If you consider the ingredients that went into the making of Warren Buffett, you might be tempted to assume that he had plenty of advantages growing up and knew the right people to get started. But in doing so, you’d miss some profound life lessons and the recipe for his success as well as the factors that make him unique.
When reading about his childhood you are struck with his willingness to try new ventures, especially to make money. He was lovingly encouraged by his stockbroker father to learn about investing and business markets and even used some funds he had saved to buy his first stock at age 11! Yet interwoven with that thirst for monetary gain was a careful, inquisitive personality and a willingness to develop his talents. His graduate education at Columbia Univ. with securities guru Benjamin Graham further inspired him and he started a variety of partnerships that made him a millionaire by his early thirties. Then he merged his partnerships into one and acquired Berkshire Hathaway, which has become a diversified holding company with revenues of $242 billion in 2017. Buffett’s outstanding performance record, which he attributes to “value investing” principles, employs lengthy research and finding companies he understands and trusts – and holding them for a long time.
Now 87, Buffett may be one of the wealthiest people on Earth but stays true to values he has cultivated over the decades: having close relationships with family, maintaining a small circle of trusted business associates, being frugal with personal expenditures but generous with time and money to others, and having a youthful curiosity of the world around him.