Warren Buffett’s Charity Donations Are The Only Reason He Isn’t World’s Richest Man
— Updated on 26 June 2023

Warren Buffett’s Charity Donations Are The Only Reason He Isn’t World’s Richest Man

— Updated on 26 June 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

While Warren Buffett has consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest individuals since the early 90s — only falling outside of the top five on a single occasion since 1995 — the legendary investor behind Berkshire Hathaway has only ever held the title of world’s richest man once (2008). But much of that has essentially come down to his own choice.

In the wake of his latest philanthropic donation to everything from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the Novo Foundation, this one amounting to a staggering $5 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway stocks, a fascinating detail about the Oracle of Omaha’s potential net worth has been brought to public attention.

According to Business Insider, over the past 17 years, the 92-year-old business magnate has given away approximately $132 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway stocks. Or 54% of his entire holdings so far.

RELATED: What Happens To Warren Buffett’s $140 Billion Fortune After His Death?

Meaning if he wasn’t so goddamn generous, Warren Buffett would have a net worth exceeding $250 million today — eclipsing the likes of aspiring amateur MMA fighter Elon Musk ($180 billion), Bond villain in training Jeff Bezos ($114 billion), and island boi Larry Ellison ($107 billion), as per Forbes.

That being said, there’s nothing you can really do with $250 billion that you can’t already do with $118 billion, the latter of which is the present-day value of Buffett’s fortune. And need we remind you the plan has always been to redistribute 99% of said fortune either during his lifetime or at his death?

“Millions of people who regularly contribute to churches, schools, and other organisations thereby relinquish the use of funds that would otherwise benefit their own families,” Warren Buffett explained in his Giving Pledge letter.

RELATED: Warren Buffett Reveals The Secret To A Happy Life (Aside From $$$)

Warren Buffett Has Donated Away The Title Of World's Richest Man

“The dollars these people drop into a collection plate or give to United Way mean forgone movies, dinners out, or other personal pleasures. In contrast, my family and I will give up nothing we need or want by fulfilling this 99% pledge.”

“Moreover, this pledge does not leave me contributing the most precious asset, which is time. Many people, including — I’m proud to say — my three children, give extensively of their own time and talents to help others. Gifts of this kind often prove far more valuable than money.”

Buffett added: “Were we to use more than 1% of my claim checks (Berkshire Hathaway stock certificates) on ourselves, neither our happiness nor our well-being would be enhanced. In contrast, that remaining 99% can have a huge effect on the health and welfare of others.”

In many ways, Warren Buffett is already the world’s richest man. Just not strictly in the financial sense.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]