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The Mind Behind the Money: Inside Warren Buffett‘s Genius IQ of 155

Warren Buffett ranks among the world‘s wealthiest individuals, with a net worth over $100 billion. But his success story goes far beyond the money. Known as the "Oracle of Omaha" for his investing prowess, many wonder—what does Warren Buffett‘s IQ reveal about the source of his brilliance?

While genius-level intelligence alone doesn‘t guarantee prosperity or fame, evidence suggests Buffett‘s cognitive abilities have enabled him to build the analytical skills and mental models underpinning his status as one of history‘s most legendary investors.

Warren Buffett‘s Estimated IQ: The Data Behind the 155 Score

Pinpointing Buffett‘s exact IQ is difficult since he‘s never directly participated in standardized testing. However, based on expert estimates, interviews with those close to him, and inferences from his life‘s work, Buffett‘s IQ is believed to be around 155.

To put that score in perspective, the average IQ in the general population falls around 100. An IQ nearing 155 places Buffett in the 99th percentile, surpassing 99% of people.

Moreover, the threshold for "genius" caliber intelligence ranges between 140-145 on prominent IQ scales, like the Stanford-Binet scale below:

Stanford-Binet intelligence scale

With an IQ of ~155, the 91-year-old Buffett exceeds minimum genius criteria by a 10 point margin. In fact, some psychologists propose that Buffett‘s cognitive abilities are even more exceptional than the 155 benchmark conveys. He masters skills, facts, and concepts with such unparalleled speed and accuracy that his fluid intelligence may stretch into the 99.9th percentile.

In particular, Buffett‘s intellectual aptitudes around numerical calculation, information retention, critical analysis, and logical reasoning contribute to his investing gifts.

Early Signs of Buffett‘s High IQ

Hints of Buffett‘s intellectual gifts emerged early on. He learned to read by age 3 and was solving arithmetic problems by age 6, displaying a precocious aptitude for absorbing information.

By elementary school, Buffett dazzled classmates by effortlessly multiplying large figures rapidly in his head. And by 11 years old in 1942, he purchased shares of Cities Service Preferred worth $38 per share—seeding his legendary investing career before hitting puberty.

The Young Oracle‘s Path to Money Mastery

As early as 6 years old, Buffett launched his first business venture—a juice stand selling Coca-Cola bottles for 5 cents apiece. He quickly earned enough from the neighborhood juice stand to fund his comic book passion.

In one legendary tale, when the young Buffett was just 13, he filed his first tax return. Deducing his bike-based paper route earnings fell below the minimum taxable income at the time, he requested a tax deduction for the bicycle itself against his paper route income. Although denied by the IRS, the move demonstrated Buffett‘s analytical orientation and hunger to master money mechanics from a remarkably early age.

Fuel Behind the Fire: Buffett‘s Learning Practices

Genetics provide one piece of the puzzle behind Buffett‘s brainpower. However, his self-driven mastery of knowledge also plays a pivotal role. Estimates suggest Buffett dedicates over 80% of each workday solely to reading. He absorbs financial reports, newspapers, company data, books, and other sources—typically digesting over 500 pages daily.

In addition to sheer reading volume, Buffett employs highly effective learning strategies. He pinpoints key details yet also extracts wider meaning from the texts. Moreover, he continually refines and tests his mental models against new information using applied critical analysis.

As a consequence, his knowledge compounds rapidly in areas holding personal and professional interest for him—namely, business, finance, money management, leadership, communication, psychology, and human behavior. Over decades, these deliberate practices have tuned his cognitive capabilities to a remarkable pitch.

Controversy Around Buffett‘s Memory Capabilities

Some coverage proposes Warren Buffett possesses a photographic or "eidetic" memory enabling near-perfect recall. However, Buffett has never directly confirmed nor refuted such claims.

While eidetic memory remains relatively rare, it‘s plausible this capability augments his aptitude for swiftly comprehending complex money matters. With a photographic memory, Buffett may integrate details, data, historical patterns and mental models related to investing with greater speed and accuracy.

But without concrete proof either way, the true extent of Buffett‘s memory talents remains speculative. And despite whispers of a photographic memory edge, Buffett stresses less quantifiable traits outweigh IQ.

Integrity and Independent Thinking: Cornerstones Over IQ

For those striving to emulate his investing success, Buffett insists factors like integrity and rational temperament hold more relevance than sheer brainpower. As Buffett notes, "You don‘t need a lot of brains to be in this business."

Rather than raw intellect alone, Buffett believes attributes enabling calculated, independent analysis better equip individuals to excel in finance—and life generally. Furthermore, he maintains that unwavering integrity constitutes the number one characteristic guiding his business decisions and relationships.

In Buffett‘s view, rational thinking cultivated through voracious self-education carries more weight than IQ scores alone. Combined integrity and mental discipline forge the foundation underlying his peerless track record of over 50% annual returns for decades running.

Buffett on Emotional Stability

In addition to integrity and autonomy of thought, Buffett cites emotional stability among top success drivers over pure IQ. By temperament, Buffett maintains a disciplined equanimity whether markets swing up or down.

Buffett highlights how hot-headed investors often torch their returns reacting rashly to positive or negative news. Conversely, keeping emotions in check and objectively weighing information with discipline, patience, and rationality serves aspiring investors far better over long horizons.

The Snowball Effect: How Buffett‘s Habits Compound Knowledge

Ultimately, Buffett demonstrates how committing to daily learning rituals, fueled by deep intrinsic motivation, can systematically build genius-level mastery over decades. He embodies how knowledge compounds for those possessing both high intellectual capacity and the work ethic to actualize it.

Consequently, Buffett epitomizes expanding human potential through purposeful, lifelong knowledge accumulation. For those feeling discouraged measuring their own IQ against Buffett‘s, take heart. While genetics dictate baseline cognitive abilities, dedication to self-improvement can propel knowledge, success and satisfaction in life far beyond aptitude alone.