25 Reasons Why Warren Buffett Is a Multi-Billionaire
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25. He started investing young
Warren Buffett bought his first stock at age 11.
Buffett quickly became hooked on all things business – he bought a paper route at 13 and never looked back.
24. He learned from the best
As a 20 year-old, Warren Buffett studied and worked under the tutelage of Benjamin Graham.
Graham is known as the father of “value investing”
23. He didn’t stop learning
Even today, Buffett says he spends time reading and thinking:
“I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think.”
Photo: Timeless Books
22. He lives by two simple rules
“1. Never lose money.
2. Never forget rule No. 1”
21. He owns up to his mistakes
Being a professional investor for six decades, you’re bound to make a few mistake.
Buffett has made plenty of mistakes, but he owns them and learns from them.
20. He found a good business partner
Warren Buffett met Charlie Munger in 1959. The duo teamed up in 1978.
Meeting Munger changed what Buffett looked for in a stock and company. Munger stressed the importance of qualitative factors – not just the numbers.
19. They got lucky
“Charlie and I are extraordinarily lucky. We were born in America; had terrific parents who saw that we got good educations; have enjoyed wonderful families and great health; and came equipped with a “business” gene that allows us to prosper in a manner hugely disproportionate to other people who contribute as much or more to our society’s well-being.”
18. He buys stocks and holds them… forever
Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway bought shares of Coca-Cola in 1988.
Berkshire’s original $1.3 billion position is now worth over $16 billion.
Buffett has said he never plans on selling a single share.
17. He lives within his means
Despite being worth over $60 billion, Buffett still lives in the modest Omaha-home that he bought in the 1950’s.
16. He values reputation
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
15. He loves the unloved
Most people get caught up with the newest and hottest tech gadget – not Buffett.
"I will tell you now that we have embraced the 21st century by entering such cutting-edge industries as brick, carpet, insulation and paint. Try to control your excitement.“
14. He waits. And then waits some more
Perhaps no investor is more patient than Warren Buffett.
Buffett bought shares of Washington Post in 1973 for $10 million. Nearly a year after his initial investment, he had endured a 20% unrealized loss on the position.
By 2004, Buffett had an unrealized gain of $1.7 billion on the position.
Waiting paid off.
13. He knows how to be “different”
During the 2008 financial crisis, most investors didn’t want anything to do with stocks.
He penned this article for the New York Times and was proved correct when the world didn’t end.
12. He stays within his circle of competence
Warren Buffett isn’t dumb. But, he also knows he can’t be an expert on everything.
He sticks to the industries (banks, insurance, consumer goods) that he knows and avoid the ones (tech) he doesn’t.
11. He trusts others
Berkshire Hathaway owns dozens of subsidiaries.
Warren Buffett micro-manages 0 of them.
10. He focuses on what he can control
Warren Buffett is an investor and businessman. He’s not a politician, scientist, or fortune-teller.
Buffett only focuses on the factors he can control: His emotions and his own decisions.
9. He realized the power of insurance
An insurance policy buyer pays the insurer cash up front for a service they might receive. This gets cash in the hands of Warren to invest quickly and often.
Buffett calls insurance:
“Berkshire’s core operation and the engine that has consistently propelled our expansion since 1967.”
8. He is humble
If most of us had over $60 billion, we’d probably have an ego the size of Omaha.
Not Buffett. He still sings the praises of others.
Buffett on the head of Berkshire’s insurance operations (Ajit Jain):
"If Charlie, I and Ajit are ever in a sinking boat – and you can only save one of us – swim to Ajit
7. He doesn’t pay a dividend
Dividends can be great. It’s cold-hard cash in investors’ pockets.
But Buffett understood early that he could earn more on that money by keeping in Berkshire’s pockets and rewarding investors by growing the business.
6. He doesn’t check stock prices daily
Daily stock prices mean basically nothing when you are investing for decades.
“Games are won by players who focus on the playing field -- not by those whose eyes are glued to the scoreboard. If you can enjoy Saturdays and Sundays without looking at stock prices, give it a try on weekdays.”
Photo: Rafael Matsunaga
5. Rhetoric doesn’t scare him
Turn on the local or national news, and you will probably be told something terrible is happening.
Buffett looks at the glass half-full.
“Of course, the immediate future is uncertain; America has faced the unknown since 1776.”
4. He loves his job
You don’t work for over 60 years by hating your job.
"I found what I love to do very early...when I was seven or eight years old I knew that this particular game really, really intrigued me. And then I had some great teachers along the way."
3. He collaborates for success
Some powerful people want to control everything themselves. Not Buffett.
He recently teamed up with a private equity firm, 3G Capital, to buy Heinz. Buffett saw how 3G could help the company and didn’t let pride stand in the way.
2. He thinks in “generations”
Warren Buffett is 83 years old, but he’s running Berkshire Hathaway as if he’ll be around for another 83 years.
Lesser minds would try to squeeze out all of the glory while they are still around. Berkshire’s big moves into the energy and railroad business show Buffett’s willingness to think beyond most people’s timeframes.
1. He never retired
Warren Buffett could have easily retired in this 30s. But he didn’t.
In fact, an estimated
of his net $65 billion net worth was accumulated after his 50th birthday!