Warren Buffett And Johnny Depp Buy Greek Islands [UPDATED]

Berkshire Hathaway B shares Warren BuffettBy Mark Hirschey (Work of Mark Hirschey) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

UPDATE: Steve Jordon of The World-Herald reports that the claims regarding Warren Buffett are false. He states:

His (Buffett’s) office said Monday that reports from Greece that Buffett and Italian real estate agent Alessandro Proto together purchased the island of St. Thomas, southwest of Athens, are incorrect.

The newspaper Proto Thema reported the sale, and various news agencies repeated it, including the Athens-Macedonian News Agency and a Newsweek website.

See the original story below

Warren Buffett teamed up with Italian real estate agent Alessandro Proto to buy an island near the Port of Piraeus.

The ongoing economic crisis in Greece has made the country an attractive destination for real estate developers. Johnny Depp has reportedly bought an island, while Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are also rumored to be interested, writes Alice Milliken for Newsweek.

Warren Buffett partners with Proto in real estate development

Buffett, who is worth an estimated $72.3 billion, bought the island of St Thomas together with Proto Enterprises. The $16.25 million deal was completed last Thursday.

Piraeus, the largest Greek sea-port, is located near the capital, Athens. St Thomas measures 1.2 square kilometers and is currently uninhabited, according to Private Island Online, a site which lists private islands from around the globe.

St Thomas is 45 minutes from Athens by boat, and 20 minutes from Corinth. The Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-mpa) reports that Buffett and Proto are planning a real estate development on the island.

A spokesperson for Proto told Spiegel Online: “Greece is currently very attractive for investment in the development of real estate.”

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Not just Warren Buffett: Greek islands an attractive investment in current climate

Private Islands Online describes the Greek islands as "the ultimate status symbol, evoking images of sunglass sporting shipping magnates sipping champagne on the deck of enormous yachts. In reality, Greek islands are relatively affordable, costing as little as $2m [€1.8m] - less than a ski chalet in Aspen or a walk up on the Upper East side."

Buffett is one of a number of international investors moving into Greek real estate. ANA-mpa also ran a report detailing Johnny Depp's purchase of the island of Strogglio for $4.55 million.

Given the plight of the Greek economy, and the declining value of the euro against the dollar and the pound, interest in Greek real estate is on the rise among international investors. According to the Xinhua news agency, there are over 40 private islands for sale in Greece.

Greek bureaucracy can slow the purchase of an island, with 30 different documents and certifications required for a sale to be completed, but the investment opportunity is proving to be popular with wealthy individuals from around the world.

In 2013 Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev bought the private island of Skorpios, and the Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani bought 6 small islands in the Ionian Sea.

The only question is - will they be able to pay with Dramchas?

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About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at theflask@gmail.com

2 Comments on "Warren Buffett And Johnny Depp Buy Greek Islands [UPDATED]"

  1. Benjamin Graham – also known as The Dean of Wall Street – was a scholar and financial analyst who mentored legendary investors such as Warren Buffett, William J. Ruane, Irving Kahn and Walter J. Schloss.

    Warren Buffett wrote the preface for Graham’s book – The Intelligent Investor – in which he calls it “by far the best book about investing ever written.”

    Graham’s first recommended strategy – for novice investors – was to invest in Index stocks.
    For more serious investors, Graham recommended three different categories of stocks – Defensive, Enterprising and NCAV – and 17 qualitative and quantitative rules for identifying them.
    For professional investors, Graham described various special situations or “workouts”.

    The first requires almost no analysis, and is easily accomplished today with a good S&P500 Index fund.
    The last requires more than the average level of ability and experience. Such stocks are also not amenable to impartial algorithmic analysis, and require a case-specific approach.

    But Defensive, Enterprising and NCAV stocks can be reliably detected by today’s data-mining software, and offer a great avenue for accurate automated analysis and profitable investment.

    Most of Buffett’s investments are what Graham defined as Special Situations.

    Warren Buffett once gave a speech at Columbia Business School explaining how Graham’s record of creating exceptional investors (such as Buffett himself) is unquestionable, and how Graham’s principles are everlasting. The speech is now known as “The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville”.

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