Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, is an American icon known for his savvy investment skills and frugal lifestyle. His name is synonymous with success, wealth and philanthropy, but one lesser-known chapter in the Buffett family narrative is the story of his granddaughter Nicole Buffett. Nicole is the adopted daughter of Warren's son Peter, and she became the focus of the media when she publicly revealed that her famous grandfather disowned her.
Nicole Buffett, an artist based in Berkeley, California, who specializes in abstract landscapes, hasn't been a beneficiary of the family's massive wealth. Despite sharing a surname that is most associated with financial success, she found herself cut off from the family fortune.
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The rift became apparent after Nicole participated in Jamie Johnson's 2006 documentary, "The One Percent," which delved into the lives of America's wealthiest people and their families. Buffett was not happy with her participation and sent her a letter stating, "I have not emotionally or legally adopted you as a grandchild nor have the rest of my family adopted you as a niece or a cousin."
The estrangement was particularly upsetting considering Nicole's earlier experiences with her grandfather. She recalls spending almost every Christmas with Warren Buffett from ages 4 to 11 and frequently visiting his home in Omaha during spring breaks. Contrasting with her grandfather's stern letter, her memories of childhood holidays suggest a different family dynamic.
Nicole was close to Buffett’s first wife, Susan, who died in 2004. Despite the couple being separated since 1977, Susan maintained an active role in philanthropy and was known for her compassion. In her will, she named Nicole as one of her "adored grandchildren," leaving her a sum of $100,000. Susan's will noted that Nicole "shall have the same status and benefits ... as if they were children of my son, Peter A. Buffett."
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Even after being cut off from the family fortune, Nicole continued to pursue her passion for art. She began exploring non-fungible tokens (NFTs) at the onset of the pandemic. "Translating my work into the digital sphere allowed me to open up new dimensions on different levels," she said. Although a proponent of digital art, Nicole remains committed to her roots in traditional mediums. She continues to produce physical works of art first, viewing this as "a way to trace it back to its origin, outside of the digital realm."
Buffett's stance on digital currencies has been blunt and unwavering. Often cited as an investment expert whose opinions are followed by millions, he has openly criticized cryptocurrencies as "risky and worthless," stating that they "basically have no value and they don't produce anything."
Despite their differing views on digital assets, it appears NFTs have served as a catalyst for a reconnection between Nicole and her grandfather. According to Coindesk, Buffett reached out to Nicole via email to express his support for her digital art ventures—the first contact between them in years. Nicole explained he was excited about her NFT-based art show in Omaha because it gave artists a chance to share their work, make a living on their work and express themselves. This comes at a time when alternative investing strategies have begun growing, especially among retail investors. While NFTs have been on the decline in recent years, they were once trading in the billions in volume per day. Other alternatives like StartEngine, a startup investing platform, have grown in prominence in recent years. This includes over $18 million retail investors in their ongoing investment campaign.
Buffett has been an advocate for people carving out their own paths and achieving success through their merits. He has often stated that his children and grandchildren should not expect to inherit his vast fortune, emphasizing the importance of self-reliance and personal development. He pledged to donate 99% of his billions to charitable organizations, primarily through the Gates Foundation.
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This article Warren Buffett Cut Off His Granddaughter Who Spent Nearly Every Christmas and Spring Break With Him: 'I Have Not Emotionally Or Legally Adopted You As A Grandchild' originally appeared on Benzinga.com
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