation with his wife Jennifer. Recently, they made headlines for granting $34 million to nonprofits fighting for causes such as LGBTQ+ rights, racial injustice and immigrant and refugee issues.
Warren Buffett Early Life
Born Aug. 30, 1930, in Omaha, Neb., Buffett is the son of a former U.S. Congressman and “verbally abusive” mother, The Washington Post reported. He showed an impressive knack for numbers at an early age, first buying stock at age 11, and filing taxes at age 13. The octogenarian was known for his infatuation with statistics and money-making schemes, selling used golf balls, delivering newspapers, and renting pinball machines, among other financial initiatives.
Buffett grew up following the stories of post-Depression gurus like Ben Graham, who was known for demystifying the stock market with publicly accessible data. Some claim this to be the start of Buffett’s own investing philosophy, which the Washington Post has described as “fundamentally cautious.” Nevertheless, today Buffett presides over a massive wealth, and his past has undoubtedly informed him on how and where to invest.
Click to keep reading about 11 ways Warren Buffett lives frugally.
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GOBankingRates Staff contributed to the reporting for this article.