1982 Buffett first appeared on the first Forbes list
1992 Reached top position in 1993 with a fortune of $8.2 billion.
2001-2007 Buffett was in second place (after Bill Gates).
2008 Buffett was again in first place with a fortune of $62 billion.
2010-2012 Buffett remained in third place (by that time he ha transferred some of his fortune to a charitable fund)
2013 He was in fourth place.
"Stocks are simple. All you do is buy shares in a great business for less than the business is intrinsically worth, with management of the highest integrity and ability. Then you own those shares forever". [Buffett]
The data on Buffett's results are reliable and his performance is very well documented.
"Is this a result of Buffett's application of his methodology, or did it happen by chance?"
"Is it possible to replicate this achievement?"
"What is required for replication?"
The question of whether financial success is achieved by chance or through application of a methodology is the central point of discussion on the rationality and efficiency of financial markets.
Buffett would not have achieved his results without the "right" investment process and without his unique abilities as a business analyst. But icebergs always have much larger submerged parts. The true "secrets" may hide there. Supporting the investment process that he developed is the intellectual foundation (intellectual core) beneath his accomplishment.