Want to bend it like Buffett? While he may have built the most expensive stock in the world, turns out the Oracle Omaha hasn’t always got it right. Yep, even some of Buff’s stuff’s been a bit ruff, losing billions of dollars. As the investing GOAT ticks over into his 93rd year, despite Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.A, BRK.B) ‘low risk’ ESG rating, he may have buffeted around other scores in his 33,603 days on planet Earth as he amassed his US$101 billion personal fortune - one his kids won’t inherit. 💸
Showing that even seasoned investors can make mistakes, Buffett says the ‘dumbest stock’ he ever bought was Berkshire Hathaway. In a self-proclaimed malicious move, he lost US$200 billion going all in on a doomed textile company named, ah-hem, Berkshire Hathaway. While at the time he wasn’t dancing, his same-named company (still owned by him) is today worth US$991 billion. 📈
The investing anti-hero admits that he won the ‘ovarian lottery’ where ‘being male and white also removed huge obstacles’, but it didn’t help him sidestep the fallout from Tesco’s 2014 accounting scandal, which wiped £2 billion from the UK supermarket chain’s value. 🛒 While an arbiter of slow ‘n’ steady when it comes to getting (really, really) rich slow, Buffett’s tortoise pace lost investors US$444 million. Still, a mere 1% slice of Berkshire’s net worth at the time.
And remember that Global Financial Crisis? It was tuff for Buff too, who lost around US$23 billion of his own money. And this year’s wobbly market? His company reported losses of US$43.8 billion this August. But with US$105.4 billion still in the kitty, Berkshire’s money still reigns. Now, proving he could run a lot longer yet, Buffett’s backing the big rigs, driverless trucks, in his first foray into start-ups. Toot toot. 🚚 ‘Nuff said.
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