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What is Warren Buffett's Net Worth In 2015?

Investopedia logoInvestopedia 30-04-2015 Prableen Bajpai
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“You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don't do too many things wrong” —Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett, popularly known as “Oracle of Omaha” for his uncanny investment sense, is among the richest people in the world, a financial guru, and an ardent philanthropist. The 84-year-old, self-made business magnate is the chief executive, chairman, and primary shareholder of the multinational holding conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which is the fifth largest publicly traded company in the world. Beginning five decades ago, Hathaway has transformed what had been an ailing textile firm into a conglomerate with a market capitalization of over $300 billion. So we have some idea of how much Berkshire Hathaway is worth, but what is the personal net worth of Warren Buffet, the man behind the curtain?

Net Worth and Holdings

We can assess Warren Buffett’s net worth largely through his stake in his company Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. Berkshire Hathaway shares are offered in two classes, both trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). They are:

  • Class A (NYSE: BRK-A) worth $214,490.00 a share (after closing on April 24, 2015)
  • Class B (NYSE: BRK-B) worth $142.09 a share (after closing on April 24, 2015)

Buffett holds approximately 321,000 BRK-A shares and 2,046,270 BRK-B shares according to the company’s U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. If Berkshire Hathaway shares constituted all of Buffett’s assets (which is unlikely), his net worth would be around $70 billion. For the sake of this article, we will limit the discussion to Buffett’s assets through Berkshire Hathaway.

However, even under these parameters, an accurate estimate is complicated. Berkshire Hathaway has stakes in many stocks from diverse sectors, thus Buffett’s net worth is also guided by these holdings. The most reliable way to understand the portfolio is by going through the company’s quarterly filling to the SEC. The report gives a complete list of holdings along with changes made in the representation. (Related readingAlways Bet On Berkshire Hathaway (And Here's Why))

Berkshire Hathaway’s latest filing was in February 2015 and covers the fourth quarter of 2014. It reports that out of 47 equity holdings with a value of $109,365 million, more than 60 percent are concentrated in four companies that Berkshire Hathaway calls “the big four” in its annual letter to shareholders. These companies are:

  • Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE: WFC) at 23.2 percent of the total portfolio
  • Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO) at 15.4 percent of the portfolio
  • American Express Co (NYSE: AXP) at 12.9 percent of the portfolio
  • IBM (NYSE: IBM) with 11.3 percent of the portfolio

Berkshire Hathaway owns approximately 9.4 percent, or 463,458,123 shares, of Wells Fargo & Co. That makes Berkshire Hathaway Wells Fargo’s largest institutional investor. Berkshire Hathaway also owns 400,000,000 shares of Coca-Cola; 151,610,700 shares of American Express; and 76,971,817 shares of IBM.

Other stocks which are on the list of top twenty holdings are Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), DaVita HealthCare Partners (NYSE: DVA), DISHTV (NASDAQ: DTV), Moody’s Corp (NYSE: MCO), Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS), Deere & Co (NYSE: DE), General Motors (NYSE: GM), USG Corp. (NYSE: USG), Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR), Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE: BK), Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN), Suncor Energy (NYSE: SU), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), and Precision Castparts Corp (NYSE: PCP). (Related reading What Is Warren Buffett's Investing Style?)

Although we cannot put an exact number of Buffet’s net worth, we do know how he will spend it. Buffet has pledged 99 percent of his wealth to charity—83 percent of which will go the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Buffet once said, “I am not an enthusiast of dynastic wealth, particularly when the alternative is six billion people having that much poorer hands in life than we have, having a chance to benefit from the money.”

Bottom Line

Day-to-day stock market movements are of minor concern to Warren Buffet and his net worth. His investments are based on the core value of a company and take a long-term view. This strategy of value investing complemented with patience has created immense personal wealth for Buffet and his shareholders. (For more read The Greatest Investors: Warren Buffett)

MUST READ: 10 Money Lessons You Must Learn From Warren Buffett >>

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