Here’s Why Not Many Billionaires Are Like Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett was only 11 when he made the first big decision that would lead him down a path of generational wealth. While he would have some setbacks along the way, and he wouldn’t see 90 percent of his wealth until later in life, he’s one interesting man. What billionaire as famous as Buffett do you know would still want to live in a home they bought decades ago? That’s a tough question, but all the answers you seek are a short read away…

He Was Only 11 When He Bought His First Stock

the stocks man
mark peterson/Corbis via Getty Images
mark peterson/Corbis via Getty Images

When highly successful people find their passions, it’s usually at a young age. That gives them time to nurture it, become better, and eventually build a life around it. Warren Buffett was only 11 when he bought his first stock.

It was the spring of 1942 when a young Buffett purchased multiple shares of Cities Service Preferred for $38 each. Many kids would rather play their video games or trading cards, but Buffett had other ideas.

Buffett Made Significant Gains By 16

the smirking buffett
Eric Francis/Getty Images
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Buffett was a tactful youngster, and that carried over to his adult years. His family moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where Buffett would deliver The Washington Post every morning. That alone made him $175 a month, which was more than many teachers earned during that era.

On the side, he would also sell used golf balls, collector stamps, and buff cars. By the time he hit 16, Buffett had earned around $53,000! That’s a high work-ethic for a young man.

A Major Epiphany At Ten

making money
Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage
Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

You’ve already learned that Buffett bought his first stock when he was 11, but there was a special moment that took place when he was only ten. During a trip to New York City with his dad, both dined with a member of the NYSE.

Even though Buffett was young, he was already one of the brightest in the room. Eating with that NYSE member sparked an idea in his mind to organize his life around money!

Harvard Business School Didn’t Want Him

waving his hand
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages

Buffett attended the University of Nebraska and would end up graduating in only three years. He was intelligent and would only continue to grow his knowledge, but he wanted to do so at Harvard Business School. After applying, he had a brief interview with the staff, and they said, “Forget it. You’re not going to Harvard.”

Later, the investing genius foud out his idols (Benjamin Graham and David Dodd) worked at Colombia Business School. “I wrote them a letter in mid-August,” Buffett shares. “I said, ‘Dear Professor Dodd. I thought you guys were dead, but now that I found out that you’re alive and teaching at Columbia, I would really like to come.’ And he admitted me.”

How Ironic Is This?

two really rich men
Monica Schipper/WireImage
Monica Schipper/WireImage

It’s true when they say birds of a feather flock together. While there’s a belief that wealthy people spend more time reading books to gain knowledge, its the truth for Buffett and Bill Gates. The two share a favorite book.

In 1991, Buffett gave Gates “Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street,” written by John Brooks. Even this day, the Microsoft man calls it “the best business book I’ve ever read.”

Same City, Same House If You’re Looking For Him

outside of his house
JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images
JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images

When you imagine a billionaire, you might think about a lot of fancy cars and an expensive, large mansion. That can be true for some, but not for Buffett. The billionaire hasn’t moved since moving into his home in 1958.

Its the same Omaha house that he bought for $31,500 all those years ago. Inside, there are only five bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. It sounds like a modest way of living, or it could be a tactic to help keep him humble.

His Father-in-law Had No Faith In Him

warren buffett receiving an award
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

It can be difficult raising a child that isn’t yours, but you don’t ever want to tell him or her you’re going to fail. Luckily, Buffett didn’t listen to the words of his father-in-law. In an interview with CNBC, Buffett recalled the words of this man.

“I just want to absolve you from any worries. You’re going to fail,” his in-law said. He even went as far as to say his daughter might starve, but it would be because of the “Democrats.”

He Made HOW MUCH Per Day In 2013??

a lot per day for buffett
Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage
Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

There were still three weeks of trading left in 2013, but that year already became “the best year for the benchmark U.S. index in the 21st century.” Equipped with that knowledge, you’ll never believe how many millions per day that Warren Buffett made.

Buffett had a net worth of $59 billion by the end of 2013, up from $46 billion that he had at the start of the year. Averaging it out, Buffett pulled in $37 million a day in 2013. That’s utterly insane.

Buffett Gained Over 90% Of His Wealth After Reaching A Certain Age

warren buffett and jayz at the club
Johnny Nunez/WireImage
Johnny Nunez/WireImage

We’ve shared with you how Buffett accumulated millions per day in 2013, and also how he gained so much money in his younger days, but it wouldn’t be until later that he would earn the majority of his net worth. The billionaire had a value of $376 million at 52, but that increased dramatically a few years down the line.

The statistic is, after he turned 60, Buffett earned 94% of his wealth! They say success comes at any age, but this is incredible, making that large of a financial leap in eight years.

Buffet Chose Two Potential Heirs To His Empire

berkshire buffett
Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage
Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

The living investing legend can’t do what he does forever. The head of Berkshire Hathaway eventually selected two potential heirs to his massive empire. One is Ajit Jain, head of Berkshire’s reinsurance operations, and the other, Gregory Abel, vice-chairmen of the parent company.

