Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, is the world’s foremost investor. There have been dozens of books written about him, and he is probably one of the most quoted financial investors in the world. People flock from all over just to ask him questions at his annual shareholder’s meeting. But, how much do we really know about Buffett? Here are 10 facts that might surprise you about the second richest man in the world:
1. His allowance was a nickel a week when he was a kid
According to an interview on HBO’s Becoming Warren Buffett documentary, Buffett earned a nickel a week from his father when he was growing up. Of course, he quickly supplemented this with additional jobs including selling stamps and delivering papers.
2. He made $53,000 by the age of 16
Buffett has always been a money-minded person, and he made quite a pretty penny through pinball machines as a kid. Between that and his other jobs, t’s estimated he made around $53,000 before he even graduated.
3. He was rejected from Harvard Business School
Although he applied to Harvard, he was rejected. This worked out in his favor as he ended up going to Columbia University where he met his mentor Benjamin Graham and learned more about value investing, which he still practices in some ways today.
4. He’s lived in the same house since 1958
Buffett purchased the house for around $31,500 and it’s now estimated to be worth several million. Until recently, Buffett also owned a summer home in Laguna Beach, which he recently put on the market for $11 million.
5. In 2013, he earned $37 million a day
Buffett has always held the majority of his net worth in stocks of Berkshire Hathaway, and because of this his wealth can skyrocket with the market. This is exactly what happened in 2013, when his wealth went from $46 billion to $59 billion—an average of $39 million a day.
6. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011
On Feb. 16,2011 former president Barack Obama awarded Buffett the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his philanthropic donations. It is the highest civilian honor that can be bestowed.
7. He has the best track record for beating the market
Although there are people who have beat the market by a higher percentage, Buffett has been able to be ahead of the market for the longest period of time. He even eclipsed his mentor Benjamin Graham.
8. His father-in-law told him he would fail
After he proposed to his first wife Susan, his soon-to-be father-in-law invited him over for a “talk” and told him promptly that he would fail miserably in the business and stock world. The man was a staunch conservative, and he told Buffett: “I just want to absolve you from any worries. You’re going to fail. And the reason you’re going to fail — my daughter may starve to death and you’re going to fail, but I’m not going to blame you because it’s because the Democrats are in and they’re all Communists.”
9. He owns 20 suits, none of which he bought
Warren Buffett actually received all of his suits for free, compliments of Madam Li of Dalian Dayang Trands. The Chinese tailor approached Buffett in his hotel and gave him free suits. They impressed him so much, Buffett arranged for his friend Bill Gates to use the company as well.
10. His Twitter account has 1.25 M followers and 9 tweets
Warren Buffett isn’t very into technology, and although there is a Twitter account that he was talked into starting in 2013, @WarrenBuffett is actually not run by Buffett at all. In fact, he doesn’t even know how to do it, and instead leaves it to others to tweet for him.