Warren Buffett was the only son of the Howard Buffett and Lelia Stahl. Leila worked as both a clerk and secretary and after her marriage has a homemaker and mother. Howard worked as an investment broker and spent four terms in Congress as a U.S. representative. He was elected to “Congress in 1942 with a pledge to keep FDR from “fasten[ing] the chains of political servitude around America’s neck.”
He marked himself an oddball by returning a pay raise to the Treasury and by subjecting each piece of legislation to a simple test: “Will this add to, or subtract from, human liberty?”. Howard Buffett was an extremely conservative man. While in Washington he was part of an elite organization, the John Birch Society, which fought against communism and liberal rebels.
Presently, the John Birch Society is associated with the extreme right of American Politics. Warren was very close to his father often following him to work. And his father made good use of his presence, employing Warren to write prices and quotes on the board in his investment firm. His close bond with his father was further encourage but a tense relationship with his mother. Leila was prone to immense anger and violent outbursts.
Warren learned early that it was best to just avoid her. Regardless of their relationship, she seemed to have given birth to a full grown entrepreneur. Warren’s childhood is full of anecdotes which exemplify his early ability to make money.
When Warren was six he bought and sold bottles of Cola making an easy 5 cent profit on each six pack. He continued his business savvy in Washington Dc, where he worked several paper routes. After saving close to $1200 and moving back to Omaha he bought and then rented acres of farmland. Other childhood business ventures included pinball machines, horse racing tip sheets, and buying and selling stock.
At 11 years old he would learn a lesson that would stay with him for years and he shared it often with others. Having bought three stock shares which cost him $38 he immediately saw that stock price fall to $27, and then increase to $40. Fearing he may lose all his money he sold his shares and made a small profit of $5. Much to Warren’s dismay the stock continue to increase in price and remained stable at $200. He learned the value of being patient and believing in his own decisions were solid factors in determining success in investing.
Warren Buffett loved number crunching – his love for math and money combined with the everyday encouragement of his father, in an investment firm environment inspired Warren to attend Wharton School of Business. After two disappointing years he realized he knew substantially more than the coursework could ever offer.
He made the trip back home to Omaha and begun classes at the University of Nebraska. Soon after Buffet stumbled upon a text that would change himself and the world of investment forever. Warren read Ben Graham’s The Intelligent Investor. Almost instantaneously Buffett was hooked and resigned himself to becoming a student of Graham.
Luckily, for the investment world, Harvard Business school failed to accept Warren and he went on to attend Columbia University where Graham was a professor of business. Graham and Buffett shared similar beliefs in regards to investing and they soon became fast friends.
Graham believe that profit could be made through investing in companies that were below cost or undervalued in the market. In 1954 Graham offered Warren a job for $12,000 a year at his firm.
Buffett spent two years learning from his revered teacher gaining skills, confidence, and a net worth of $140,000. After Graham retired and his company was closed, Warren once again returned to Omaha to open his own business – Buffett Partnership.