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Warren Buffett Turns 88. Here Are 8 Stunning Facts On How He Made His Billions.

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Legendary investor, Warren Buffett, turned 88 last Thursday.

Over the past half century, Oracle of Omaha turned a flailing textile company into a wide-reaching conglomerate. Buffett’s success in the stock market has been largely unmatched, enabling him to amass a fortune of more than US$85 billion today.

As a tribute to the man, here are eight interesting facts about the “Oracle of Omaha”.

1. A $1,000 investment in Berkshire in 1964, when Buffett first bought the company, is worth nearly $17 million today.

Who wants to be a millionaire? If you had simply decided to purchase a small stake in Berkshire at the same time as Buffett did, you would be a millionaire multiple times over.

2. Buffett bought his first stock at age 11

While most of us were busy watching cartoons, and playing catch at recess, a young Buffett was busy taking his first steps in investing. His first shares was Cities Service Preferred for US$38 a share.

3. He amassed the equivalent of US$53,000 by the age of 16

The common teenager would still be very much dependent on allowance from their parents at the age of sixteen. Unless you’re Buffett. He was an entrepreneur at heart, selling stamps, used golf balls, buffed cars. He even set-up pinball machines in barber shops all over Washington.

4. He was rejected by Harvard Business School

Buffett did not have everything go his way. After graduating from the University of Nebraska, he applied for the Harvard Business School but got rejected. The staff told him, “Forget it. You’re not going to Harvard.” Today, Buffett describes it as the best thing that ever happened to him. After his rejection, he discovered that his idol Benjamin Graham (author of the book “The Intelligent Investor”) was teaching in Columbia Business School, where he applied and was accepted. That marked the beginning of a long and successful career in investing.

5. He has lived in the same house for 60 years

Unlike most billionaires, Buffett does not live a lavish mansion, nor does he own any expensive cars. He has led a simple life from his Omaha home since 1958, when he bought it for US$31,500. For most of us, our homes are probably the biggest assets we have, but Buffett’s house is worth 0.001% of his net-worth.

6. People have paid millions to have lunch with him

With his wealth of experience, there is certainly much to be learnt from Buffett. Since 2000, Buffett has held an annual fundraiser auctioning off a charity lunch with him. The money raised goes to the San Francisco-based anti-poverty charity GLIDE. The winner of the auction gets to invite seven friends to lunch with Buffett at the Smith and Wollensky steakhouse in New York City. So far, the auction has raised more than US$20 million!

7. He made 94% of his wealth came after he turned 60

That’s the beauty of compounding. At 52 years old, Buffet was worth a “meagre” US$376 million. At 60, US$3.8 million. At 88, US$85 billion.

8. He has the best track record of beating the market

Steady as she goes. In the chart plotting the returns of some of the greatest investors, Buffett stands out as having the longest track record of market-beating returns.

Source: Business Insider article

Everyone is passing around this chart showing how much the great investors have beat the market.

Happy birthday Mr Buffett!

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Jeremy Chia owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class B.