Billionaire investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett is spinning some good out of one of the many companies he owns via Berkshire Hathaway’s extensive portfolio by auctioning off an all-you-can-eat charity tour of the See’s Candy factory in Los Angeles. (The good comes from the charity part, not the gorging on candy.)
Bidding for the event, which includes a meet-and-greet with Buffett complete with his demonstration of “the only acceptable way to eat a bonbon,” has already reached $40,000 with two weeks left to go. That got us thinking: what else could Buffett auction? After all, Berkshire Hathaway, where Buffett holds the titles of chairman and CEO, controls more than 50 companies from Dairy Queen to Geico, and had annual sales of $162 billion last year.
Here are a few ideas that Warren should consider:
1. Spend the day creating a new signature Blizzard flavor with Buffett at Dairy Queen’s Edina, Minnesota headquarters.
With mint-chocolate chip ice cream the color of dollar bills.
2. Have a Benjamin Moore paint color named after you and use it to paint a room in your house with Buffett.
Perhaps a light mauve.
3. Go on a newspaper delivery route with the man.
He owns a slew of local newspapers across the country. Perhaps Buffalo, New York would do? Or Atlantic City? Just look at that form!
4. Fly with Buffett from Omaha to Sun Valley on a NetJets private aircraft.
As he said in his annual letter, those private airplanes “will get your pulse racing.”
5. Wear Brooks running shoes and work alongside Buffett on a treadmill desk for a day.
You can pretend you’re Charlie Munger.
6. Throw a themed party, decorated with Oriental Trading Co. supplies, for 100 of your closest friends.
Photo booth required. Buffett brings Jay Z.
7. Take a cross-country trip alongside the conductor on a Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train.
Alas, BNSF doesn’t operate many passenger trains, though it has done special events where it runs those.
Buffett can join for a leg of the trip.
8. Compose and perform a new Geico ditty with Buffett.
For at least 15 minutes.
9. Follow the path of a pack of Fruit of the Loom underwear from production overseas to a local Wal-Mart.
Ideally, Buffett can join for the journey — preferably in a NetJets plane — to or from the factory.
10. Host a Pampered Chef “Cooking Party” at Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska home.
Pampered Chef cooking parties or “cooking shows” are a way to sell the company’s products. You can take an apron home.
11. Pick out anything you want from Borsheims Fine Jewelry or Helzberg Diamonds.
And let the Oracle of Omaha pay, of course. (If he’s paying, you may want to go for Borsheims.)
12. Spend one hour poring through World Book encyclopedias with Buffett.
It’s owned by Scott Fetzer, which is a unit of Berkshire Hathaway.
He just looks like the kind of person you want to read with. Perhaps start with “I” for “investing.”
13. Observe the more than 100 steps it takes to make Justin brand boots in Texas.
Unfortunately, you can’t eat them.
14. Go door-to-door with Buffett selling insurance for a day.
Let’s not forget, as delightful as See’s Candy and Dairy Queen are, Warren Buffett is, above all, an insurance magnate.