What’s up Believe Nation? My name is Evan Carmichael. My one word is believe and I believe that entrepreneurs are going to solve all of the world’s major problems.
I started the Did You Know series to try to learn a little bit more about some of our famous entrepreneurs that we love and look up to and try to give you some new facts and little behind-the-scenes things that maybe you didn’t know before. And, so today we’re going to learn nine surprising facts about Warren Buffet.
Fact # 1: he bought his first stock when he was 11 years old.
I got my first stock in the spring of 1942. I was 11 and if you remember, you don’t remember . No one watching this will remember, but we were losing the war at that time.
We were getting, we were getting totally creamed in the South Pacific and the Philippines fell and the death march at Baatan, and all that sort of the thing. It was not until the battle of Midway, which was a little later, that things started turning around.
But, I was optimistic on the country then. And, I’ve been optimistic on the country ever since then. And, incidentally, the Dow Jones Average then was 100 and it’s 17,000 now . No one has ever been a success betting against America since 1776 and they’re not going to be a success in the future doing it either.
Fact #2: He was rejected by Harvard University and subsequently went to Columbia where he mentored under Benjamin Graham.
So, when you graduated from University of Nebraska, you applied to Harvard Business School and were rejected.
Warren: That’s true.
Has Harvard ever announced that they’ve regretted that decision?
I understand the Development Officer’s kind of unhappy .
So, you rejected by Harvard, you went to Columbia Business School and then you met the man who you really idolized, Ben Graham. And, when you took his class, was he as great as you had thought he was going to be?
He really was. He only taught one semester, one class. And, he came up from Wall Street and taught this class. That’s the reason I went to Columbia. And, I knew what he, I’d already read all the books and everything, but it was inspirational just to be around him and it made a real difference in my life.
Fact #3: He reads five to six hours a day.
I should mention one thing about reading, it was at the library here at Columbia that at which I spent probably more time than any other student. I lived there practically.
But, you know I pulled a book out there, happened to be Who’s Who in America, and it told me something about my professor, Benjamin Graham, and then I looked up, I went to the library and I said I want to learn more about this because I learned this over here, that changed my whole life. We own GEICO now because of that librarian directing me to some other book and then following through on that.
It’s the chance, I read about 1/5 the pace that Bill does, but I still spend five or six hours a day reading. I mean it just, you can learn so much. I particularly love biography. Just to be able to live the lives of these people that have been, that seem so extraordinary and the lessons, the discouragements they faced, just everything about it. So, you can’t get enough of reading.
Fact #4: He plays bridge 12 hours a week.
If I’m playing bridge and a naked woman walks by I don’t even see her . Don’t test me on that .
Host: When he’s not counting money, he’s counting cards. Buffett plays bridge about 12 hours a week.
I one time said that I wouldn’t mind going to jail if I had the right three cellmates so we could play bridge all the time. In fact, I might even prefer it.
Are there lessons for business, for later life in this game?
Well there’s a lot of lessons in it. You have to look at all the facts. You have to draw inferences from what you’ve heard, what you’ve seen. You have to discard improper theories about what the hand has as more evidence comes in sometimes. You have to work with your partner particularly on defense.
Host: Not to say that bridge will ever be as big as it once was, but you can do worse than heeding advice from Warren Buffett.
I’ve never met anybody that spent the time to learn the game that didn’t consider it one of the great things in their life.
Fact#5: He earned money by delivering newspapers as a kid and he still loves doing it.
Narrator: Buffett says that from delivering papers, he learned the importance of hard work and reliability.
And, I also learned, frankly, that if you did a good job, you were going to move up. The very fact that I did a good job in Spring Valley got me the Westchester routes later on.
Narrator: Getting the five-building Westchester Complex, home to Washington’s elite, transformed a job into a business. By the time World War II ended, Buffett, not yet 15, had saved what an average American earned in a year.
I was fortunate in that I was here during probably the most interesting period you could be in Washington during World War II. I mean, I delivered the papers when Roosevelt died and when the atomic bomb was dropped.
