Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why I admired Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet, the third richest man in the world, declared he would give 80% of his fortune to charitable causes. In 2009, he donated $42 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation which affected his ranking in Forbes Magazine's World's Billionaires.

In life, there are people who really leave an impressive mark in our imagination because of their rareness. Among them is Warren Buffet.

Warren Buffet is the legendary American billionaire whose immense wealth made him the world's richest man in 2007. He built his fortune through shrewd investing style, techniques he learned from Intelligent Investing author, Benjamin Graham. Buffet famously dubbed by experts as one of the most brilliant investors in world history. But despite his billions, Buffet remained humble and simple, his  frugality became a legend in the world's business circuit.  

He has no expensive mansion, he continues to reside in a modest house in Omaha, Nebraska which he bought in the late 1950s, most of the time, he personally drives his own car, he never carry a cellular phone and no computer at his working desk. 


He wears simple attire, mostly tailor-made suits from a Chinese brand named Trands. I saw one of his video interviews with Bill Gates where he just don a simple red polo and cream slacks. That interview was organized by the students of the University of Washington, he and Gates gamely answered questions about investment strategies, he spoke with humor, just like a typical grandpapa, he had no inhibitions and I'd noticed that he loved to poke fun at Bill Gates who frequently laugh at his hilarious punch lines.

I am also amazed with his compassion to help the less fortunate when he declared to leave 80% of his wealth to charitable institutions in the form of annual gift of stocks. 

His vast shares of stocks at his investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, the world's 3rd most admired company, would most likely go to Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation which he established in the 70s with his then wife, Susan Thompson. He also declared to contribute annually to the foundation of his business partner and best friend, Bill Gates (Bill and Melinda Gates foundation). 

He and Bill Gates established "The Giving Pledge" a nonprofit organization which encourages richest Americans to donate considerable portion of their wealth to charitable causes, in 2010 they successfully recruited Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, into the organization.

Warren Buffet is a self-made billionaire, despite being an only son of a prominent American politician and businessman, so he wanted his children to work hard for their future too and not rely so much on inheritance, a principle followed by Bill Gates who once said "I observed that the less motivated people are the wealthiest" (a quote from Time magazine).

More than a billionaire, Warren Buffet devoted his attention giving what he had to the people who don't have anything, and that's the highest form of compassion and generosity. Forbes magazine released its annual listing of World's Billionaires a week ago naming Mexican mogul, Carlos Slim Helu, as the world's richest man, Bill Gates is number 2 and Buffet number 3. 

But in reality, if the survey would be solely based on overall fortune, Warren Buffet would have been the world's richest man closely followed by Bill Gates. But Gates and Buffet's bulk of fortune went to Charity which greatly affected their standing in Forbes ranking. But they remain unaffected, their only concern is not on the stature and reputation of being the world's richest men but on sharing what they had to the world's needy.

At 80, Warren Buffet is still the same man who transformed the dying textile manufacturing firm, Berkshire Hathaway in 1962, into the world's largest investment company, his smart investment techniques are still there, partly rescuing the US economy from going to the bottom of recession in 2009, hence, experts called him "The White Knight from Omaha".

There are several billionaires who already amassed fortune through investment but none of them could duplicate the fame and success of Warren Buffet in intelligent investing and his unique dedication to give away considerable part of his fortune to the world's dispossessed. Read here more about Warren Buffet.

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