Kansas-based investor Stewart Horejsi became a billionaire sensation with a rags-to-riches story that is the envy of many.
While most people believe that becoming a billionaire requires a lifetime of dedication, hard work and a stroke of luck, Horejsi’s journey to the top was all thanks to one savvy investment that changed his life forever.
Horejsi is now worth an estimated $2.8 billion, according to Forbes. But his journey to the top started in the 1960s when he graduated from the University of Kansas and joined his family’s welding company, Brown Welding Supply LLC.
Things were going well until the 1980s when competitors started moving into the area, and business began to decline. Doubts surfaced about whether the company could survive. But Horejsi didn’t give up. He turned to a book for inspiration — “The Money Masters” by John Train — that outlined the habits and strategies of some of the world’s most successful investors, including Warren Buffett. This helped him realize that his best opportunity for growth lay outside the welding world.
Inspired by the book, Horejsi decided to buy his first 40 shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. at $265 per share, for a total of $10,600. Little did he know that this would be the beginning of his incredible journey to billionaire status.
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Horejsi didn’t stop at 40 shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Two weeks after his initial purchase, he took the plunge and invested in 60 more shares at $295 each. And if that wasn’t enough, just a month later, he spent $66,000 to buy 200 shares of the company at $330 per share. As his family’s welding business picked up, Horejsi continued to invest his profits into buying more Berkshire Hathaway stocks. He eventually owned as much as 5,800 of the company’s shares.
Today, each of those stocks, which he purchased for under $500, is worth around $500,000, making him a billionaire just by holding onto stocks in one major company.
When asked about his success, Horejsi said, “I kept running the [family] business, but I just kept buying Berkshire. I can’t really believe I put so much into one issue, though.” He admits to admiring and emulating Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett and even patterns his lifestyle after him.
In an interview with Wealth Estates, the investor revealed that Buffett is one of only two people he’s met who exudes an “aura of integrity” that you can feel within seconds of listening to him.
Investing in the next Berkshire Hathaway
Back in the 80s, Berkshire Hathaway didn’t have the same pull it does today. Rather, it was a strong company but still finding its stride. Today, the company still gives respectable gains, but nowhere near the over 100x Horejsi experienced. Rather investors likely have to find the next promising company and hold it for the longhaul. Fortunately, investors have one tool at their disposal investors in the 80s didn’t: Investing in companies before they hit the stock market.
Platforms like StartEngine and Wefunder allow anyone to invest in startups and pre-IPO companies, meaning they can invest in companies at their earliest stages and hold after they IPO. Investors can even claim a stake in StartEngine itself or any of the 75+ current raises on the platform. These include startups like Gameflip, AtomBeam, Legion M, Timeplast, and dozens more.
See more on startup investing from Benzinga.
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This article Buying Berkshire Hathaway Stock In The 80s Turned This Everyday Investor Into A Billionaire originally appeared on Benzinga.com
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