10 May 2014
The Simple Billionaire Lifestyle
When looking at Warren Buffett’s life one will see that there are two things that set him aside from the rest of the investment world, how he gets his money and how he spends his money. Warren Buffett saw his father Howard Buffett’s views on life and would come to model his own off of the best parts and use the other parts to determine what not to do and be. Having lived through The Great Depression and other recessions, Warren developed a method of investing known as value investing which he would later use to minimize his losses in the event of a market failure. At the end of the day Buffett had three parents, Howard, Leila, and the city of Omaha, all three of which would have a direct impact on Warren. Both how he gets his money and how he spends his money are direct outcomes of where he was raised, who he was raised by, and the times he and his family went through.
To understand the simplicity of Warren Buffet, one must first understand the city in which he grew up in and has spent the better part of his life in, Omaha, Nebraska. “Warren’s Omaha was a small city-- 220,000 people-- but by no means a small town.” (Lowenstein 17) He knew everybody in every house on 53rd Street, he knew the familiar Robert’s Dairy truck, the music of the trolley, the smell of coffee beans from downtown, and even the smell of the meatpacking plants. (Lowenstein 17) Omaha was Warren’s stomping grounds as a child and it would forever be his home at heart. Had it not been for Buffett’s childhood in Omaha, Warren Buffett would not be as simple or thrifty when it comes to living life as a billionaire. He threw out all the expectations that come with the lifestyle of being a multimillionaire. “Americans… (were not) used to multimillionaires who flew coach class and looked as if they had slept in their suits.” (Lowenstein 113) When Buffett was asked to pay a visit to University of Delaware, rather than speak to University of Delaware students in a lecture hall, “he treated the students to his trademark steak-potato-and-Coke lunch at his favorite steakhouse in Omaha, Nebraska“ (Canavan) These examples are small but demonstrate how Warren’s love for Omaha has impacted his future life. “Whatever Warren’s problems with his mother or his torment in church, his city was his great, sustaining constant.” (Lowenstein 19) Later in life Buffett would move away from Omaha at times but he always seemed to find his way home. His multi-million dollar company, his personal office, and his home are all located today in the same town he was brought up in. (Morris 70)
Warren is a perfect reflection of his imperfect father Howard Buffett. He would learn what to do from his father’s successes and what not to do from his father’s shortcomings. Warren’s father “was an insurance man who’d become a stockbroker with a local bank” (Morris 59). Later in life after losing his job at the bank, Howard would...