Warren Buffett Once Auctioned Off a Wallet that Contained the Most Surprising Things Inside
Despite his massive fortune, Warren Buffett isn’t really one to splurge on luxurious purchases often. So, it wouldn’t come as a surprise that he owns and uses a rather nondescript wallet.
Still, people bid hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy the billionaire investor’s wallet back in 1999. Here’s why.
The wallet’s only claim to fame, aside from being a personal property of Buffett, is that it survived after falling into a Minnesota lake when the Berkshire Hathaway CEO’s boat sunk during a trip.
It contained some pretty nifty freebies though when it was auctioned off in 1999 for the benefit of Girls Inc, a charity that seeks to help young girls from Buffett’s hometown.
Apparently, bidders were intrigued by the stock tip that was kept inside the wallet. With the billionaire’s reputation as one of the most successful investors around, people’s interest in his recommended stock was certainly warranted.
In the end, it was one John Morgan who won the auction paying $210,000 for Buffett’s wallet.
In turn, Morgan decided to make a donation to Girls Inc, as well by promising to share the stock tip with anyone who would donate at least $1,000 to the organization. Many people took him up on the offer.
One of them was 40-year-old driller Fred Henry, who immediately followed Buffett’s advice to buy First Industrial Realty Trust shares. The company is an investment trust, which owned distributing facilities in the United States.
Commenting on the stock recommendation, Henry shared that he expected the tip to be for something more exciting. Still, he said that the event was still an adventure for him.
Buffett himself invested in First Industrial Realty Trust and owned a 4% stake in it. However, his investment didn’t last long and he was no longer invested in the company in 2001.
Meanwhile, the wallet also contained a GEICO business card. GEICO is an auto insurance company owned by Berkshire Hathaway.
Lunch with the Oracle
It’s not only his personal possessions that Buffett has auctioned before though. For the benefit of Hooters half-price pass, the billionaire auctioned a lunch with him.
The winning bid came from 28-year-old Justin Sun, who paid a record $4.567 million to spend time with the investor. While that amount may seem a lot to pay for lunch for some people, Buffett said that winners of the annual charity auction always get their money’s worth and have a good time.
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