It doesn’t look like legendary investor Warren Buffett will be adding bitcoin to his portfolio any time soon. Asked Saturday at the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting if he had changed his famously negative views on bitcoin or crypto, the 91-year-old investor didn’t mince his words.
Buffett began his answer by saying that if all the attendees in the room owned “all the farmland in the United States” or “all the apartments in the country” and they offered him a 1% stake for $25 billion, he would write them a check on the spot. But he wouldn’t do the same for bitcoin and its over-$700 billion market cap.
“If you … owned all of the bitcoin in the world and you offered it to me for $25, I wouldn’t take it,” Buffett said. “Because what would I do with it? I’ll have to sell it back to you one way or another. It isn’t going to do anything.”
He described his views on farmland and rental properties versus bitcoin as “the difference between productive assets and something that depends on the next guy paying you more than the last guy got.” “The apartments are going to produce rent and the farms are going to produce food,” he said. “If I’ve got all the bitcoin, I’m back wherever [anonymous bitcoin founder Satoshi] was.”
“Assets, to have value, have to deliver something to somebody. And there’s only one currency that’s accepted. You can come up with all kinds of things — we can put up Berkshire coins… but in the end, this is money,” he said, holding up a $20 bill. “And there’s no reason in the world why the United States government … is going to let Berkshire money replace theirs.”
Both Buffett and Charlie Munger have made hostile comments toward bitcoin in the past. Most famously, Buffett said bitcoin is “probably rat poison squared.” Munger doubled down on that sentiment Saturday. “In my life, I try and avoid things that are stupid and evil and make me look bad in comparison to somebody else – and bitcoin does all three,” Munger said.
Despite its recent pullback, bitcoin has soared by more than 2,000% over the past five years. But while the world’s largest crypto coin has clearly hit the mainstream, one prominent investor remains critical of the opportunity: Warren Buffett.
At the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting on Saturday, Buffett said that while he doesn’t know whether bitcoin will go up or down going forward, he’s pretty sure that “it doesn’t produce anything.” And that’s why the Oracle of Omaha doesn’t own the asset.
“If you told me you own all of the bitcoin in the world and you offered it to me for $25, I wouldn’t take it because what would I do with it?” he asks. “I’d have to sell it back to you one way or another. It isn’t going to do anything.” To put that in perspective, bitcoin currently trades at over $38,000 a piece.
Wisdom of Warren Buffett: On Innovators, Imitators, and Idiots
“The curse of humanity is that people feel compelled to look over their shoulders,” Professor Warwick told my colleague Polly LaBarre a while back. “Happiness and self-esteem depend on rank and relative income. We are consumed by relativism. If your neighbor drives up in a new Lexus, and you’re still driving the Toyota that you were perfectly satisfied with yesterday, you start to become dissatisfied.”
11 Ways Warren Buffett Lives Frugally
Warren Buffett doesn’t live like your typical billionaire. Despite his roughly $125.1 billion net worth, according to Forbes, the eight-wealthiest man in the world enjoys a life of simple taste, frugal living and generous philanthropy. Here’s a look at Warren Buffett’s tips for living frugally.
1. Warren Buffett’s House Is the Same One He Bought in 1958
He lives in the same residence in Omaha, Neb., that he bought in 1958 for $31,500, the equivalent of roughly $285,000 in 2020 dollars. Buffett has no intention of putting his own home up for sale. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” he told CNBC earlier this year.
2. Buffett Starts His Day With a Cheap Breakfast
When it comes to food, the billionaire investor has been known to save money by taking the fast-food route. In fact, he might kick off his day with a trip to McDonald’s during his five-minute drive to work, reports CNBC. “One thing that was surprising to learn about Warren is that he has basically stuck to eating what he liked when he was 6 years old,” Gates wrote. “He did move past baby food, of course, but he mostly eats hamburgers, ice cream and Coke.” Buffett explained his diet in a 2015 interview with Fortune: “I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among 6-year-olds. So I decided to eat like a 6-year-old. It’s the safest course I can take.”
3. Buffett Buys Reduced-Price Cars
“The truth is, I only drive about 3,500 miles a year so I will buy a new car very infrequently,” he said.
4. Buffett Enjoys Affordable Hobbies
Buffett is a self-proclaimed bridge addict, and you might even catch him playing the game about 8 hours a week, according to a Washington Post interview from 2017. When Buffett’s not busy being a business mogul, you might find him strumming his ukulele and singing as well.
5. Buffett Treats His Friends Well, but Not Extravagantly
Buffett didn’t earn Gates’ gratitude through grandiose and expensive gestures. Instead, it’s simply about how he treats others. In his 2016 blog post, Gates gave examples of how Buffett is a kind and thoughtful friend, such as driving personally to the airport to pick up Gates whenever he’s in Buffett’s hometown town, calling frequently and sending news clippings by mail that he thinks Gates and his wife will enjoy.
6. Buffett Used a Nokia Flip Phone Long After Smartphones Existed
7. Buffett Doesn’t Splurge on Designer Suits
8. Buffett Clips Coupons
9. Buffett Has Worked in the Same Office Building for More Than 50 Years
“It’s a different sort of place,” Buffett said of the company’s Omaha headquarters in the 2017 HBO documentary “Becoming Warren Buffett,” CNBC reports. “We have 25 people in the office and if you go back, it’s the exact same 25. The exact same ones. We don’t have any committees at Berkshire. We don’t have a public relations department. We don’t have investor relations. We don’t have a general counsel. We just don’t go for anything that people do just as a matter of form.”
10. Buffett Thinks Outside the Box To Save Money
11. Buffett Values Relationships Over Material Things “You can’t buy health and you can’t buy love,” said Buffett, according to the Underground Value blog. “I’m a member of every golf club that I want to be a member of […] I’d rather play golf here with people I like than at the fanciest golf course in the world. […] I’m not interested in cars, and my goal is not to make people envious.”
And in a 2017 interview with People, Susie Buffett said of her father: “…it’s really true that he does not care about having a bunch of money.” Instead, she said, he emphasizes family. “I don’t think people realize, he’s got a bunch of great-grandchildren and he could tell you everything about what they’re all doing. He knows every one of those kids and he knows about their lives,” she said.
Warren Buffett – Simple Living High Thinking
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