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Health, friends are billionaire Buffett's most valued assets

world Updated: Jun 20, 2010 11:33 IST
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Though he is a maverick investor with stakes worth billions of dollars in various companies, billionaire Warren Buffett personally values health and long-standing friends as his most prized assets.

One of the world's richest persons, Buffett is the chairman of insurance and investment conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway.

"Too often, a vast collection of possessions ends up possessing its owner. The asset I most value, aside from health, is interesting, diverse and long-standing friends," says 79-year-old Buffett.

Buffett, a close friend of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, has pledged to spend 99 per cent of his wealth on philanthropic activities.

When it comes to his possessions, the legendary investor would rather have an expensive private jet than own many houses.

"Some material things make my life more enjoyable. Many, however, would not. I like having an expensive private plane, but owning half a dozen homes would be a burden," Buffett says in a recent letter.

Interestingly, Buffett also owns US-based NetJets that offer private business jets on rent.

The letter, elaborating on his philanthropic pledge, was written as part of 'The Giving Pledge' initiative -- led by Buffett, Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates. The initiative aims to make rich Americans commit a majority of their wealth to philanthropy.

With a net worth of $ 47 billion, Buffett was ranked as the world's third richest person by Forbes magazine this year.

According to Buffett, his wealth has come from a combination of living in America, some lucky genes and compound interest.

"The reaction of my family and me to our extraordinary good fortune is not guilt, but rather gratitude. Were we to use more than 1 per cent of my claim checks on ourselves, neither our happiness nor our well-being would be enhanced. In contrast, that remaining 99 per cent can have a huge effect on the health and welfare of others," he noted.

He pointed out that the proceeds from all of his Berkshire shares would not go into "endowments" as he wants the money to be spent on current needs.

Berkshire Hathaway has invested significantly in different companies such as Moody's, Coca Cola and Kraft Foods.