How Rich Would Warren Buffett Be If He Never Invested In Stocks?

“I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.” – Warren Buffett


Warren Buffett has had a big impact on my life, not only by shaping how I view investing, but also how I view the world around me. Over the years I have read dozens of books about him and I have attended the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meetings for close to a decade.

I thought it would be interesting to look at Warren Buffett’s wealth in a little more detail.

Below is a table of how much wealth Warren Buffett accumulated by what age. I adjusted it for inflation so all the numbers are in today’s dollars.
(Sources: Warren Buffett Wealth and Fortune Magazine)

Warren Buffett’s Age Warren Buffett’s Net Worth
11 $1,784
14 $65,365
16 $70,795
19 $94,741
21 $174,670
26 $1,184,261
27 $2,579,245
30 $7,773,142
32 $10,666,192
33 $18,045,882
34 $25,235,129
35 $51,130,000
36 $56,811,111
37 $68,887,725
39 $156,733,650
43 $176,191,210
44 $88,673,730
47 $254,384,400
49 $443,690,000
52 $896,496,900
53 $1,432,256,000
56 $2,939,041,000
58 $4,473,334,000
59 $7,050,991,000
66 $24,196,300,000
72 $45,658,800,000
77 $68,800,600,000
78 $39,540,200,000
79 $50,406,200,000
80 $52,758,200,000
81 $45,006,600,000

What I really want to focus on is how much wealth Warren was able to accumulate between age 11 and 21. Even though he purchased his first stock when he was only 11, he really did not start to invest successfully and professionally till he was in his mid 20’s. So the wealth accumulated before age 21 was mostly done through jobs and businesses he started.

What’s most interesting to me is that even before he started investing successfully he was able to accumulate close to $180,000 by age 21.

Here is how Warren did it:

At age 13 he had 5 newspaper routes delivering 500 newspapers, which made him $175 a month (around $2300 in today’s money). He then started a business selling used golf balls. At age 14 he purchased 40 acres of farmland with $1200 he had saved and leased it out. By age 16 he had read over 100 books on business and decided that he would be a millionaire (almost 8 million in today’s money) by age 30. He reached that goal.

In high school he purchased a used pinball machine with a friend and started a business placing them in barbershops and splitting the revenue. Soon he had 7 pinball machines around town making about $50 a week ($480 in today’s money). He later sold the business for $1200 (around $11,500 in today’s money). This was all done before he went college.

Here is a chart of his net worth from age 11 till age 21 in todays dollars.

As you can see from the chart, even if Warren never invested in stocks, it is safe to assume that he would still be a multi-millionaire today.

There are a lot of ideas and concepts that help make Warren Buffett one of the richest men in the world. I believe one of the main reasons was that he simply loved accumulating money and watching it grow. From an early age, he loved accumulating money even more than spending it. I have found that it is almost impossible not to become rich when you have that mentality.

Michael Page

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  1. Very inspirational to see something with evidence like this Mike. Also such a keen insight you have – pointing out HOW he made money before investing. Since I’m on the conscious wealth path and creating it from my business first, I love seeing this kind of stuff.

  2. Thank David, I am glad you enjoyed the article.

    Michael Page

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