Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Warren Buffet is one of the richest men in the world; second only to Microsoft’s Bill Gates. Because of his success in investing, he was nicknamed “Oracle of Omaha.”

Buffet was born on August 30, 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska. He is the second and the only boy among three siblings. Buffet’s inclination in business was visible at his young age by being involved in many business dealings. As a boy, he purchased cola bottles at a cheap price and sold them for profit. His first investment in the stock market was at his tender age of 11 years.

He studied at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance and later on transferred to the University of Nebraska. He proceeded to take his Masters degree in economics at the Columbia University. There, he met the world-renown investor Benjamin Graham.

Graham influenced Buffet greatly that he worked for his company – Graham-Newman. Buffet developed his skills in investing in stocks while with Graham-Newman. The most notable lesson he learned there was Graham’s method of making intelligent investing decisions by comparing stock prices with the intrinsic values.

When Graham retired, Buffet went back to his hometown Omaha and established The “Buffet Partnership Ltd.,” a limited investing fund partnership. For over a period of ten years, his partnership has amassed and returned 10 times higher than the Dow Jones for that same period.

Buffet liquidated the partnership but kept some of his portfolio of stocks and investments. He purchased Berkshire Hathaway, a textile company, at a difficult time for the textile industry. He made selective investments and took advantage of many undervalued stocks such as American Express, The Washington Post, Coca-Cola and Gillette. Berkshire Hathaway owned more than 5% of the holdings in each of these companies.

Berkshire Hathaway has twelve other subsidiary companies.

As a gesture of returning the favors he enjoyed, Buffet supports the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation by giving away more than $12 million each year. His will says he will give 99% of his fortune to the foundation at his death.

Joe Biden was one of Delaware’s longest-serving senators having served the state’s senate for a total of six terms. He represented Delaware in the US Senate when he announced his vice presidential bid as running mate to President Barack Obama in 2008.

Biden was born on November 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Biden studied hard as a student. He finished history and political science at University of Delaware. After his graduation in 1965, Biden studied law at Syracuse University where he received his Juris Doctor (J.D.).

His political career started when he was elected to the New Castle County Council in 1970. He ran for the US Senate in 1972 and managed to win the election.

As a US Senator, Biden served in various committees. He was the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations. He also served with a subcommittee of the Committee on Judiciary and co-chaired the Caucus on International Narcotics Control (CINC).

During his tenure at CINC, he helped reduce the proliferation of party drugs like Ecstacy and Ketamine. He also controlled the use of certain steroids by many baseball players. He also established educational aid and loan programs which allowed parents to take up a college education.

Amazon.com was founded by Jeffrey Bezos in 1994. Currently, he is also the company’s president, CEO and chairman of the board.

Bezos was born on January 12, 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. During his high school days, his family moved to Miami, Florida. He turned his parents’ garage into a personal laboratory where he showed mechanical aptitude. He took up computer science and electrical engineering at Princeton University where he graduated with a grade point average of 4.2, a GPA higher than the “perfect score” of 4.0.

Bezos used his degree to work on computers on Wall Street. He was instrumental in setting up a computer networks for Fitel and D.E. Shaw & Co. for use in international trade.

His passion for computers led him to launch Amazon.com. His brainchild was not met without criticism, even through the launching of a rival website by Noble and Barnes in 1997. Many believed that his idea would fail. This negative perception even led to a drastic drop of Amazon shares from $100 to $6.

Bezos remained optimistic. He continued his usual diligence. He quantified his marketing and business goals in spreadsheets. He stuck to his original goal of selling anything, both new and used. His hard work earned him a spot as one of Forbes list of the wealthiest people in the world. In 2011, he was ranked 13th in the list with a net worth estimated at $19.1 billion.

Bezos also developed the Amazon Mechanical Turk. It is a web service that promotes human and computer interaction. The principle of this web service was explained by Bezos through the phrase “artificial artificial intelligence.” Computers should be left to do tasks machines are capable of doing. This matching is called Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs). Amazon hosts the marketplace by matching “Requesters” to “Workers.”

Julian Assange was an Australian-born computing hobbyist who exchanged his enthusiasm for network security flaws with something “bigger” – the flaws in governments and corporations.

His passion to “probe on the vulnerable edges of administrative systems” began in his early 20s. In 1991, he faced hacking charges when he accessed the computer systems of an Australian telecom company.

He founded WikiLeaks, a non-profit organization whose mission is to publish secret and classified media from anonymous contributors. WikiLeaks claims to assist peoples of the world who wish to expose the unethical behaviors of their leaders.

World renowned journalists regard Assange’s WikiLeaks as one of the greatest breakthroughs in journalism in recent years. They look up to WikiLeaks as having more scoops in its three years of existence compared with Washington Post’s stories in 30.

Assange is an alumnus of the University of Melbourne where he took up physics and mathematics. He was a contributor to the controversial book Underground: Tales of Hacking, madness and Obsession on Electronic Frontier.

Ben Bernanke is an economist whose name made an impact in US economics.

He was born on December 13, 1953 in Austin, Georgia. His father was a pharmacist and his mother was a teacher. Bernanke is of Jewish descent. He learned and followed the customs of his faith and even learned the Hebrew language from his grandfather who was a Teacher of the Torah.

