Thursday, March 12, 2009

Warren Buffet, no. 2nd World's Billionaires 2009

Warren Buffett, Net Worth: $37 billion.
• Last year America's most beloved investor was the world's richest man.
• This year he has to settle for second place after losing $25 billion in 12 months. Shares of Berkshire Hathaway down 45% since last March.
• Injected billions of dollars into Goldman Sachs, General Electric in exchange for preferred stock last fall; propped up insurance firm Swiss Re in February with $2.6 billion infusion. Admits he made some "dumb" investment mistakes in 2008.
• Upbeat about America's future: "Our economic system has worked extraordinarily well over time. It has unleashed human potential as no other system has, and it will continue to do so."

• Scoffs at Wall Street's over-reliance on "history-based" models: "If merely looking up past financial data would tell you what the future holds, the Forbes 400 would consist of librarians."
• Son of Nebraska politician delivered newspapers as a boy.
• Filed first tax return at age 13, claiming $35 deduction for bicycle.
• Studied under value investing guru Benjamin Graham at Columbia.
• Took over textile firm Berkshire Hathaway 1965.
• Today holding company invested in insurance (GEICO, General Re), jewelry (Borsheim's), utilities (MidAmerican Energy), food (Dairy Queen, See's Candies). Also has noncontrolling stakes in Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo.

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