24 mind-blowing facts about Warren Buffett and his $87 billion fortune

  • Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has a net worth of $US87.1 billion.
  • He turns 88 years old on Thursday, August 30.
  • Buffett is a generous philanthropist having given away more than $US27 billion in the last decade.
  • The billionaire is known for his frugal habits, like his daily McDonald’s breakfast and insistence on using a flip phone.

With a net worth of $US87.1 billion, “The Oracle of Omaha” is currently the third-richest person in the world – but he doesn’t act like it.

His modest home in Nebraska is worth just .001% of his total wealth and he never spends more than $US3.17 on his daily McDonald’s breakfast.

To those who knew him from the beginning, Buffett’s success comes as no surprise: He was picking out stocks at 11 years old and had amassed the equivalent of $US53,000 in today’s dollars by the time he was 16.

But Buffett isn’t just a master at making money – he’s good at giving it away, too. Although he didn’t start donating until later in life at the insistence of his first wife, Buffett is now regarded as one of the most generous philanthropists in the world, giving more than $US27 billion to causes in the last decade.

Inspired by a Quora thread asking “What are some mind-blowing facts about Warren Buffett,” we rounded up 24 astonishing facts about the legendary investor and his massive fortune.

While his elementary school classmates were dreaming about the major leagues and Hollywood, 10-year old Buffett was having lunch with a member of the New York Stock Exchange and setting life goals.

Buffett’s legendary career all began with an epiphany at age 10 when he was on a trip to New York City with his dad.

Dining with a member of the NYSE planted the idea in young Buffett’s head to organise his life around money.

Source: Business Insider

He bought his first stock at age 11.

Buffett’s childhood home. Airbnb

He purchased multiple shares of Cities Service Preferred for $US38 apiece.

Source: GOBankingRates

When Buffett was a teen, he was already raking in about $US175 a month — more than his teachers (and most adults).

He pulled this off by dutifully delivering the Washington Post.

Source: Business Insider

He had amassed the equivalent of $US53,000 by the time he was just 16.

Paper delivery was just one of many small businesses teenage Buffett orchestrated: He sold used golf balls and stamps, buffed cars, set up a pinball machine business, and turned a horse track into a lucrative playground.

Source: Business Insider

He was rejected from Harvard Business School.

Harvard Business School. Flickr/Florian Pilz

Buffett, confident he nailed his admissions interview, had already told a friend, “Join me at Harvard.”

“I looked about 16 and emotionally was about nine,” he recalled of the in-person interview. Forced to look elsewhere, he settled on Columbia University, which only required a written application and no interview.

Source: Business Insider

His idol refused to hire him the first time he applied.

Buffett originally wanted to work with his idol, and author of “The Intelligent Investor,” Benjamin Graham, but Graham rejected him because he wasn’t Jewish (Graham was saving a spot at his firm for someone Jewish, since at the time Jewish people had a tougher time landing work on Wall Street).

Buffett wouldn’t take no for an answer, and continued pitching Graham ideas until he eventually hired him.

Source: James Altucher

Buffett spent $US100 to take a Dale Carnegie course on public speaking.

Warren Buffett and his current wife, Astrid. Brendan Hoffman/Getty

He was 21 and terrified of public speaking. It ended up being a worthy investment, as the course helped him propose to his wife.

Source: Business Insider

His house is a humble five-bedroom in Omaha, Nebraska, that he bought in 1956 for $US31,500.

Omaha, Nebraska. Shutterstock

If you want to be Buffett’s neighbour, the house across the street will cost you about $US2.15 million.

Source: James Altucher

Buffett doesn’t keep a computer on his desk, and he chooses to use a flip phone rather than a smartphone.

The most high-tech gadget you’ll find in his office is a land line. CBS News

There is, however, a World Book Encyclopedia set on his shelf.

Source: James Altucher, Business Insider, and CNN

In fact, he’s only sent one email in his life, to Jeff Raikes of Microsoft.

Buffett has successfully evaded technology over the years. Scott Olson/Getty

Source: CNN

His distance from technology leaves him time for bridge, which he plays about 12 hours a week.

Oftentimes, his bridge partner is Bill Gates.

Source: James Altucher

He spends 80% of his day reading.

When he’s not playing bridge, he’s reading. “I just sit in my office and read all day,” he says.

Source: The Week

He drinks an alarming amount of Coca-Cola each day.

The business magnate is a notoriously unhealthy eater: “If I eat 2,700 calories a day, a quarter of that is Coca-Cola. I drink at least five 12-ounce servings. I do it everyday.”

He also likes to double-fist salt shakers, and don’t put it past him to enjoy a bowl of ice cream for breakfast.

Source: Business Insider

99% of Buffett’s wealth was earned after his 50th birthday.

Source: Fool

Among investing legends, Buffett has the longest track record for beating the market.

The longevity of Buffett’s outperformance is greater than that of other savvy investors, such as David Einhorn and Walter Schloss.

Source: Business Insider

$US1,000 invested in Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway stock in 1964, when Buffett took over the company and shares cost just $US19, would be worth about $US13 million dollars today.

Source: Business Insider, Markets Insider

Buffett’s net worth is greater than the GDP of Uruguay.

Uruguay’s 2014 GDP was estimated to be $US57,471,277,325.

Though Buffett spends frugally, he gives generously. In 2010, he teamed up with Bill and Melinda Gates to form The Giving Pledge, an initiative that asks the world’s wealthiest people to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

As of June 2016, more than 154 affluent individuals have signed the pledge, including Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Ellison.

Source: Business Insider, Fortune

Buffett has also so far donated nearly enough money in his lifetime to build six Apple ‘Spaceship’ Campuses, which are $US5 billion endeavours.

The Apple Campus, one of the last major projectsSteve Jobsworked on, is a futuristic-looking company campus that will feature curved glass panels, an underground parking lot, a private auditorium for keynotes and product launches, and a 360-degree view of nature.

Buffett has donated nearly $US30 billion – the second-highest amount (following that of Bill Gates).

Source: Forbes

In 2013, Buffett made on average $US37 million per DAY — that’s more than what Jennifer Lawrence made the entire year.

According to Forbes, Jennifer Lawrence was the second-highest-paid actress in 2013, and she is estimated to have made $US34 million that year.

Warren Buffett made $US37 million per day in 2013.

Source: MarketWatch

In July 2016, Buffett broke his own giving record when he donated $US2.9 billion to various charities, including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, which is named for his late wife.

Every year, Buffett donates billions to charity. Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Source: Forbes

The multi-billionaire reportedly earns only $US100,000 a year at Berkshire Hathaway — and spends it frugally.

Source: GOBankingRates

People are so fascinated with the legendary Buffett that they will spend millions of dollars to eat lunch with him.

Buffett’s lunch place of choice, Smith & Wollensky. Art Bochevarov/flickr

Buffett has been auctioning off a “power lunch” since 2000 at his charity event for GLIDE Foundation.

The highest bidder gets to bring up to seven people to dine with the steak-loving business magnate at Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan, and the most recent winner paid $US3,456,789.

Source: CNN Money

He doesn’t think money equals success: ‘I measure success by how many people love me. And the best way to be loved is to be loveable.’

Source: James Altucher

This is an update of an article originally written by Kathleen Elkins and Emmie Martin.