Prem Watsa likes to keep a low profile.
As the Toronto Star put it: “Watsa is the richest, savviest guy you never heard of.”
Nicknamed the “Warren Buffett of Canada,” Watsa is the founder, chairman and chief executive of a diversified insurance company, Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO/FFH-U.TO), based in Toronto.
Inspired by reading Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich,” Watsa arrived in London, Ontario, Canada in the winter of 1972 with just $8 in his pocket.
Watsa had come from India to earn an MBA at the University of Western Ontario.
As a student, he survived by selling stationery and small gifts door to door.
In 1974, with his MBA in hand, Watsa interviewed at Canadian insurance giant Confederation Life.
There, Watsa’s boss gave him a copy of “Securities Analysis” by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd. That book is widely considered to be the “Bible of Value Investing.”
That experience left a lasting impact on Watsa. He even named one of his children after Benjamin Graham.
A decade later, Watsa left to launch his own company. Today, his Fairfax Financial Holdings operates in Canada, the United States and a dozen other countries worldwide.
Click here to read the full article, “What Do ‘Canada’s Warren Buffett’ and President Barack Obama Have in Common?”