At 86 years of age and with a net worth of 78.7 billion dollars, you might be surprised to learn that Warren Buffett has more in common with Willy Wonka than any other billionaire in his age demographic. As CEO of Berkshire Hathaway since the 1970s, he helped grow its empire with well-known subsidiaries, including Dairy Queen, GEICO, Fruit of the Loom, and Duracell. Financial successes aside, there are several reasons why he is redefining the billionaire archetype.
A strict dietary regiment is definitely not the secret to this octogenarian’s long life. Buffett confesses to having a sweet tooth greater than anyone would expect to hear. He confesses to drinking at least five cans of Coca-Cola per day – his favorite flavor being cherry. This amounts to 700 daily calories from soft drinks alone.
As for breakfast, Buffett has confessed to eating plates ranging from chocolate chip ice cream to potato sticks. Some mornings, his wife will leave him some change, but never more than $3.17, to purchase a breakfast sandwich from McDonalds.
Buffett’s argument in defense of his sweet tooth is that he doesn’t see smiles on the faces of people at Whole Foods.
The NCAA basketball finals, also known as March Madness, is a big deal for employees of Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett offers all of his employees an opportunity to win one million dollars per year for life to the employee who guesses the winners of all the matches in the 32-game tournament. A daunting task, to be sure, but who else could boast that their boss has offered them this much money to watch sports?
Adding to His Generosity
In 2010, Warren Buffett has pledged to donate 99 per cent of his wealth to various philanthropic foundations including world health issues, global schools, and U.S. libraries. Through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Buffett will donate a total of 10 million shares of his Berkshire Hathaway stocks. In 2008, the share value of his donation totaled a sum of approximately $37 billion, expected to appreciate further in time.
Although not the most prolific Tweeter, Buffett joined Twitter in 2013 with a big splash, simply tweeting “Warren is in the house”. Since then he has shared memorable tweets empowering to women, and even a selfie of himself photoshopped to look like Heisenberg from the popular television series Breaking Bad.
Bill’s Best Friend
Who does Warren Buffett, the third richest man in the world, have to call on as a friend but the richest man in the world, Bill Gates. With a combined net-worth of approximately $161 billion, Gates and Buffett share a close friendship through their charity-giving endeavors, reaching out to other billionaires to do the same. Despite being from different industries they regularly play ping pong together and have even traveled to China together with their wives.
With the nickname of “Oracle of Ohama”, it is unsurprising that Warren Buffett proves to be as eccentric and interesting an individual as one can find. Buffett has told CNBC, “I had fun when I was in my twenties, my thirties, and now I am 86 and I am having fun.” Knowing more about his personal life, nothing can be more true.
Alex Correa | The Edge Blog