Here are some memorable lines from Warren Buffett. They appeared in the Berkshire Hathaway annual letter.
While deal makers tend to let their deals do the talking, Donald Trump stands out thanks to Creator Mark Burnett, who has built Trump’s brand (and his own wealth) through the hit TV show, ‘The Apprentice’.
Like Rockefeller, Getty built his fortune in the oil industry. Getty graduated from Berkeley and Oxford in 1914 before joining his father on his oil fields in Oklahoma. Getty, together with Trump, are the only two entrepreneurs in this book to have millionaire parents. Getty’s father paid him $100 a month to seek out prospecting land to buy. Getty toured around in a Model T Ford for a year, without any luck,before he finally spotted a promising piece of land. With a limit on the amount he could spend, and heavy competition at the auction, Getty tried a ruse. He got a prominent bank vice-president to bid without revealing who he represented. The other bidders assumed it was a major oil company with deep pockets and kept out of the fight and Getty got the piece of land for “the astoundingly low price of $500”. From this first move Getty showed his ability to make calculated moves while remaining in the background.
The Richest Man in England
Many billionaires prefer to operate to stay in the background. Getty was only noticed when Forbes Magazine announced he was the World’s Richest Man in 1957. Lakshmi Mittal was only noticed when he was revealed as the mystery buyer in England’s most expensive house purchase, for £70 million in 2003. Mittal, today’s modern-day Carnegie, has lived up to his namesake – Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of Wealth. Today he is known as the richest man in England, and the fifth richest in the world, with a net worth of over $27 billion.
The First Billionaire
Rockefeller’s story is a great example of how a detail-oriented entrepreneur could become the richest man in the world, leveraging the majority of America’s richest natural resource of the early 1900’s– oil – without the need to own a single oil field, or a single drop of oil.
Like many billionaires, Rockefeller had a closer relationship with numbers than people. His biographer, David Freeman Hawke, wrote, “John D Rockefeller seemed to have no inner life unconnected with numbers.” At 16 he began work as a $4-a-week bookkeeper for a Cleveland dry-goods merchant, and from the numbers learned about commerce. He set up his own produce business with a $1,000 loan from his father when he was 19.