Say goodbye to the Grand Warren Buffett tradition | Smart Change: Personal Finance

(Selina Marangian)

The San Francisco-based Glide Foundation aims to advance social justice, lift people out of poverty, and change people’s lives. Super investor Warren Buffett’s late wife, Susie, was so impressed by Glide that she launched an annual auction to raise money for it – she auctioned off a meal with her husband.

That was in 2000. Mrs. Buffett passed away in 2004, but her husband continued that tradition for many years. Now, he said, the 2022 auction will be his last. Here’s a look at the intriguing history of this tradition, at some of the winners, and at Buffett’s other charitable activities.

Image source: Getty Images.

Meals with Warren Buffett

The annual auction was halted in 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic, but returned this year. The 20th Glide Auction took place, as always, at ebayand concluded on June 17. Winning bids have skyrocketed over more than 20 years, with the last winner, in 2019, bidding for $4.6 million. This year, though, that bid nearly quadrupled, with the anonymous winner giving away more than $19 million.

The folks at Glide note that the auctions have raised more than $53 million, supporting “transformative programs and services that lift people out of poverty, hunger, and homelessness, and advance equality through regime change.”

Buffett, who turned 92 in August, said in an interview with the organization:

It was nothing but a good thing. We raised the money, but I had a great time. I have met a lot of interesting people from all over the world. …the only universal trait is that they are having a good time, and they feel that they are worth their money. But the most important thing is that they feel that this money will be put to a very good use. …and translates to human beings finding that there is hope in life.

Interestingly enough, Buffett did more than just raise money for Glide. Just as he thought a lot about how to build his company, Berkshire HathawayGlide president Karen Hanrahan told Reuters:[Buffett] He has been a thought partner in thinking about the future of Glide, and how to set it up over the next 50 years.”

Previous Auction Winners

This year’s winner, so far, remains unidentified, as are many other previous winners. However, much is known. Finance job List these winners, noting Glide:

year

winner

winning attempt

2000

Pudlung House

$25,000

2001

Jim Halperin and Scott Tilson

$20,000

2002

Jim Halperin and Scott Tilson

$25,000

2003

David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital

250,100 dollars

2004

Jason Cho, Singapore

202,100 dollars

2005

Unknown

$351,100

2006

Yongping Duan, California

$620,100

2007

Mohnish Pabrai, Guy Spier and Harina Kapoor

$650,100

2008

Zhao Danyang, Pure Heart Asset Management Company, China

2110100 dollars

2009

Courtenay Wolf, Salida Capital, Canada

$1,680,300

2010

Ted Wechsler

2626,311 dollars

2011

Ted Wechsler

2626411 dollars

2012

Unknown

$3,456,789

2013

Unknown

$1,000,100

2014

Andy Chua, Singapore

$2,166,766

2015

Zhu Ye, Dalian Zeus Entertainment Co., China

$2,345,678

2016

Unknown

$3,456,789

2017

Unknown

$2,679,001

2018

Unknown

3,300,100 dollars

2019

Unknown

$4,567,888

Source: The Financial Post.

Investors Spier and Pabrai wrote and talked about their 2007 lunch, saying it was “worth every penny” and sharing some lessons learned, such as: “Treat everything with fairness,” “Be comfortable saying no,” and “Do what you love.”

The investor Weschler’s two lunches with Buffett led not only to some lessons learned, but also to a new job, where Buffett liked Weschler, thought he would fit in well with Berkshire, and offered him a role in investing some of Berkshire’s billions. Today, Weschler – along with Todd Combs, hired just before him Buffett’s Investors Assistantsis now investing billions of dollars for the company.

Buffett and charities

While this tradition is ending, it is not the end of Buffett’s charitable activity. He’s always been serious about philanthropy, and in 2010, with Bill and Melinda Gates, he launched The Giving Pledge — an organization that aims to inspire billionaires to publicly commit to donating at least half of their fortunes to charity. About 263 of them have been registered so far.

Buffett’s own fortune is recently estimated at $95 billion – but it would have been much higher, had he not started giving away large portions of it annually years ago. (He recently gave his last annual gift, $4 billion, to several charities, including the Gates Foundation.) Buffett plans to give away 99% of his fortune and, in several recent years, has been the year’s largest charitable donor. He also holds the record for lifetime giving – most recently at around $48 billion – and has been called the greatest philanthropist of all time.

So while it may be a shame that the annual Glide auctions are ending, Buffett still makes the world a better place by investing his money well. As he said, “If you are one of the luckiest 1% of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think of the other 99%.”

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Selena Marangian He has positions in Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). Motley Fool has and recommends positions in Berkshire Hathaway (B stock). Motley Fool recommends eBay and recommends the following options: January 2023 long calls of $200 on Berkshire Hathaway (B stock), $200 in January 2023 on Berkshire Hathaway (B stock), short January 2023 calls of $265 on Berkshire Hathaway ( B shares), short July 2022 calls worth $57.50 on eBay. Motley Fool has a profile Disclosure Policy.

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