Monday, April 25, 2011

Warren Buffet the Aloof Investor

Warren Buffet is the symbol of reticence in the financial world. So when the David Sokol Affair - in which an executive of Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway was caught in an ethical situation - there was no rebuke forthcoming from the financial wizard. Which was surprising. Buffet who was in India recently  said that people should invest in his companies.He is quoted to have said according to this article:

"I don't consider India as an emerging market, I consider it as a very big market," Buffett said, adding that emerging (smaller) markets cannot absorb investment in billions."

Now I am left wondering where all his billions will go. Take a guess. Obviously to tech start ups and software outsourcing is my guess. According to this article in Newsweek Buffet is known to live a very frugal life, and doesn't give much away even to his favorite causes. His biographer Roger Lowenstein writes in the above article:

When I was writing a biography on Buffett, in the early '90s, the trait that most distinguished him was his searing independence. Buffett was a brilliant, socially responsible investor, who engaged with the world only on his terms. He refused to be co-opted or recruited, whether with regard to stocks, philanthropy, or politics. His aloofness often caused associates to suffer disappointment. He zealously protected his time and his money; even his children suffered from the billionaire's reserve. In a not atypical incident, he could barely lower his newspaper to listen to his teenage daughter's tearful rendition of how she crashed his car. Friends described how Warren had rebuffed their requests for even small donations, and to causes with which the liberal billionaire sympathized. More fundamentally, associates yearned for a closer emotional connection.

Buffet's investment can mean only that he sees India as a stable and growing economy where his business interests would be protected. Believe him, the man has sound business sense.

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