The Making of the Billionaire Next Door

The first Saturday in May marks the annual shareholder meeting for Berkshire Hathaway, which is more like a Capitalist Carnival than a typical shareholders’ meeting.  Now, I am not one of those investors that follows every word of Warren Buffett, but you have to respect his success and the way he has acheived it.  But, as CNBC has spent a better part of today talking about the event from the weekend or showing special coverage from behind the scenes in Omaha (which was actually pretty interesting), it got me wanting to learn more about the early years of Buffett’s life that played a big role in leading him to where he is today.

It was interesting reading about Buffett’s education and molding in the world of business.  I found it very interesting that as he sought out the opportunity to study under great economists and investors Dodd and Graham he chose the route of a masters of science in economics, rather than the MBA, which is most commonly seen today.  I suspect this was because MBA programs may not have been developed yet, but this ultimately hits the nail on the head as to why I chose a MSc in economics, rather than an MBA. 

In the first half of the 20th Century, many investors were economists at heart (and in practice), while many economists represented the true market players in those days.  In my opinion and from my perspective, this is how it should be and this is exactly why I am inclined to listen more to people with specialty training in various aspects of the markets and finance, rather than someone who was good at networking during their business school experience. 

As I have said before, I am not bad-mouthing business school programs, degrees or graduates.  Indeed, these programs are very worthwhile and advantageous for the recipients.  However, it was my preference not to seek a generic business education, which focused on a lot of material that has no interest or relevance to me.  This is another reason why I chose the route I did. 

Back to Buffett … another thing that I found interesting about his development is the way he used ingenuity and dedication to acheiving his own success.  He sought out the experience and education first and then went out to apply it in his own endeavors.  Today, he is the world’s richest man. 

Wikipedia has a good backgrounder on Buffett with a timeline providing some good details of his life.  Whether you agree with him or not, or whether you’re a BH shareholder or not (I am not), you’ve got to be impressed with him. 



  1. Posted May 7, 2008 at 2:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well, that’s certainly a more interesting than mine, lol! Sounds like you had a good time, though.

  2. Posted May 21, 2008 at 10:01 am | Permalink | Reply

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