Narrator: Newspapers remain close to Buffett’s heart. He owns several and a newspaper tossing contest is a regular event at his Berkshire Hathaway annual meetings in Omaha.
I still like to deliver papers. I anybody’s got an open paper route out there, I’ll be glad to help him out on it.
Fact #6: He drinks five Coca Colas every day.
I drink probably five 12-ounce Cokes a day. And, that’s about 700 calories. And, I’ve been doing it more or less all my life. I can’t imagine anybody that feels better than I do. I mean, I’m happy, I enjoy life.
And, I’ve always wondered if I’d had a twin, and he had to eat broccoli and asparagus and Brussels sprouts and done it every day and I’d been drinking my Coke and eating potato chips and there’s some cookies that also have 100 calories per ounce, which of us, I think the other guy would be gone. I mean, I think he probably would’ve committed suicide . And, he certainly wouldn’t feel as good about life as I do. I feel good every day.
Fact #7: He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.
Host: As a world-renowned investor and philanthropist, Warren E. Buffett’s business acumen is matched only by his dedication to improving the lives of others. He is a co-founder of the Giving Pledge, an organization that encourages wealthy Americans to donate at least 50% of their wealth to philanthropic causes. Warren Buffett’s example of generosity and compassion has shown us the power of one individual’s determination and inspired countless women and men to help make our world a brighter place.
Fact #8: If you invested $10,000 with Warren Buffett in 1956, it would be worth $500 million today.
I formed my first partnership in May of 1956. So, this was the year-end balance sheet, which I typed myself. In fact, you’d probably find a few typos in it. And, these are my partners I had at the time. And, this was my father-in-law. That was my roommate in college. That was his mother. That’s my Aunt Alice. That’s my sister, Doris, and that’s her husband, Truman, and that was the gang.
If they kept the $10,000 investment and then when I liquidated the partnership, reinvested that in Berkshire Hathaway, they would now have about 500 million.
Fact #9: He loves playing the ukulele.
And, this is Warren Buffett singing Frank Sinatra’s My Way.
Joined by Piers.
I will do a bit of murmuring in the background.
Let’s do it here now. ♫ And, now the end is near ♫ And, so I face the final curtain ♫ My friends I’ll say it clear ♫ I’ll say it something or else of which I’m certain ♫ I’ve lived a life that’s full ♫ And, traveled each and every highway ♫ And more, much more than this ♫ I did it my way
And, that’s as far as we go.
That was absolutely fabulous.
That’s a lot of talent.
And so, no, it’s my great pleasure and honor and I’m more nervous now than I’ve been on stadium stages, but Mr. Warren Buffett and I are going to perform for you.
Thank you and this has been described as a once-in-a-lifetime experience and you’ll understand why. Once will be enough.
Then again, once you get a taste of these girls yelling for you, sir…
Well, I’m sure of that. Finally groupies. I’ve been waiting all my life. Now pay particular attention to the first line because this is what it’s all about. ♫ You’ve got to give a little ♫ Take a little ♫ And let your poor heart break a little ♫ That’s the story of ♫ That’s the glory of love ♫ You got to laugh a little ♫ Cry a little ♫ And let the cloud roll by a little ♫ That’s the story of ♫ That’s the glory of love ♫ As long as there’s the two of us ♫ We got the world and all its charms ♫ When the world is through with us ♫ We got each other’s arms ♫ You’ve got to win a little ♫ Lose a little ♫ And always have those blues a little ♫ That’s the story of ♫ That’s the glory of love
We did it.
John: Ladies and gentlemen.
So, thank you guys so much for watching. I hope you enjoyed this fun video. I’d love to know what did you guys think. Leave it down in the comments below. Which fact was the newest one for you or did you not know or do you want to add a 10, 11, 12 to the list as well? Share you thoughts in the comments. Thank you guys again for watching. I believe in you. I hope you continue to believe in yourself and whatever your one word is. Much love, I’ll see you soon.