How does the world’s top investor, at 84 years old, wake up every day and face the world with boundless energy?
“I’m one quarter Coca-Cola,” Warren Buffett says.
When he told me this in a phone call yesterday (we were talking about the death of his friend, former Coca-Cola president Don Keough), I assumed he was talking about his stock portfolio.
No, Buffett explained, “If I eat 2700 calories a day, a quarter of that is Coca-Cola. I drink at least five 12-ounce servings. I do it everyday.”
Perhaps only a man who owns $16 billion in Coca-Cola (KO) stock—9% of Coke, through his company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A)—would maintain such an odd daily diet. One 12-ounce can of Coke contains 140 calories. Typically, Buffett says, “I have three Cokes during the day and two at night.”
When he’s at his desk at Berkshire Hathaway headquarters in Omaha, he drinks regular Coke; at home, he treats himself to Cherry Coke.
“I’ll have one at breakfast,” he explains, noting that he loves to drink Coke with potato sticks. What brand of potato sticks? “I have a can right here,” he says. “U-T-Z” Utz is a Hanover, Pennsylvania-based snack maker. Buffett says that he’s talked to Utz management about potentially buying the company.
Investors in Berkshire Hathaway may feel relieved that the CEO isn’t addicted to Utz Potato Stix at every breakfast. “This morning, I had a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream,” Buffett says.
Asked to explain the high-sugar, high-salt diet that has somehow enabled him to remain seemingly healthy, Buffett replies: “I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among six-year-olds. So I decided to eat like a six-year-old.” The octogenarian adds, “It’s the safest course I can take.”