“It’s part of the movement toward succession over time,” Buffett told CNBC‘s Becky Quick in an interview. “This would have made sense five years ago, too. They both have Berkshire in their blood, they love the company, and they know their operations like the back of their hand.”

The Man Reads Like There’s No Tomorrow

warren buffett the reader
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

If you think you read a lot, you might reconsider after learning this fact. The moment Buffett wakes up, he has his eyes glued to the newspaper. When someone asked what the keys to his success was he gave a gesture and a shocking detail.

Buffett pointed to a stack of books and said, “read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.” He estimates that he spends 80 percent of his day reading!

The Little Troublemaker

warren buffett grining
Eric Francis/Getty Images
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Not everyone is an angel when they’re younger, even if they grow up to make billions. Buffett is an excellent example of this, as he had a troublesome childhood that only straightened up after his father threatened him.

Buffett would steal sporting goods from Sears, his grades weren’t the greatest, and he even ran away from home. He only turned things around once his dad told him he wouldn’t be able to do his paper route anymore.

People Pay Millions To Have Lunch With Buffett

warren buffett eating
Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Time Inc.
Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Time Inc.

In 2019, an anonymous bidder won lunch with Buffett after a record bid of $4.6 million! It was the 20th annual charity auction for a “Power Lunch with Warren Buffett,” and this person must’ve really wanted some new knowledge.

One hundred percent of the money every year gets donated to the Glide Foundation, so at least it was for a good cause. The winning bid in 2000 was a measly $25,000, so in 19 years, it has increased substantially.

He’s Only Sent One Email, But For This Reason

warren buffett
Ankit Agrawal/Mint via Getty Images
Ankit Agrawal/Mint via Getty Images

For a person so invested in business ventures, you would expect Buffett to send and receive emails consistently. While he might have a lot incoming, Buffett’s only sent one email.

The recipient was former Microsoft executive, Jeff Raikes, and the message read, “Doesn’t Microsoft meet all your tests for a wonderful business.” The investor responded by outlining all the things he doesn’t use Microsoft for, and the government ended up taking his response to help support Microsoft. Buffett would end up seeing his email in a Wall Street Journal article.

Buffett Treats A Dozen Kids To Dairy Queen Every Sunday

flipping a diary queen upside down-104554645
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

How’s having Buffett as a grandfather? Well, you and your friends get taken to Dairy Queen every Sunday, so that’s pretty sweet. Buffett has holdings in the ice cream chain, so treating 12 kids to some ice cream every weekend is a win-win.

When Buffett takes out the kids, he always notices this one thing about them. “They barely can talk to me except if I’m ordering ice cream or something like that,” he said.

Yes, He Still Uses A Flip Phone!

warren buffett gesturing with his hands
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Buffett owns a percentage of Apple, but he doesn’t opt-in to use their cellular devices. Are they too “smart” for him? The truth is, he still carries around a flip phone! “This is the one Alexander Graham Bell gave me,” Buffett joked on the Piers Morgan Show.

Well, that might not be far from the truth. As we mentioned before, Buffett still lives in the same five-bedroom house he bought decades ago, but it has to do with frugality, according to him. “I don’t throw anything away until I’ve had it 20 or 25 years.”

His Kids Are His Biggest Source Of Satisfaction

warren buffett
Bennett Raglin/WireImage
Bennett Raglin/WireImage

After you’ve amassed billions of dollars, donated so much, and accomplished so many incredible things, what can possibly inspire you still? Money comes and goes, but the love of your family lasts forever. That’s why Buffett gains satisfaction seeing his children complete significant tasks.

“I would say the most satisfying thing actually is watching my three children each pick up on their own interests,” Buffett said, “and work many more hours per week than most people that have jobs at trying to intelligently give away that money in fields that they particularly care about.”

A Farm Was One Of His Early Investments

warren buffett smiling
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

When you’re making more than teachers do as a teenager, you have the freedom to do more. That includes being able to invest in things others wouldn’t have access to, including a farm.

When Buffett was a high school sophomore, he bought a 40-acre farm. During his senior year, he purchased a pinball machine and placed it at a local barbershop. Within a couple of months, he expanded his business to three devices, and in a year, he sold the pinball business for $1,200.

He Can’t Get Enough Cola

warren buffett drinking a coke
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

For all the health-conscious people reading right now, this next fact might blow your mind. Buffett thoroughly enjoys Coca-Cola and ice cream, two things that don’t contribute much to a healthy lifestyle.

“If I eat 2,700 calories a day, a quarter of that is Coca-Cola. I drink at least five 12-ounce servings. I do it every day,” Buffett revealed in an interview with Fortune. That kind of diet doesn’t translate to youthfulness in older people, but it seems to work for Buffett!

He’s Somewhat Of A Musician?

ukulele buffett
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for FORTUNE
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for FORTUNE

Would you believe that Buffett tried to use music as a means to charm a young lady? When he was 18, he had a crush on a local Omaha girl named Betty Gallagher. Sadly, she already had a boyfriend, so Buffett thought he would win her over by learning to play the ukulele.

After figuring out the instrument, he serenaded Gallagher, but she still chose the other man. Today, he still uses the skill during interviews, meetings, and conventions.