Here's how rich you'd be if you invested $US1,000 in Warren Buffett back in the day

Photo: Scott Barbour/ Getty Images.
  • Warren Buffett is delivering his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders on Saturday.
  • Business Insider estimated how much $US1,000 of Berkshire Hathaway stock would be worth today if you had invested at the end of each year of Buffett’s tenure.

Warren Buffett is delivering his annual letter on Saturday. Over the past half-century, he has turned a failing textile company into a legendary conglomerate.

Using historical price data for Berkshire Hathaway class A shares from a retrospective analysis of Buffett’s outsize returns and Yahoo Finance, we calculated how much $US1,000 of Berkshire stock would be worth today if you had invested that money at the end of each year of Buffett’s tenure.

That $US1,000 invested in 1964, when Buffett took over the company and shares were just $US19, would be worth nearly $US16 million today, based on the $US301,404 closing price of the stock on Thursday. Meanwhile, $US1,000 invested in 1990 would be worth $US45,154 today.

If you invested $US1,000 in Berkshire every year since 1964, your total investment would be worth over $US124 million today.

Here’s a chart showing the current value of Berkshire Hathaway stock bought at different times in the past 54 years:

Investments from the first couple of decades of Buffett’s stewardship would have grown that $US1,000 to several million dollars. After about 1980 or so, those gains were much more modest, though still impressive.

To get a better handle of the values of the past 30 or so years, which are hard to see in the above chart because of the large returns in earlier years, here’s the same chart using a logarithmic scale, in which the vertical axis is incremented in powers of 10, making it easier to see the range of price returns we’re looking at:

Log buffett investmentBusiness Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from Statman and Scheid (2001) and Yahoo Finance

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