The Strategist

Buffett gives half his shares to charity

06/24/2021 - 03:37

Warren Buffett reported that he has already fulfilled 50% of his promise to give away all his company's shares to charity. The value of the securities he donated is about $100bn - the 90-year-old billionaire has an equal amount left.

Asa Mathat/Fortune MPW via flickr
Asa Mathat/Fortune MPW via flickr
Billionaire Warren Buffett said he has donated $4.1bn worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares to five foundations. With this tranche, he said, he has halfway fulfilled his 2006 promise to give away all his shares in the investment company, which account for more than 99% of his fortune.

The billionaire said giving away money that does not really benefit himself or his family is "the easiest thing in the world". "I have accumulated an almost unfathomable amount over decades simply by doing what I love. Neither I nor my family have made any sacrifices," he noted. Buffett attributed his wealth to "miracles" created by compound interest, long-term investments and "incredible country".

According to Buffett's calculations, over the past 16 years he has gradually allocated $41 billion worth of Berkshire shares to five funds of his choice. Perhaps, he noted, if he had waited and given all those shares in one tranche now, he would have benefited more - the value of that stake today would exceed $100 billion. 

At that, Buffett explained that he and his first wife preferred to donate while they were young. The billionaire also gave advice to wealthy parents pondering what to do with their capital. He said children should be left to inherit "enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing at all".


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