Distend your believe for a moment and try to picture yourself inheriting some money – what would you plan to do with it? Would you invest it in the stock market? Would you make a big purchase? Would you use the money to pay off some of your debts? What if your boss told you to put your faith in him and allow him to invest it for you?
Many decades ago, Elizabeth Hanon and her husband Harry did what I’m sure a lot of people would do if they found themselves in a similar situation: they politely said “no, thanks” to the thought of investing their hard-earned money with Elizabeth’s boss.
But here’s the hitch: her boss was the Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffett, although he wasn’t really anybody at that time.
Passing up the opportunity to invest with Warren Buffett turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes that Harry Hanon ever made, and it’s one of his biggest regrets, we learned from Kent Hanon, who is his son.
Harry recently passed away in the year 2004, and he was 91 years old. Although he might not have capitalized on the investment opportunity of a lifetime, he didn’t die poor or not wealthy, since he built himself a few homes across the United States, which he turned around and then sold for profit. He also took up investing on a casual basis later on in his life, which he looked at as a “valuable and interesting hobby,” although it didn’t net him a huge profit which we also learned according to his son.
“Until the day he died, I reminded him of this thing with Warren Buffett,” Kent Hanon mentions to an interviewer with The Huffington Post in an interview. “We could have been well-known millionaires along with him.”
Instead of putting his inheritance money in the hands of Warren Buffett, future billionaire, Harry invested his money in a pyramid scheme and lost the entire sum that he acquired. Once Warren Buffett was known as the People’s billionaire – and you can recognize him in photos chowing down on Dairy Queen ice cream, or drinking Coca-Cola and hanging out with rap mogul Jay-Z – the entire Hanon clan could only laugh, said Ken Hanon. They couldn’t imagine that their mother’s boss, who was really “just a guy,” that they knew, was capable of achieving such success.
“Everybody gave my dad a hard time, deservedly so,” said Hanon.