Warren Buffet takes the plunge

I was wired at birth to allocate capital and was lucky enough to have people around me early on – my parents and teachers and Susie – who helped me to make the most of that.

Warren Buffett

It’s presumably in the papers and I’ve missed it, or it’s a hoax but courtesy of slashdot – this is what Wikipedia says.

Buffett announced in June that he will give away 85% of his more than $40 billion fortune to five foundations in annual gifts of stock starting in July 2006. The largest contribution will go to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


I was completely smitten by Warren Buffett when I read a book on him a year or so ago and learned about his investment philosophy and practice – which is like a Norman Rockwell painting. He lives in a half million dollar house in Omaha and his entire operation is run by around 20 odd people.

I think of him as an embodiment of Adam Smith’s ideas about the promise of capitalism – of the importance of purpose, perseverence, talent and integrity in building a prosperous, co-operative and happy world.

In 1979 he was worth $140 million and lived entirely off his salary of $50,000. So living out Carnegie’s great line ‘a man who dies rich dies disgraced’ makes perfect sense.

I had lunch with an investment manager a couple of months ago who argued that Buffett was a good guy, but he hadn’t given much to charity like some of his heroes.

Well, now he has.

I remember thinking in my dismal way that if he was going to give money away, the best favour he could do the beneficiaries was to look after the money till he was near gone, as he could turn it into more money at a remarkable rate. Turns out he had the same thought.

I always had the idea that philanthropy was important today, but would be equally important in one year, ten years, 20 years, and the future generally.

And someone who was compounding money at a high rate, I thought, was the better party to be taking care of the philanthropy that was to be done 20 years out, while the people compounding at a lower rate should logically take care of the current philanthropy.

Read the full interview – it’s typical, marvellous Buffett.

  1. It’s true and written up at greater detail in Fortune Magazine. NG[]
This entry was posted in Miscellaneous, Uncategorised. Bookmark the permalink.
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
17 years ago

It’s easier for a rich man to enter through the eye of a needle etc.

I never impressed with such charity especially when a man in he position could have been more active throuhout his life. I don’t know what he has or has not done but when you consider the potential of his influence it would have been a hell of a lot more if he started earlier.

Having said that, it is fantastic that he is in the spotlight now doing something that will influence others

17 years ago

sorry about the poor grammer & spelling

Rugby Fan Steve
17 years ago

Rugby players spend a lot of time physical training Compared to other form of sports.I have read the
Rugby laws mentioned on this site. It’s a gripping sport which targets the grip strength and the active mindedness of a player. American football and rugby league are also primarily collision sports, but their tackles tend to terminate much more quickly. For professional rugby, players are often chosen on the basis of their size and apparent strength and they develop the skill and power over the passage of time. In modern rugby considerable attention is given to fitness and aerobic conditioning as well as basic weight training.