Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I just watched all 47 minutes of BBC's documentary on Warren Buffett. Absolutely fascinating. He's one of the world's richest men, yet he lives a very simple life. He still lives in the same house that he bought in 1958 for US$31,500. He still goes to the same barber for the same haircut, eats at the same restaurant and orders the same steak on the menu. No flashy, ostentatious show of his enormous wealth. No need to as the whole world already knows how much he is worth.

He has never lavished his money on his children. Indeed, his daughter Susan once asked him for a loan of US$30,000 for a kitchen extension. He turned her down. He has always impressed upon his three children not to expect to inherit his wealth. He has pledged to give away almost all his fortune of roughly US$47 billion, most of it through Melinda and Bill Gates' Foundation.

Do watch the documentary. There is much we can learn from the Oracle of Omaha, not only about investing, but more importantly, about life values. For in the end, it's not the money that counts, but what you do with the money. "You have gotta give it back to the people," he says.

Do you know what one Class A Hathaway Berkshire share is trading at today? A whopping US$147,125! OMG! No wonder early shareholders are now billionaires many times over.

But bless Buffett, in 2010 shareholders approved a 50-for-1 decision to split Class B shares (which were then trading at US$3500) into 'Baby B' shares. With the split, the company's Class B shares were made much more affordable to small investors. Now anyone who has some spare change can invest in a true blue chip company. Today Class B shares are valued at US$97.70, up from the initial US$69.90. Buffett's devoted fans will tell you that you just can't go wrong investing in Berkshire Hathaway companies.

Every year in May shareholders from all over the world make their pilgrimage to the holy shrine that is the meeting venue in Omaha, and they listen to every word uttered by the Guru and Oracle of Omaha, and by his vice-chairman Charlie Munger. It is a love-fest, and the shareholders have every reason to revere Buffett. He made them rich, didn't he? This year's annual shareholders' meeting is scheduled for 4 May. Know anyone going?


ACC said...

For Mr Buffett, it is a lot more than just $$ and Berkshire. It is about the DNA he managed to inject into Berkshire. The idea of business and investment is very different from the others. Great write up :)

ACC said...

Mr. Charlie Munger: 'the school of life is open to all'. If you think Mr. Buffett is wise, wait till Mr. Munger is heard :)