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Warren Buffett Timeline

A Chronological History of the Oracle of Omaha: 1957-1974

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  • 1957: Buffett adds two more partnerships to his collection. He is now managing five investment partnerships from his home.
  • 1957: With Susan about to have her third child, Warren purchases a five-bedroom, stucco house on Farnam street. It cost $31,500.
  • 1958: The third year of the partnership completed, Buffett doubles the partner's money.
  • 1959: Warren is introduced to Charlie Munger, who will eventually become the Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, and an integral part of the company's success. The two get along immediately.
  • 1960: Warren asks one of his partners, a doctor, to find ten other doctors who will be willing to invest $10,000 each into his partnership. Eventually, eleven doctors agreed to invest.
  • 1961: With the partnerships now worth millions, Buffett made his first $1 million dollar investment in a windmill manufacturing company.
  • 1962: Buffett returns to New York with Susie for a few weeks to raise capital from his old acquaintances. During the trip, he picks up a few partners and several hundred thousand dollars.
  • 1962: The Buffett Partnership, which had begun with $105,000, was now worth $7.2 million. Warren and Susie personally own over $1 million of the assets. Buffett merges all of the partnerships into one entity known simply as Buffett Partnerships, Ltd. The operations are moved to Kiewit plaza, a functional but less-than-grand office, where they remain to this day. The minimum investment is raised from $25,000 to $100,000.
  • 1962: Buffett consults Munger on Dempster, the windmill manufacturing company. Munger recommends Harry Bottle to Warren; a move that would turn out to be very profitable. Bottle cut costs, laid off workers, and caused the company to generate cash.
  • 1962: Warren discovers a textile manufacturing firm, Berkshire Hathaway, that is selling for under $8 per share. He begins to buy the stock.
  • 1963: Buffett sells Dempster for 3x the amount he invested [The almost worthless company had built a portfolio of stocks worth over $2 million alone during the time of Buffett's investment].
  • 1963: The Buffett partnerships becomes the largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway.
  • 1964: Due to a fraud scandal, American Express shares fall to $35. While the world is selling the stock, Buffett begins to buy shares en masse.
  • 1965: Warren's father, Howard, dies.
  • 1965: Buffett begins to purchase shares in Walt Disney Co. after meeting with Walt personally. Warren invested $4 million [which was equal to around 5% of the company].
  • 1965: The American Express shares which were purchased shortly before are selling for more than double the price Warren paid for the them.
  • 1965: Buffett arranges a business coup - taking control of Berkshire Hathaway at the board meeting and naming a new President, Ken Chace, to run the company.
  • 1966: Warren's personal investment in the partnership reaches $6,849,936.
  • 1967: Berkshire pays out its first and only dividend of 10 cents.
  • 1967: In October, Warren writes to his partners and tells them he finds no bargains in the roaring stock market of the '60s. His partnership is now worth $65 million.
  • 1967: Buffett is worth, personally, more than $10 million. He briefly considers leaving investing and pursuing other interests.
  • 1967: American Express hits over $180 per share, making the partnership $20 million in profit on a $13 million investment.
  • 1967: Berkshire Hathaway acquires National Indemnity insurance at Buffett's direction. It pays $8.6 million.
  • 1968: The Buffett Partnership earns more than $40 million, bringing the total value to $104 million.
  • 1969: Following his most successful year, Buffett closes the partnership and liquidates its assets to his partners. Among the assets paid out are shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Warren's personal stake now stands at $25 million. He is only 39 years old.
  • 1970: The Buffett Partnership is now completely dissolved and divested of its assets. Warren now owns 29% of the stock outstanding in Berkshire Hathaway. He names himself chairman and begins writing the annual letter to shareholders.
  • 1970: Berkshire makes $45,000 from textile operations, and $4.7 million in insurance, banking, and investments. Warren's side investments are making more than the actual company itself.
  • 1971: Warren [at his wife's request], purchases a $150,000 summer home at Laguna Beach.
  • 1973: Stock prices begin to drop; Warren is euphoric. At his direction, Berkshire issues notes at 8%.
  • 1973: Berkshire begins to acquire stock in the Washington Post Company.
  • 1974: Due to falling stock prices, the value of Berkshire's stock portfolio began to fall. Warren's personal wealth was cut by over 50%.
  • 1974: The SEC opens a formal investigation into Warren Buffett and one of Berkshire's mergers. Nothing ever comes of it.

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