Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Magic of Compounding - Buffett's story

Wealth takes time.

Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's investing partner, put it best: "You don't have to be brilliant, only a little bit wiser than the other guys, on average, for a long, long time."
Warren Buffett is a great investor, but what makes him rich is that he's been a great investor for seven decades. Of his current $60 billion net worth, $59.7 billion was added after his 50th birthday, and $57 billion came after his 60th. If Buffett started saving in his 30s and retired in his 60s, you would have never heard of him. His skill is investing, but his secret is time.
Understanding the value of time is the most important lesson in all of finance. The single best thing we can do to improve the financial state of Americans is encourage people to save from as early an age as possible.

Buffett's wealth

For this discussion:  1 billion = 1,000 million.

He was born on 30th August 1930.

2014  Age 83  - $60 billion net worth

1990  Age 60 -  $ 3 billion net worth.

1980  Age 50 -  $0.3 billion or $300 million net worth

1980 - 1990
CAGR 25.89% over 10 years

1990 - 2014
CAGR 13.29% over 24 years

A billion is equal to how many million?

In the 'short scale' a billion is 1000 million. The short scale is the system officially used in the USA, the UK and most English-speaking countries. 

In the 'long scale' it is a million million. More or less the rest of the world supposedly uses this terminology.

One million (1,000,000) or one thousand thousand.
One billion (1,000,000,000) or one million thousand.    

1. The cardinal number equal to 109.
2. Chiefly British The cardinal number equal to 1012


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