At six years old, Warren Buffett was no average child. While other children were playing games, Warren was buying six-packs of Coca-Cola from his grandfather's store for 25 cents and selling the individual bottles for five cents. At age 11, he bought a company's stock (for the first time) at $38 a share. They dropped to $27 a share, but he steadied his nerves and waited. When the stock rose to $40 a share, he sold them and learned an important lesson about patience, because the stock's value continued to rise—to $200!
It's difficult to believe, but this boy genius from Omaha, Nebraska, did not want to attend college; Warren's father persuaded him to go anyway. When Warren learned that two well-known securities analysts taught at Columbia Business School, he enrolled in their post-graduate economics program. One of them, Benjamin Graham,
shaped Buffett’s investing future profoundly. The strategy he learned is simple: determine a company's actual worth by examining its financial data; if the value of its stock is significantly less than the company’s value, it's a good investment.
Using this method, Buffett accumulated so much wealth that at one time he surpassed Bill Gates as the world's wealthiest man. In addition, when Mr. Buffett acquires a successful business, he uses his amiable interpersonal skills to communicate with the existing managers. His plan of "management" is not to interfere with the running of the company. Instead, he maintains a hands-off approach and allows its directors to retain ultimate decision-making powers.
Despite his legendary wealth, Warren Buffett continues to live in the same, modest home. He carries no cell phone, and has no computer. He drives his own car: a common Cadillac DTS. When he finally bought a private jet for $10 million (NT$322 million), he named it "The Indefensible," for he had frequently been critical of other executives' extravagant purchases.
Buffett has long been helpful to charities by auctioning his possessions and time, and donating the money received. However, Buffett's largest philanthropic gesture met with some uncertain press. After he donated 83% of his money to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it was revealed by the LA Times and other reputable news sources that some of the Foundation's activities had glaring conflicts of interest. However, overall, the Gates Foundation appears to be sincere in its mandate and will provide an honest distribution of Warren Buffett's fortune.
巴菲特長期以來，一直將拍賣個人物品與諮詢時間的所得捐助給慈善機構。然而，巴菲特出手最大筆的慈善作為，卻引來媒體爭議。他向「比爾暨梅琳達• 蓋茲基金會」捐出83% 的個人所得後，《洛杉磯時報》與其他可靠的新聞來源，表示該基金會的一些活動有明顯的利益衝突。不過整體而言，蓋茲基金會應會克盡職守，公正地善用巴菲特的財富。