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Warren Buffett Gives Most of His Money to Bill Gates

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It seems that Warren Buffett is domainating the news lately. According to Fortune Magazine, he’s planning to give away 85% of his wealth, mostly to Bill Gates through his foundation.

Buffett has pledged to gradually give 85% of his Berkshire stock to five foundations. A dominant five-sixths of the shares will go to the world’s largest philanthropic organization, the $30 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, whose principals are close friends of Buffett’s.

Although Buffett has said he plans to give away his money at death, it seems he’s revising his plan. From an interview, here’s what Buffett says about he and his wife (Susie) giving money to their kids before their foundations:

Certainly neither Susie nor I ever thought we should pass huge amounts of money along to our children. Our kids are great. But I would argue that when your kids have all the advantages anyway, in terms of how they grow up and the opportunities they have for education, including what they learn at home – I would say it’s neither right nor rational to be flooding them with money.

Interviewer: From the fact that you’ve given your kids money before to set up foundations and are planning to give them more now, I gather you don’t think that kind of flooding them with money is wrong.

No, I don’t. What they’re doing with their foundations is giving money back to society – just where Susie and I thought it should go. And they aren’t just writing checks: They’ve put enormous thought and effort into the process.

I’m very proud of them for the way they’ve handled it all, and I have no doubt they’re going to keep on the right track.

Not only does Warren Buffett have enough money to fund his foundation and give to others including Bill Gates’ foundation, he also has enough to pass along to his children so they can manage their own foundations. That is pretty impressive, but what’s more impressive is that the money is used for the improvement of society in some form.

Updated October 27, 2007 and originally published June 25, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar karen s.

Hey There,

My name is Karen Shacham and I work with CNN Pipeline in Atlanta.

I thought you might be interested to know that CNN Pipeline will be featuring Warren Buffett’s Town Hall and press conference regarding his announcement to gradually give away 85% of his Berkshire stock to five foundations. He will be speaking at an invitation only Town Hall event, as well as a press conference later in the day. Both will be LIVE on CNN Pipeline today, the Town Hall at 11AM ET and the press conference at 1:30PM ET.

CNN Pipeline is an online, commercial-free, multiple live-news feed. It showcases four simultaneous news feeds from around the world and an on-demand function that allows you to select from a variety of news stories.

Please let your members know that they can go to http://www.cnn.com and click on the CNN Pipeline link to watch it *live* and get a two week free trial.

Thanks,
Karen

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,475 (Platinum)

Well, there it is.

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avatar Will

Actually I would have liked it better had he given to a different foundation, focused more on the US. Bill Gates trying to solve problems with Africa is extremely difficult as their situation is much more complex than someplace like America. Why not focus on something that is more attainable?

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avatar John Koontz

Because I think the point is that everyone needs help. A place like Africa is easier for the average person to ignore. Hopefully, people with less resources can see the needs in their own county and still do something about it.

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avatar David

Here’s another consideration: http://federalist.wordpress.com/2006/06/26/big-philanthropy/

All of that philanthropic capital in one place opens up enormous economies of scale, but it’s not clear the Gates Foundation is going to exploit them.

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