Among the most successful investors in the world, Warren Buffet turns 90 on August 30. He is the CEO and Chairman of investment firm Berkshire Hathaway.
Forbes lists the company as the fourth largest in the world, with assets worth $819.7 billion, largely following Buffett’s philosophy of investing in value shares.
Buffet was born in Omaha, Nebraska in the United States (US) on August 30, 1930 to businessman and four times member of Congress, Howard Buffett.
Here are key milestones in the life of Warren Buffett, hailed as the ‘Oracle of Omaha’:
> Buffett bought his first stock in 1941 at the age of 11, buying six shares of Cities Service, an oil service company, at $38 per share. The world's third richest man filed his first tax return aged 13, after making $500 by delivering newspapers. By the time he finished high school, Buffett had bought a stake in a 40-acre farm in Omaha, Nebraska.
> Buffett completed his Bachelors in 1950 from the University of Nebraska and the Master’s Degree in Economics in 1951 from Columbia University.
> He started working as an investment salesman in his father's firm Buffett-Falk & Co. After three years of working there, he joined Graham-Newman Corp in 1954. There, he stayed for two years.
> At the age of 25, he formed his own investment fund, Buffett Partnership, in 1956 with seven limited partners. For the next 13 years, he reaped benefits as he continued to crush the stock markets.
> In his letter to partners in 1959, Buffett wrote that almost any reason was seized upon to justify investing in the market at that time. Cautioning against being too greedy in the market.
> Buffett is introduced to Charlie Munger by Edwin Davis in 1959. Munger will later become Vice President of Berkshire Hathaway.
> In December of 1962, Warren Buffett (then 32), was gaining notoriety as an investor in Omaha, this was also when he first began buying stock in Berkshire Hathaway. By mid-1965, he had bought enough shares to take control of the company.
> He shut down Buffett Partnership in 1969 and joined Berkshire Hathaway. He has been at the helm since then.
> Buffett purchased See's Candies, an American manufacturer and distributor of candy, for $25 million in 1972. By the time he was 43, his net worth hit the $100-million-mark.
> Value of Berkshire Hathaway portfolio slips due to falling stock prices in 1974, dragging Buffett’s personal net worth by over 50 percent as well.
> Buffet merges Berkshire with Munger’s Diversified in 1975. Munger gets 2 percent stock in the deal and becomes Vice Chairman of the company.
> In 1983, a single share of Berkshire Hathaway passed $1,000 in value.
> From 1989 to 1999, Buffett's net worth grew ten times. By the age of 69, his net worth was $36 billion.
> Bill Gates is elected as a director for Berkshire Hathaway in 2004. Gates and Buffett first met in 1991.
> In 2005, a single share of Berkshire Hathaway passed $90,000 in value.
> In 2006 Buffett pledged close to $37 billion or over 80 percent of his then $44 billion fortune to five foundations through annual gift stocks which began from July that year itself. A bulk of the contribution was pledged to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
> In 2006, a single share of Berkshire Hathaway passed $100,000 in value.
> Buffett was 52 when he first made it to the Forbes list of richest Americans. His net worth at that time was $250 million. Three years later, his net worth quadrupled and he became a billionaire.
> Berkshire holds a stake in a few of the top companies in the world. The list is based on SEC filing by the companies and is not exhaustive. Full list here.
Here are some top companies where he has shareholdings -
Amazon.com, Inc. 0.1 percent
American Express Company 18.8 percent
Apple Inc. 5.9 percent
Axalta Coating Systems 10.2 percent
Bank of America Corp 11.9 percent
Bank of New York Mellon Corp 8.4 percent
Barrick Gold Corp 1.2 percent
Biogen Inc 0.4 percent
Charter Communications Inc 2.5 percentCoca-Cola Co 9.3 percent