This is what happens when billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates meet at a candy shop
Unable to select any particular candy, one of them declares to buy whole store
June 22, 2018 / 11:44 AM IST
Buffett was 52 when he was listed on the first Forbes list of richest Americans. His net worth at the time was $250 million. Three years later, his net worth quadrupled and he became a billionaire.
“I will take the whole place,” quipped Warren Buffett as he entered a candy store with fellow billionaire Bill Gates before erupting into a laughter. And, probably, no one among us can safely assume that he was just kidding.
The two stalwarts of the US markets met during the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting at the Fairmont Antiques & Mercantile in Omaha’s Old Market. In a video uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Bill Gates, the billionaires reminisced about their favourite treats, Bill and Melinda’s special connection to singer Willie Nelson, what was the best business Buffett ever had, and a lot more.
As soon as they entered the store after alighting from vintage cars, Buffett declared, “I just like to eat, and especially candy.”
Buffett, who has a reputation for buying value stocks, explained his indecisiveness over candies to Gates. “When I was six, we are talking 1936 now, I would get a nickel a week allowance, and we would go to Ernie’s Drugstore. There they would have penny candy. So the nickel would entitle me to five choices. And, I could spend an hour making those choices,” he said.
Both billionaires also revealed what was their favourite candy. Gates said that Peanut Brittle was his favourite. Buffett agreed and added that there was no way you could stop once you start eating them.
After browsing through the candies in the store, Buffett’s sweet tooth again came to the fore. “Well, I like almost everything. Just offer it to me and find out,” the Berkshire Hathaway CEO said.
Moving further, Buffett also revealed what was his best business ever—pinball. “I bought a machine for $25 in 1946 and built a small empire out of it. It was the best business I was ever in,” he said, adding, “I peaked very early in my business career. It has been all downhill ever since.”
Gates, stumbling upon a January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics (published in November ’74) featuring ALTAIR 8800 on its cover, said, reading this was the start of the personal computer industry.
“This really cheap kit computer appeared on the cover of this magazine, and we saw it in December ’74, and then Paul (Allen, co-founder of Microsoft) was saying, ‘okay, you’ve gotta drop out. We’ve gotta start Microsoft. This (computing revolution) is gonna happen without us.”
The computer on the cover was made by MITS or Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems which later became Microsoft’s first customer.
The duo further reminisced about music stars of the bygone era. How Willie Nelson sang at Gates wedding, how listening to “Your Hit Parade” by Lucky Strike was a big thing when Buffett was a kid, How he could hum any song from a Glen Miller’s album.