In success stories we take a look at some of the most successful people in history and breakdown their lives and tips to success. In this post we will be featuring the billionaire investor Warren Buffett.


Profile

NAME: Warren Buffett

DOB: 30th August 1930

NET WORTH: 66.7 Billion USD

BUSINESSES: Berkshire Hathaway

INITIAL AGE OF SUCCESS: 31

MENTOR: Benjamin Graham


Early life

  • Showed business skills from a young age
  • Saved enough from selling Washington post newspapers to buy 40 acres of farm land
  • Saved $9,800 and joins Columbia University where he meets Benjamin Graham his mentor
  • In 1954 Graham offers him a job for $12,000 a year
  • Graham later retired and Buffetts savings had risen to $140,000
  • Creates Buffett associates
  • Introduced to Charlie Munger another successful investor
  • At age 31 Buffett is running 7 partnerships which makes him his first $1 million

Growth

  • Renames Buffett associates, to Buffett partnerships Ltd
  • Buffett starts buying Berkshire & Hathaway shares aggressively. He eventually becomes the largest shareholder
  • American Express falls victim to scandal. Buffett recognizes the opportunity once shares begin to drop and buys 5% of the company
  • Invests in Hochschild department store
  • Buffett makes 20 million when American Express shares begin to rise again
  • Invests in a host of companies including GEICO and ABC broadcasting
  • Buffet at this point is worth $100 million yet only pays himself $50,000 a year
  • At age 57 a stock market crash sees Buffetts wealth plummet by $320 million
  • Buffett starts to buy Coca Cola shares and eventually owns a 7% stake in the company
  • Buys Gillette and increases his personal fortune to $3.8 Billion
  • Invests in McDonald’s in 1994 aged 64
  • Bill Gates is elected as director for Berkshire & Hathaway
  • In 2006 Buffett gives away 80% of his fortune, $37 Billion
  • He continued to buy more and more companies, building one of the most impressive portfolios ever seen

Current life

  • Still one of the richest people alive, even though he gave away 80% of his fortune in 2006
  • Is looking for a successor to his Berkshire & Hathaway portfolio
  • Continues to buy and invest
  • Currently reads 8 hours a day
  • Did you know that Buffett earned 99% of his overall wealth after the age of 50?

Top Traits

  • Focused on building wealth
  • Invests in businesses that aren’t competitive
  • He doesn’t scare easily
  • Doesn’t let his ego get in the way
  • He sticks to what he knows
  • Tries to be the best at one thing
  • Thinks years ahead
  • Makes long-term investments
  • Lives within his means
  • Independent thinker

Top tips for success 

  • Reinvest your profits
  • Be willing to be different
  • Never suck your thumb
  • Get all of the details of a deal before you start
  • Watch small expenses (Small details matter to profits)
  • Limit what you borrow
  • Be persistent
  • Know when to quit
  • Assess the risk
  • Know what success really means (Don’t chase money if you value other things as more important)

Best quote

We only learn from mistakes, but they don’t have to be our own