At 80, Warren Buffett Shows No Sign of Slowing Down

Warren Buffett turns 80 on Monday, an age at which most people have been retired for a decade. This seems as good a time as any to take stock of a remarkable life in business.

The Third Richest Man in the World


In March Buffet claimed that money put into his flagship company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) had returned an average of 20% in annualized gains over a 45-year period. He is the third richest man in the world with a net worth of $47 billion, according to Forbes. In 2006 he said he would give most of his fortune to charity. He has pledged to donate all of his Berkshire shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which may make it the largest philanthropic institution in the world.

Berkshire is one of the largest conglomerates in the world. It's corporate website lists over 50 companies under one giant umbrella. These range from his largest acquisition -- the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, a $26 billion purchase he finalized last year -- to smaller outfits like The Buffalo News and the Nebraska Furniture Mart. And yet, his salary is a mere $100,000 a year.

The 'Oracle of Omaha' is Still a Rock Star

Buffett has had an unusual personal life. He married Susan Thomson in 1962 and has three children. For much of his marriage, he lived with his mistress Astrid Menks, whom he married after his wife died. He is frugal in much of his life, but flies private planes, mostly from the NetJets operation owned by, you guessed it, Berkshire.

Known as "The Oracle of Omaha" for his market insights, Buffett has become a cult figure. His opinions appear regularly in the media. He spends a large amount of his time giving interviews about the economy. Last year, the Berkshire annual meeting attracted 40,000 shareholders to the company's headquarters in Nebraska.

As he closes in on 80 years old, Buffett shows no signs of slowing down and Berkshire has announced no successor, although the matter is one of endless debate. It is too early to say what his legacy will be. CNN recently ran a long list of Buffett accolades. Whatever else is remembered of him, he will certainly be considered one of the most successful investors in American history.

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pinus1

Good for him. I have also read that he has not given a single dollar to Bikefree.org If we all gave just a dollar or 25 cents this would make a lot of the children of our fallen troops a little more happy this Christmas. I think Bikefree.org is a great thing and the two young men who are doing it are good Americans. Americans helping Americans, how novel. Some may not like the wars but who does not care about the little children? Bikefree.org America oh yes and Warren you also sir.

September 03 2010 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lewisdolly

i THINK BILL GATES AND YOU ARE PART OF THE DOWN FALL OF AMERICA, KIDS WITH TELEPHONES AND ELECTRIC CRAP HANGING ON THEIR EARS AND NOW YOU WILL FALL WITH US AS NO ONE WILL HAVE THE MONEY TO BUY YOUR JUNK. PARENTS BEWARE DO NOT BUY OUT SCOURCED GOODS. I AM 75 AND LOST EVERYTHING.

August 29 2010 at 7:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply