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Warren Buffett has a $32 billion fortune, but he guards his personal investments like a retiree on a pension.
During the first-quarter earnings season, an angry Buffett dialed into a conference call for Aegis Realty, a microcap REIT that focuses on shopping centers and had proposed merging with Dallas developer P.O'B. Montgomery & Co. Buffett, who personally owns a mere $6 million, or 7 percent, of New York-based Aegis's stock, described the merger as "a terrible deal for shareholders . . . much too favorable to management." And his call may have worked. Aegis later acknowledged that "certain stockholders have raised concerns" and said that it may revise the deal. Why would the world's second-richest person bother about such a trivial amount? Ken Campbell, who manages a $1.8 billion real estate portfolio at Clarion CRA Securities and listened in on Buffett's call, says: "I think he just acted very spontaneously. It was astounding."