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5 Forever or Forgotten: The Legacy of Today's VIPs - Part 1

Warren Buffet: FORGOTTEN

Warren Buffet is a nice man who read chapters 8 and 20 of Ben Graham's Intelligent Investor (1949) and used the learnings to make $37 billion. He also writes nice letters to to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A - Get Report) (BRK.B - Get Report) and presents himself nicely to the media. He lives in a nice house in the nice city of Omaha, Neb. Nice, yes -- memorable, no.

Investors, even legendary investors like Buffet, have a hard time achieving immortality. They don't start iconic companies that put snacks on your table, computers on your desk or cars in your garage. Instead Buffet invests in these firms, and -- yawn -- insurance companies and banks, sometimes via obscure offerings that will be hard to discern for a future fifth grader writing her "My Hero in History" essay. In short, Buffet's success in staying out of the limelight has determined that he'll also stay out of the history books.

Of course Buffet could alter this verdict with a five-minute phone call. Instead of bequeathing his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with no strings attached, he could insist on a name-change; or he could start his own charitable trust. But one gets the sense that Buffet is happy to maintain his low profile into eternity.

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