Warren Buffett’s reputation as one of the world’s great investors is built not only on years of market-beating returns with his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc., but also on his sharp wit and avuncular, down-to earth personality.
But you don’t have to truck out to Nebraska or own Berkshire stock (though maybe you should) to tap into Buffett’s investing wisdom. The performance of Berkshire Hathaway Class A stock—which goes back to 1964, when Buffett took control—is even more eye popping. In Berkshire Hathaway’s 2014 letter to shareholders, Buffett wrote, “Both the board and I believe we now have the right person to succeed me as CEO–a successor ready to assume the job the day after I die or step down. In an addendum to that letter, Munger hinted that Ajit Jain and Greg Abel, the managers, respectively, of Berkshire’s reinsurance and energy businesses, would have “world leading” qualities if given the helm. Buffett has frequently said he avoids companies he doesn’t understand, including technology firms. Berkshire Hathaway was a large, struggling New England textile manufacturer when Buffett’s hedge fund took a stake in the early 1960s.
Buffett was accepted at Columbia, where he connected with Benjamin Graham, a professor and pioneering stock analyst. Virtually all of Buffett’s political donations have gone to Democrats, though in 2012 he said he was not a “card-carrying” Democrat, having supported some Republicans as well. He made headlines in 2014 when, for the first time, he made a soft-money donation of $25,000 to a PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for president.


Buffett’s father, Howard, was a Republican with strong isolationist, anti-New Deal beliefs. The insurer first piqued Buffett’s interest when he was at graduate school (his mentor and professor, Benjamin Graham, had become Geico’s chairman).
He later sold those shares, but, decades later, as the insurer teetered close to bankruptcy, Berkshire Hathaway stepped in and bought a large stake in 1976. Tens of thousands of investors flock to the company’s annual shareholder meetings for the chance to rub shoulders with the Oracle of Omaha. His lead partner at Berkshire Hathaway, Vice Chairman Charlie Munger (seen here at left), is 92. In certain important respects, this person will do a better job than I am doing.” But he did not name that person.
The family bought this house in Washington's Spring Valley neighborhood in 1943, and Buffett attended public school nearby.
He bought Tesco in 2012, sold shares for a profit in 2013, but then took a $444 million loss when he liquidated in 2014. A tiff over the price of a stock buyback led to Buffett launching a takeover bid for the firm. Buffett has frequently credited his mentor with giving him the tools to become a true investor.


The company’s model of selling insurance directly (which it continues to do today) and profit margins appealed greatly to the young Buffett, and he put about two-thirds of his savings into the stock in 1951.
At the end of 2015, the original shares (now the Class A stock) commanded a price of $155,501 each—an annualized return of 19.2%, roughly twice that of the S&P 500.
Their ages have raised questions about succession planning at the storied firm for decades now. Leading up to the 2008 presidential election, he gave money both to her campaign and Barack Obama’s. Dexter Shoes, based in Maine, initially appealed to Buffett with a strong brand and top-notch management. I became the dog who caught the car.” Ultimately, the textile business was shut down, in 1985. But low labor costs overseas eventually undercut the business, and eight years later Buffett folded Dexter into another Berkshire subsidiary.



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