Today's headlines along the lines of Warren Buffett Takes Home $491,000 from Berkshiremight cause a moment of confusion for long-time Buffett watchers.
After all, Buffett's annual salary has remained unchanged at $100,000 for a quarter of a century, and he has told Berkshire's Compensation Committee that "he would not expect or desire it to increase in the future."
Buffett also receives $75,000 a year in director's fees from companies in which Berkshire has "significant investments."
That brings his "total compensation" to $175,000.
Buffett also regularly pays $50,000 back to Berkshire to cover those times when he uses Berkshire personnel, mail, and phones, for personal matters.
How do you get to $491,000? The big difference in this year's proxy statement, filed ahead of May's annual meeting, is the note that in 2008, "Berkshire provided personal and home security services" for Buffett at a cost of $315,709.
While Buffett continues to live very unpretentiously compared to most of his fellow multi-billionaires, the boost in security spending by Berkshire may well have been prompted by an incident in September of 2007.
A man wearing dark clothing and camouflage paint on his face was able to ring the doorbell late in the evening at Buffett's Omaha home. The potential intruder ran away after a scuffle with a security guard and has not been caught.
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