A beacon of inspiration to the American dream, Warren Buffett stands as the world’s most influential person. Not only does he represent a true American personality, one that is free of all selfishness, he also gives light to a new perspective to life. As an American magnate, a good Samaritan and investor he has found ways to abstract himself from his surrounds and stand out from the crowd.
What makes Warren Buffett a hero is that he stands as an emblem of an ideal American personality, one that includes philanthropic ideals, an outgoing personality and a motive free of acquisitiveness. Warren Buffett was born on August 13th, 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska. Buffett’s father Howard worked as a stockbroker and served as a U.S. Congressman. His mother, Leila Stahl Buffett, was a homemaker. Buffett was the second of three children and the only boy. Being greatly inclined in financial and business matters as a very young boy. He could add columns of numbers at a time. He was destined to be a math prodigy (Buffett 24).
He “invested” these talents of his at his father’s stockbrokerage shop where he would write down the prices for stocks on the chalkboard. His business career started off when he was eleven years old (Sorowierchi 16). “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago” (Buffett). Buffett made his first investment by buying Cities Service Preferred at $38 per share. At a young age he seemed to show investment skills and this clearly reflected off of his outgoing personality.
The price of the stocks he had bought quickly dropped down to twenty-seven dollars per share and would stay at this rate for about year until they rose to about forty dollars and then sold them, making a small profit. What may have seemed like a good start but his entrepreneurial career was still feeble. As soon as he sold the stocks, they rose up to about two hundred dollars (Carroll 7). It took roller coasters of experience to achieve what he has accomplished. Near the age of thirteen, Buffett started his own business. He would go out and sell newspapers as a paperboy along with horse racing tips sheets.
This gradually built up till he filed his first tax return with a deduction of about 35 dollars. His age wasn’t something that stopped him from doing something, “all you need is the will” (Buffett 57). His father was soon elected as a congressman in the House of Representatives and so the family had to move to Fredericksburg, Virginia. There, he was enrolled in Woodrow Wilson High School. In the meantime he would find various other ways to make a profit. One of them was to use the money he had gained from selling the newspapers and tip sheets to buy a pinball machine, which he would later put in a barber’s shop. This represented his nature of investing (Sorowierchi 17).
He would invest his profits in worthwhile practices to make more money. And so on he collected a total of three machines that he put in various locations throughout Washington D.C (Lowe). For further education he entered the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the most prestigious colleges of its time, at the age of 16. He did not think he was a good amount of education over there and so he decided to move to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln two years later (Sorowierchi 17). Buffett would later emerge from this college with a degree and head out to seek more as always. For further complete his education, Buffett attended Columbia University.
There he will find a mentor that will forever bend his knowledge on investing towards positive light. Benjamin Graham, author of “Security Analysis” and the chairman of GEICO, which was at the time a small-unknown insurance company, was to teach Buffett all he knew about investing. Graham did not only teach Buffett investing but morality as well.
Graham showed this by turning down Buffett’s offer to work for him for free because he would rather save space for the unemployed (Carroll 7). After graduating from Columbia, Buffett moved back to his home in Omaha and soon after got married to Susie Thompson. There he returned to work at his father’s brokerage house and formed the Buffett Partnership right there at his father’s shop. Buffett’s genuine skills in the acquisition of underlying and nearly bankrupt companies earned him the sobriquet, “Oracle of Omaha.”
Various other predominant investment successes included helping rescue the debilitated Salomon Brothers from corporate raiders in 1987 and taking charge of his New York City house in 1992, in the uprising of an insider-trading dispute.
A few years later, his eyes fell on a nearly bankrupt company, Berkshire Hathaway. He was titled the director of it after he had owned forty-nine percent of the stock. The company was run down to the ground because of poor management. This changed when Warren Buffet appointed Ken Chace as the President. The stock prices began to rise until what is $159,700 for a single stock today.
This increased the value of Warren Buffett to a whooping Forty four million dollars. Near June 2006, Buffett came upon an agreement to contribute his entire fortune away to philanthropy, committing eighty-five percent of it to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Lowe). Warren Buffett has and continues to devote his life on values rather than prices because the “price is what you pay. [The] value is what you get.” – Warren Buffett.
“Berkshire Hathaway Company Information.” About Berkshire Hathaway. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2013. Buffett, Warren, and Janet Lowe. Warren Buffett Speaks: Wit and Wisdom from the World’s Greatest Investor. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2007. Print. Carroll, Mary. “The Betrayal of the American Dream.” Booklist 1 July 2012: 16 Gale Biography in Context. Web. 21 Mar. 2013 Sorowierchi, James. “Warren’s Way”. The New Yorkers 10 Dec. 2012: 33. Gale Biography in Context. Web. 21. Mar 2013 The Independence, Independent Digital News and Media, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2013 “Warren Buffett.” Newsmakers. Detroit: Gale, 1995. Biography In Context. Web. 4 Apr. 2013.