The Oracle of Omaha - Warren Buffett - A Short Biography
Who is The Oracle of Omaha?Warren Buffett aka The Sage of Omaha aka The Oracle of Omaha was born Warren Edward Buffett on 30th August 1930, in Omaha, Nebraska.
He is one of the richest men in the world and probably the most famous investor. He is also a great philanthropist and American businessman. He has an estimated net worth of over $60 billion and in February 2008 was ranked by Forbes as the richest man in the world, although it is quite probable, given the current state of stockmarkets worldwide, that this situation has changed.
Warren Buffett is also the largest shareholder and Chief Executive Officer of Berkshire Hathaway.
His success in the stockmarkets is legendary, and although he isn't infallible, his current net worth is ample proof that he gets it right more often than he gets it wrong. He is famous for his philosophy of ' value investing ', buying companies that perform well and holding them for the very long-term (i.e. decades). Over time the markets go up, so holding on to investments makes sense.
In 2006 his annual salary was $100,000 which is tiny compared to what other CEOs pay themselves. He lives in the same house in Omaha that he bought for $31,500 back in 1958. The house is valued today at around $700,000 (again not enormous for a man of his wealth)
He is also a well-known philanthropist. In 2006, he announced that he would be giving his enormous fortune away to charity, with 83% of it earmarked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In June 2006 he donated approximately 10,000,000 Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares to the Bill and Melinda Gates' Foundation, worth approximately $30.7 billion at the time. The largest charitable donation ever made. The plan is that the Foundation shall receive 5% of the donation each year in July.
In 2007, Time included Warren Buffett among the 100 Most Influential People in The World.
In October 2008, as the worlwide economic crisis was raging and in the middle of the credit crunch he was buying stocks at knockdown prices, notably Godman Sachs. He buys for the long-term of course, minimum 5 years, time will tell if he was right to be buying.
He famously filed his first income tax return when he was 13 and deducted his bicycle as a work expense for $35.
He married Susan Thompson in 1952 and they remained married until her death in 2004, although they lived separately from 1977 onwards. In 2006 he married his long-time companion Astrid Menks. It was Susan Buffett who had brought about the meeting between Warren Buffett and Astrid Menks before she herself left to pursue her career as a singer.
Warren Buffet has three children but he does not intend leaving a "significant proportion" of his wealth to them. Over the years he has become famous for his quotes - see Warren Buffett Quotes
He is quoted as saying "I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing."