Warren Buffett's Net Worth Is Just One Part Of His Success
Commonly referred to as the "Oracle of Omaha," billionaire businessman Warren Buffett has fascinated the public for decades. HBO's documentary Becoming Warren Buffett, which premieres on Monday, Jan. 30, will give viewers a rare up close and personal look at the self-made businessman's career, personal life, and philanthropy. It's no secret that the 86-year-old expert investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is one of the wealthiest people in the world, but what is Warren Buffett's net worth?
According to his profile on Forbes, Buffett's net worth is $73.9 billion as of January 2017, making him the second biggest billionaire in America (the number one spot goes to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose net worth is $75 billion.) Although 99 percent of his net worth comes from his role as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett is also known for being a brilliant investor — his personal stock portfolio includes Kraft Heinz, Wells Fargo, Coca Cola, American Express, and Apple.
Buffett's worth increased dramatically immediately after the presidential election — Buffett, who actively campaigned for Hillary Clinton, saw a nearly eight billion dollar increase in his net worth after Donald Trump's victory, due to a surge in the stock of Berkshire Hathaway since Nov 8. But, it's doubtful Buffett is celebrating this increase — a vocal critic of Trump, he even released his own tax returns during the presidential campaign to debunk the now-President's assertion that taxes can't be released by individuals who are under audit.
Buffett's Forbes profile also gives him a high score in the outlet's assessment of billionaires who are self-made versus those who were born into a life of a privilege. Scores of 1 through 5 are given to those who inherited some or all of their fortune, while a rating of between 6 and 10 goes to "those who truly made it on their own." Buffett's rating is an 8, which is defined as a self-made billionaire who came from a middle- or upper-middle-class background. It seems that he never forgot where he came from — viewers may recall that Clinton referred to a proposal called the "Buffett rule" during a presidential debate. The policy is named after Buffett, who has famously stated he shouldn't pay a lower tax rate than his secretary.
He doesn't stop at tax rates — according to TIME, Buffett has opted to take home a salary of $100,000 for the past 30 years, which means he has "the smallest take-home earnings of any Fortune 500 CEO." He prefers to put his money towards philanthropic efforts — in July 2016, Fortune reported that he'd donated nearly $2.9 billion to a handful of charities, with the bulk of the money going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Furthermore, Buffett has pledged to donate 99 percent of his wealth during his lifetime or within ten years of his estate's settlement. As of July, he'd already donated over $28.5 billion to charity.
Buffett's decisions about how to use his wealth are just as inspiring as his journey to becoming one of the wealthiest people in the world — and Becoming Warren Buffett will shed light on both aspects of his professional life.