Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

#4 Warren Buffett $76.7B

Random fact: Awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

Overview

Buffett is chairman and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway, an Omaha, Nebraska-based investment company. Its assets include Geico, Clayton Homes and MidAmerican Energy, as well as stakes in Coca-Cola, American Express and Wells Fargo. The publicly traded company's 52-year average annual return is 20.8 percent.

As of Aug. 21, 2017:
Last change +$84.7M (+0.1%)
YTD change +$3.56B (+4.9%)
Industry Diversified
Biggest asset BRK/A US Equity
Citizenship United States
Age 86
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Warren Buffett's net worth of $76.7B can buy ...

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of U.S. existing home sales
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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
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Confidence rating:

The majority of Buffett's fortune is derived from an 18 percent economic interest in Berkshire Hathaway, a publicly traded investment company that returned 20.8 percent annually from 1965 through 2016, according to Berkshire's annual report released Feb. 25, 2017. Buffett owns 282,611 Class A shares and 194,895 Class B shares, according to a July 10, 2017, SC 13D/A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The billionaire also directly owns more than 2 million shares of Wells Fargo, 2 million shares of Seritage Growth Properties, almost 900,000 shares of U.S. Bancorp and 9,000 shares of IBM, according to SEC filings.

In his 2011 annual shareholder's letter, he said Berkshire represents "more than 98 percent" of his net worth. Based on the value of his Berkshire shares on Feb. 25, 2012 -- the date of the letter -- the value of his non-Berkshire investments was calculated to be between $500 million and $900 million. In a separate letter to U.S. Congressman Tim Huelskamp dated Oct. 11, 2011 Buffett said he had adjusted gross income of $62.9 million in 2010. Because Berkshire shares don't pay dividends, the income implies non-Berkshire assets valued at about $500 million if he had investment returns of 13 percent.

A non-Berkshire stock portfolio of $533 million was calculated for 2010, consisting of $61 million in Wells Fargo stock he held directly at that time based on SEC filings and $472 million in cash representing undisclosed share holdings. The value of the cash figure has been adjusted since based on market performance, dividends, share purchases and taxes.

Buffett donates about 5 percent of his Berkshire stock to charity annually, mostly to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since 2006 he has given stock worth more than $27.5 billion when gifted.

Debbie Bosanek, Buffett's assistant, said he declined to comment.

Biography

Birthdate: 8/30/1930
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: 1951, Master's Degree, Economics, Columbia University 1950, Bachelor's Degree, University of Nebraska

Nebraska-born Warren Buffett demonstrated an early knack for making money, delivering newspapers and selling candy and magazines door-to-door. He bought his first stock a year after visiting the New York Stock Exchange at age 11, three preferred shares of Cities Service. In 1950, he applied to Columbia University after discovering that Benjamin Graham and David Dodd, authors of the book "The Intelligent Investor," taught there. After getting a master's degree in economics, he worked as a securities analyst and stockbroker before starting his own investment firm, Buffett Partnership.

He began buying shares of distressed textile manufacturer Berkshire Hathaway in 1962, ultimately taking over as chairman and using it as a holding company. Since then, he's returned more than 20 percent compounded annually. Known as a buy-and-hold value investor, Buffett typically buys stakes in -- or purchases outright -- companies whose business operations he says are easily understandable.

During the recession of the late 2000s, he served as a white knight-at-large, coming to the rescue of Goldman Sachs, General Electric and Swiss Re, while rejecting pleas from Lehman Brothers Holdings. He made what he called a big bet on the American economy in 2009, buying Burlington Northern Santa Fe for $34 billion.

Buffett has pledged to give away most of his fortune by his death, much of it going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Milestones
  • 1930 Warren Edward Buffett is born in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • 1951 Graduates from Columbia University with an economics degree.
  • 1952 Marries Susan Thompson. The couple have three children together.
  • 1959 Introduced to Charlie Munger, who becomes lifelong business partner.
  • 1970 Becomes chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
  • 1985 Becomes a billionaire when Berkshire stock tops $2,100 a share.
  • 2006 Marries Astrid Menks two years after the death of first wife, Susan.
  • 2013 Berkshire Hathaway and 3G agree to buy Heinz for $23 billion.