Columbians Ahead of Their Time
 Warren Edward Buffett
Warren Edward Buffett "It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price."

Warren Edward Buffett (1930- )
Business 1951

Considered the world's most successful investor, Warren Buffet has been dubbed the "Oracle of Omaha." With a net worth estimated at $30.5 billion by Forbes magazine, Buffet practices patience, investing for the long term. He typically buys what he considers to be undervalued companies, evaluating a company's capacity for growth based on its assets, but also such intangibles as the value of a consumer brand and the quality of its management. The basis of his fortune is Berkshire Hathaway, the struggling New Bedford, Mass. textile company he bought in 1957 and built into a huge holding conglomerate. Companies owned by Berkshire Hathaway include auto insurer GEICO, apparel maker Fruit of the Loom and Benjamin Moore Paints.

After graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1949, Buffett studied economics at Columbia Business School under the legendary Benjamin Graham. Along with his fellow finance professor David Dodd, Graham developed methods of identifying and buying securities priced well below their true value. Their approach came to be known as value investing, and their 1934 book Security Analysis remains the classic text on the subject. Buffet maintains that, next to his father, Graham was the most influential person in his life. Buffett worked for Graham's firm after graduation, and then started his own business when Graham retired.

Thanks to Bruce C. Greenwald, Robert Heilbrunn Professor of Finance and Asset Management, and Director of the Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing, for his assistance with this profile.

Read more about Buffett in the Columbia Encyclopedia.


The Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing

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