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Warren Buffett's trip up the billionaire's list

Warren Buffett started buying Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) shares in 1962. Back then shares were less than $10 and Buffett himself was a mere millionaire. Since then, Berkshire shares have grown massively as Buffett turned Berkshire into the world's largest holding company with shares that sell for more than $400,000.

The Oracle of Omaha, as many refer to Buffett, is now worth more than $100 billion according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire index. Recent stock purchases over the last 15 years have helped Buffett’s wealth massively increase. A five-billion purchase of Bank of America (BAC) in 2011, buying Apple (AAPL) in 2016 and more recently piling into oil company’s Chevron (CVX) and Occidental Petroleum (OXY).

Above, Yahoo Finance's Josh Schafer breaks down Buffett's recent string of investments that boosted his net worth.

Key video takeaways:

  • 0:30 Buffett's net worth

  • 0:45 Buffett's top buys

  • 1:28 How Buffett

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Warren Buffett's annual shareholder letter set to be released on Saturday. The letter and what Buffett is buying, of course, is going to be closely watched by Wall Street, given the billionaire's prior investment success, a heck of a lot of it. Our own Josh Schafer is here with a breakdown of how Buffett became a $100 billion man. How did he do it?

JOSH SCHAFER: So when you take a look at Bloomberg's index, it says that Warren Buffett is worth $106 billion today. Nearly all of that is tied to Berkshire Hathaway stock, which Buffett started buying at less than 10 bucks a share in the early 1960s. Now today one share of Berkshire Hathaway class A shares costs about $463,000. But as Buffett's bets have grown bigger, some recent buys really stand out.

Up first, Bank of America. Buffett famously piled $5 billion into the stock in 2011. And since then, shares have grown over 400%. Some thought Buffett was late to Apple when he started buying in 2016, but Apple shares have also risen more than 400% since he bought. And more recently, Buffett's been an oilman, dumping billions into Chevron and Occidental, which Chevron shares roughly doubling since Buffett significantly increased his position in late 2020, guys.

BRAD SMITH: OK, so where does Buffett stack up among the billionaires right now?

JOSH SCHAFER: So he's not number one. We should start there, right? That's Bernard Arnault. He's number one, and then we've got Elon Musk at number two. And what I want to show you guys here, let's take a look at Elon Musk's net worth. See how that chart kind of moves up and down? It looks a little chaotic, right? Elon's still number two, but you can see, it almost looks like Tesla's chart, right, to some extent. These billionaires, it's very tagged to what their stock does, right? And then when you look at Mark Zuckerberg's, he also shot up very quickly with Meta. But then see how much he fell as Meta's stock fell.

Then when you look at Warren Buffett, the slow process, right? Buy and hold, buy and hold. A little bit more of a steady chart there and significantly more than Zuckerberg. So that's sort of my biggest takeaway when you compare him to some of the other billionaires and maybe the modern tech billionaire, is Warren Buffett has been able to sustain, while some of these other billionaires are really pegged to one stock, one tech stock that has been a bit more volatile in recent years, while Buffett has been more consistent.

SEANA SMITH: Slow and steady wins the race.

BRAD SMITH: Yeah, indeed.

SEANA SMITH: And we taught you that.

BRAD SMITH: Yahoo Finance's own Josh Schafer breaking down all things the Oracle of Omaha. Buffett the stock market slugger here on the day. Thanks so much, Josh.