Warren Buffett turns 88 — here's how rich you'd be if you had bet $1,000 on him back in the day

Eric Francis/Getty
  • Warren Buffett’s birthday is on August 30, and the legendary investor turns 88 this year.
  • Over the last half-century, Buffett has turned Berkshire Hathaway from a failing textile company into a massive conglomerate.
  • A $US1,000 investment in Berkshire in 1964, when Buffett first bought the company, would be worth nearly $US17 million today.

Warren Buffett turns 88 on Thursday, and 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 $US17 million today, based on the $US317,505 price on Thursday morning – and $US1,000 invested in 1990 would be worth $US47,566 today.

If you were to annually invest $US1,000 in Berkshire every year since 1964, your total investment would be worth a little over $US131 million today.

Here’s a chart showing the current value of Berkshire Hathaway stock bought at different times in the past 53 years:

Linear buffett bet chart 2018Business Insider/Andy Kiersz

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 enormous 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 bet chart 2018Business Insider/Andy Kiersz

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