Meet 'Canada's Warren Buffett,' the 90-year-old billionaire who drives a Toyota pickup truck around his hometown and owns a $25 million yacht

Phillip Chin/Getty ImagesJim Pattison is ‘Canada’s Warren Buffett.’
  • Jim Pattison, who has a reported net worth of $US5.9 billion, has been called “Canada’s Warren Buffett.”
  • Like Buffett, Pattison is the third-richest person in his country, is relatively frugal, and donates heavily to philanthropy.
  • But Pattison can also be a little lavish – he owns a $US25 million yacht and a fleet of jets.

Warren Buffett has plenty of billionaire peers, but it’s easy to see why Jim Pattison has been dubbed this Canadian counterpart.

Known as “Canada’s Warren Buffett,” Pattison, 90, has a net worth of $US5.9 billion, according to Forbes. It may not even graze Buffett’s $US8o billion net worth, but it ranks him as the third-richest man in Canada – equivalent to Buffett’s seat as the third-richest man in America.

Also like Buffett, Pattinson is relatively frugal. Born during the Great Depression, he had humble beginnings that stuck with him even as he created and developed a giant conglomerate, The Jim Pattison Group, of 200-plus companies worth more than $US7 billion today. He also donates heavily to philanthropy.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t indulge in a few lavish purchases. While he might have a Toyota truck parked in his garage, he also has a $US25 million yacht docked not far away.

Here, see how Pattison earns and spends his billions.


Jim Pattison, Canada’s third-richest man, has a reported net worth of $US5.9 billion.

George Pimentel/Getty Images

Source:Forbes, Bloomberg


But Pattison wasn’t always worth billions — his net worth is even more impressive considering his beginnings. He was born during the Great Depression and grew up poor, wearing hand-me-downs and living in “Vancouver’s gritty east side.”

Bettmann/Getty Images

Source:
Bloomberg


Pattison began practicing the art of business at age 7, selling seeds door-to-door. He eventually progressed to selling newspapers and playing trumpet at church picnics.

John Mahler/Getty Images

Source:Bloomberg, Vancouver Sun


In 1961, Pattison bought a GM dealership with a C$40,000 Royal Bank of Canada loan — he still has the financial statements.

Phillip Chin/Getty Images

Source:
Bloomberg


It was the beginning of The Jim Pattison Group, a conglomerate of more than 200 companies across 85 countries that generates C$10.1 billion in annual sales (US $US7.75 billion).

Source:Forbes, Bloomberg, The Jim Pattison Group


It spans a variety of industries, including packaging, food, lumber, fisheries, billboards, and entertainment, a division that includes Great World Lodge, Guinness World Records, and the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! chain.

Bernard Weil/Getty Images

Source:Forbes, Bloomberg


Pattison also controls more than 40% of Canfor, a publicly-traded forest products company, and has a big stake in Westshore Terminals Investment Corp., a coal export facility.

Source:Forbes, Bloomberg


His latest venture is Pattison Agriculture, comprised of John Deere equipment dealerships.

Rick Wilking/Getty Images

Source:
Bloomberg


With such a hefty fortune from his business successes, Pattison seems to have mastered the balance of frugality and lavish spending. He stays on the down low, but knows how to indulge.

George Pimentel/Getty Images

“Most of the time, I didn’t have the money to buy anything that was any good, so I had to buy stuff that nobody wanted,” Pattison told Bloomberg.

Phillip Chin/Getty Images

Source:
Bloomberg


He keeps his wheels modest, driving a Toyota Ram 1500 Laramie truck around his hometown. The pricing for the 2019 model ranges from $US31,695 to $US56,495.

Angela Weiss/ACMA2012/Getty Images

Source: Edmunds,Bloomberg


But Pattison doesn’t always get around so casually — he also owns five jets, including a Dassault Falcon 900 that seats up to 19 people. However, they’re all used for business.

ERIC PIERMONT/Getty Images

Source:Bloomberg, Business Vancouver


By water, he gets around on his $US25 million, 150-foot yacht Nova Spirit. Princess Diana and Oprah have both been on board.

Source:
Bloomberg


And like many billionaires, Pattison also has an extensive real-estate portfolio, which includes an office condo in Vancouver and a property in Palm Springs previously owned by Frank Sinatra.

Andrew F. Kazmierski/Getty Images

Source:
Bloomberg


When asked by a Bloomberg reporter whether he takes vacations, Pattison replied, “Well, I get 365 days … If you like your work, it’s not work.”

Phillip Chin/Getty Images

Source:
Bloomberg


Pattison is also known for investing in memorabilia. In 1985, he bought a Rolls Royce once owned by John Lennon for C$2.3 million (US$1.74 million). At the time, it was the world’s most expensive used car. He later donated it to a museum.

Source:
National Post


He paid US$5 million for the gown Marilyn Monroe wore in 1962 while singing “Happy Birthday” to then-President John F. Kennedy. Displayed in Ripley’s venues across North America, the publicity has generated a lot of money for the company.

Liliane Lathan/Getty Images

Source:
Bloomberg


Pattison is also generous. His charitable foundation, The Jim Pattison Foundation, donated $US12.5 million in 2016.

George Pimentel/Getty Images

Source:
Vancouver Sun


Pattison has a history of donating to Canada’s healthcare system — he’s given away more than $US35 million to various hospitals including Vancouver General Hospital, Lions Gate Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital, and Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Source:
Global News


And in 2017, he donated $US75 million to St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation to build the Jim Pattison Medical Centre.

Phillip Chin/Getty Images

Source:
Global News


As he once said, “I was always brought up to give up 10% of what I made, and I always have.”

Pat Brennan/Getty Images

Source:
Global News

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