Later, his family moved to Dillon, South Carolina. He was a great student as a young boy. While he was at Dillon High School, he would find time to learn calculus and edit the school paper. He was the class valedictorian when he graduated. He got 1590 out of 1600 on his SAT, the highest in South Carolina that year.

He attended Harvard College where he finished with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics in 1975. He pursued his graduate studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he earned his PhD in Economics in 1979.

He taught economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business, New York University, and Princeton University, where he became the chairman of the Economics Department from 1996 to 2002.

During his tenure at Princeton, Bernanke became known worldwide for his lectures in economics. He wrote three textbooks on macroeconomics and one on microeconomics. At one time, he edited the American Economic Review.

When Bernanke resigned from Princeton in 2002, he focused on the more interesting subjects of economics, like deflation and how it affects the US economy. In his opinions, Bernanke believed that the government can address the problem of deflation by issuing more money to create inflation.

His views earned him a shot at becoming the Chairman of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) in 2005. From 2002 to 2005, Bernanke became a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. He was sworn in by President George W. Bush as Chairman of the Federal Reserve on February 1, 2006.

The tenure of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve typically lasts for 14 years. Bernanke should hold the reins of the Federal Reserve until 2020.

President of Coldwater Cattle Company Joe Batson has a lifetime of experience in ranching and oil and gas development. Growing up as a teenager in Amarillo, Texas, he assisted his family in every aspect of its ranching operations. In the past 45 years, he has held several official roles within the family business, notably Cowboy and Chief Pilot. Mr. Batson took the latter position after achieving a pilot’s certification for helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft at a young age. Prior to stepping into his current role, he handled executive matters as Vice President.

Joe Batson’s leadership skills were honed during undergraduate years spent studying Communication and Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin. He was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and earned induction into the Grand High Alpha Society. A supporter of Texas native President Lyndon B. Johnson’s reelection, Mr. Batson notably served as an Advance Field Director in 1967. He communicated directly with the White House, performing duties as a youth advisor and campaign coordinator. Mr. Batson served as the 31st District Committeeman for the State of Texas in the Democratic National Convention.

In addition to his ranch management activities, Joe Batson has engaged in a number of independent business ventures spanning the media, banking, communications, and advertising sectors. He is currently engaged in a number of nonprofit activities, many centered around the maintenance of the 1,600-seat Pioneer Amphitheater in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. This panhandle visitor destination is well recognized for hosting annual summer musical performances of TEXAS, the Official Play of the State of Texas.

Just looking at her gives one a sense of energy and enthusiasm for life. And it is this positive outlook that has made Isabel Yanguas one of Spain’s most awarded female entrepreneurs.

In her early years, Yanguas was a freelance journalist and photographer for “Madrid” and “Spanish Travel News,” before deciding to start her own real estate business, Distrito Cu4tro, which she now runs with her daughter. She also works with Jesus del Pozo, a popular designer in Spain, and is his retailing arm for fragrances and clothing in Spain, Japan and other countries.

Yanguas’ entrepreneurship has been widely recognized both in Spain and internationally, as she has reaped a number of advertising awards including those given by the New York Advertising Festival, the Clio Awards, the London Film Festival and more. She was the first Spanish woman to have ever served jury duty at the SAWA, the International Advertising Festival in Cannes, was honored with the “Best Lady Entrepreneur in Spain” from Spain’s Minister of Social Affairs in 1995, and the “Together Women” award from UNESCO in 2000.

Born and bred in Madrid, Yanguas finds time in between her busy work days to unwind with good books and great music.

Who would have thought that a naval officer would become the multi-millionaire owner of a doughnut chain in Canada? Such is the story of Ron Joyce, the man who started out as a manager of one of the Tim Horton’s coffee and doughnut shops and eventually bought the whole line.

After Joyce finished a term in the Royal Canadian Navy, his goal as the manager of a single Tim Horton’s wasn’t just to end the day by making sales, but to open ten more shops. Because of his initiative, Joyce became Tim Horton’s full partner. Upon Horton’s death in an accident, Joyce bought out the doughnut chain from Mrs. Horton, making him the sole proprietor of the forty shops Tim Horton’s had at the time. Such was Joyce’s dedication to making his business grow that he would personally fly out across Canada, looking for potential sites to build new Tim Horton cafes and restaurants.

Soon enough, Joyce’s efforts paid off as his company merged with fastfood giant Wendy’s, boosting his market worth as a businessman. He opened his 2000th Tim Horton’s shop in December of 2000, a reward for all of his early years of hard work.

Joyce was instrumental in setting up the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation as a tribute to Horton, who loved children and wanted to help the less fortunate. To this day, this non-profit organization continues to assist economically disadvantaged children through its community and educational programs. Joyce has been the recipient of a plethora of awards for his vision and success in the business world, as well as for his humanitarian endeavors. These include “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 1999, the Ontario Hostelry Institute Gold Award as Chain Restaurant Operator in 1992, the 2005 Humanitarian Award from the Canadian Red Cross and an appointment to the Order of Canada. To top it all off, Joyce was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in April of 1999, putting him at rank with other great Canadian businessmen.

In his old age, Joyce now enjoys the benefits of a lifetime of successful business ventures and remains to be one of Canada’s top names not just in entrepreneurship but also in charitable acts.