InvestingInside the life and career of the investor, Warren...

Inside the life and career of the investor, Warren Buffett


Widely regarded as one of the most successful investors in the world, Warren Buffett has accumulated a net worth over $71.8 billion as of July 2020. This puts 4th on the list of wealthiest people in the world, behind Jeff Bezos (US), Bill Gates (US) and Bernard Arnault (FRA). In 2008, Buffett was the wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth of $62 billion US.

Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett


Buffett was born in 1930, the song of Congressman, Howard Buffett. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1947 and wanted to go straight into business; however, his father refused this and Buffett subsequently enrolled into the Wharton School in Pennsylvania. He transferred to the University of Nebraska and then again to the Business School of Columbia University, where he received a Master of Science in Economics in 1951.

Early career

Before assuming control of Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett worked as an investment salesman and securities analyst across a few firms, including Graham-Newman Corp. His starting salary was around $12 000, which by today’s standards equates to about $114 000.

Assuming Berkshire and becoming a millionaire

In 1962, Buffett’s net worth began to skyrocket primarily because of the number of partnerships he was invested in. He acquired a textile manufacturing firm, known as Berkshire Hathaway. After several years, he moved the business into the insurance sector and sold off the last of the company’s mills in 1985.

Becoming a billionaire – the 1990s

Buffett became a billionaire in the early 1990s when Berkshire Hathaway listed class A shares in May. The market closed with the shares valued at $7175 per share. Many years later, Buffett stoked controversy with his company’s handling of the subprime mortgage crisis in 2007/08. While Berkshire Hathaway saw losses close to 80%, the company was criticised for allocating capital too early, resulting in several suboptimal deals. Despite this Buffett, emerged as the wealthiest person in 2008, before dropping back to second in 2009.

Owen Caire
Owen Caire is the national market reporter for Quilter. Since joining Quilter in November 2019, he has covered investment; the government shutdown; and the administration's economic responses to any market issues, among other topics.

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