Warren Buffett Story [Part 11] The Rebel College Student

In the last article, we saw how high school entrepreneur Warren Buffett used his successful high school entrepreneurial experience to establish a good foundation for his future investment analytical skills.

Let’s see what happens. 

While his partner Danley was the first to graduate from high school, Warren Buffett came in at number 16 out of 350 graduates, earning a very respectable grade. Buffett's teacher wrote on his report card that he liked stocks and would make a good stockbroker.

Despite being only 17 years old and a minor, he had already delivered 600,000 newspapers and had a stable pachinko rental business. He earned a total of $6,000 and had also finished reading 100 business books. He also put most of his energy into the Philadelphia Stock Exchange in the real world.

He took his father's advice and enrolled at the top-ranked finance school in the nation, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Howard thought the university was the top-ranked finance school and that Warren Buffett would like it as much as he did—but Buffett's reaction was the exact opposite.

As Buffett found the school's content too boring, he often skipped classes and instead went to the securities firm to observe and learn about stock market movements. In an interview, his neighbor, Marqueline, recalled what Buffett told her: "Marqueline, I didn't learn anything in college! I used to open a book the day before class and drink Pepsi while I was there. And then just doing this, I can get full marks. "

Buffett made the decision to return to Danley because he had grown bored with college life. He was going to buy a "Rolls-Royce" used car first, then ask Danley to fix it up and try to run a car rental business, just like their previous pinball business. 

He and Danley jointly paid $350 for a 1928 Rolls-Royce used car, and when they finished the repair and drove it on the road, they were stopped by the police because the car had no tail lights and no license plate. 

The car was not used; rather, it was recycled scrap metal because the original owner had left it in a junkyard in the southern suburbs of Baltimore. 

Buffett's persistence made Danley willing to work hard to repair it. And they succeeded! 

They rented out the car for $35 a day to make pocket money, but later it became the exclusive car for Danley and his girlfriend, and they would drive around the streets of Washington together.

At the end of 1948, when Democrat Harry Truman defeated Republican Dewey in the presidential election, Howard, who was also a Republican, lost his job and was expelled from Congress by his constituents. The Buffett family moved from Washington, D.C., back to their home in Omaha. This gave Buffett an excuse to attend the University of Nebraska in Omaha. 

Buffett was only a nominal student, just like at his previous school, and he continued to have no interest in the lessons being taught. But in his hometown, he was prepared to start a very enjoyable business delivering newspapers.

Buffett hired over 50 teenagers to work for him, delivering newspapers on Washington Street in the early morning, just like Buffett did back then. 

He also started a "golf store" business. Although he had two new businesses on his hands, Buffett continued to learn by heart and spent time reading a lot of books on finance. He continued his business until the spring of 1950, when he graduated from the University of Nebraska.

By the age of 19, he already had $9,800 in the bank, which was to be his start-up capital for the future.

His college classmate Peterson said in an interview: "Buffett started school in September and finished a semester of books in just one month, and then got an A for the whole semester, but he didn't turn the textbook over again!” 

He can remember a paragraph from a textbook with his photographic memory. Buffett loved the simple knowledge of learning, not the textbooks, but he also noticed from his father's experience after the election the importance of relationships and prestige to his career. He did not learn these in college, so he decided to apply to Harvard Business School and study!

Buffett spent his college years learning and practicing entrepreneurship, but after realizing the value of networking, he decided to apply to Harvard Business School despite having already attended two universities. 

Watch out for the next part of this series!

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