A friendly bet made by Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett is paying off big for Girls Inc. of Omaha. Executive Director Roberta Wilhelm says Buffett let her in on the bet years ago.
Wilhelm says, “Slightly over ten years ago Warren told me about the bet that the S&P 500 would outperform hedge funds over a long period of time and the bet would last for ten years. Of course I was very hopeful that he would win the bet and have a lot of confidence in him. I was betting on him totally for him to win the bet for Girls Inc. and the girls that we serve.”
Buffett made the bet with Protégé Partners. The bet totaled $1 million but in 2012 they agreed to invest the stakes in shares of Cass B Berkshire Hathaway. That resulted in an estimated payday for the charity of $2.2 million.
Wilhelm says they will follow Buffett’s lead and invest some of that money in passive index funds. They will also use funds to renovate a house and start a transitional program for girls that have aged out of foster care. Wilhelm says they selected a house and it will be renovated to serve as a home for these girls and others in need of services. She says each girl will have their own bedroom and bath but share a kitchen, living room, study room and other areas. They will also provide programs that will assist them from teenager into adulthood. Girls Inc. serves more than 1,000 girls each year and that number continues to grow.
A ceremony will be held at the Girls Inc. annual meeting on February 16th.