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Warren Buffett: how stamp collecting bred one of the world’s richest men – and great altruists

If ever you need someone to throw a spanner in the works of ‘anti-rich sentiment’, you can always rely on the billionaire American investor Warren Buffett.

Once again Buffett, considered by many to be the world’s greatest investor, has flown in the face of the ‘big bad billionaire’ stereotype.

He’s all over Twitter today after contributing an article to the New York Times in which he argues that taxes for the rich should be raised.

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The world’s #3 richest man Warren Buffett: a billionaire you can have a beer with

He writes:

“Last year my federal tax bill … was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income… But if you earn money from a [middle-class] job, your percentage will surely exceed mine — most likely by a lot.

“For those making more than $1 million … I would raise rates immediately on taxable income … My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”

Despite his estimated net worth of $50 billion, Buffett’s attitudes remain admirably down to earth. And those who follow Buffett will know that this altruism is nothing new.

His charity endeavours are numerous, and this is less surprising when you consider that Buffett’s money skills were inspired not by a sense of entitlement but rather by the experiences of his Depression-scarred parents.

Not only that, Buffett’s wealth savvy also came from his childhood interest in stamp collecting. Philately is known for encouraging studiousness, thoroughness and an ability to see the bigger picture…

As evidenced in this further excerpt from Buffett’s NY Times article:

“Back in the 1980s and 1990s … according to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends… I didn’t refuse, nor did others.

“I have yet to see anyone … shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain … potential taxes have never scared them off… I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.”

So there you have it, a billionaire you could have a beer with.

And Buffett’s attitudes also prove that collecting and investing instincts can often go hand-in-hand in forging a path to financial success.
Find out more in our report: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and the art of getting rich through collecting

By Alex

Image from: Mark Hirschey

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About paulfrasercollectibles

Expert opinion, news, views and interviews allowing you to collect and invest with confidence.

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