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Warren Buffett's billion dollar secrets

March 05, 2006

He's worth $44 billion and has a devoted following in the financial industry. Now, at MU, his legendary wisdom and teachings are being spread through the Buffett class. A fall afternoon in Omaha, Nebraska. Gorat's Steak House. Warren Buffett, the second richest man on Earth. He's sitting next to me. Rather, rocking next to me. The 75-year-old rocks his wooden chair back and forth like a kid on caffeine, occasionally pausing against the mirrored wall behind us. Hes talking about taking a picture of his computer screen after scoring 3656 at "Helicopter" on addictinggames.com. Buffett, that folksy financier, corn-fed capitalist, the Oracle of Omaha and second richest man in the world, is sitting next to me.

Nine people, representing three generations of Buffett"disciples," surround him along a long, rectangular table. They’re probably thinking the same thing I am: what to ask the most successful professional we’re ever likely to meet. We are all dressed in formal business attire because Buffett, who wears a black business jacket with gold buttons and a gold watch, said he prefers that students dress that way. Hot roast beef sandwiches and Cherry Cokes — Buffett favorites — clutter the table.

We are here because we are enrolled in a one-of-a-kind finance class at the MU College of Business that teaches the investing philosophy of Buffett. The “Warren Buffett” course, Finance 8001: Investment Strategies of Warren Buffet, is about one-fourth psychology, one-fourth finance and one-half common sense.

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