Meet 'Canada's Warren Buffett,' the 90-year-old billionaire who drives a Toyota pickup truck around his hometown and owns a $25 million yacht

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Jim PattinsonPhillip Chin/Getty Images

  • Jim Pattison, who has a reported net worth of $5.9 billion, has been called "Canada's Warren Buffett."
  • Like Buffett, Pattison is the third-richest person in his country, is relatively frugal, and donates heavily to philanthropy.
  • But Pattison can also be a little lavish - he owns a $25 million yacht and a fleet of jets.

Warren Buffett has plenty of billionaire peers, but it's easy to see why Jim Pattison has been dubbed this Canadian counterpart.

Known as "Canada's Warren Buffett," Pattison, 90, has a net worth of $5.9 billion, according to Forbes. It may not even graze Buffett's $8o billion net worth, but it ranks him as the third-richest man in Canada - equivalent to Buffett's seat as the third-richest man in America.

Also like Buffett, Pattinson is relatively frugal. Born during the Great Depression, he had humble beginnings that stuck with him even as he created and developed a giant conglomerate, The Jim Pattison Group, of 200-plus companies worth more than $7 billion today. He also donates heavily to philanthropy.

But that doesn't mean he doesn't indulge in a few lavish purchases. While he might have a Toyota truck parked in his garage, he also has a $25 million yacht docked not far away.

Here, see how Pattison earns and spends his billions.

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Jim Pattison, Canada's third-richest man, has a reported net worth of $5.9 billion.

Jim Pattison, Canada's third-richest man, has a reported net worth of $5.9 billion.

Source: Forbes, Bloomberg

But Pattison wasn't always worth billions — his net worth is even more impressive considering his beginnings. He was born during the Great Depression and grew up poor, wearing hand-me-downs and living in "Vancouver's gritty east side."

But Pattison wasn't always worth billions — his net worth is even more impressive considering his beginnings. He was born during the Great Depression and grew up poor, wearing hand-me-downs and living in "Vancouver's gritty east side."

Source: Bloomberg

Pattison began practicing the art of business at age 7, selling seeds door-to-door. He eventually progressed to selling newspapers and playing trumpet at church picnics.

Pattison began practicing the art of business at age 7, selling seeds door-to-door. He eventually progressed to selling newspapers and playing trumpet at church picnics.

Source: Bloomberg, Vancouver Sun

In 1961, Pattison bought a GM dealership with a C$40,000 Royal Bank of Canada loan — he still has the financial statements.

In 1961, Pattison bought a GM dealership with a C$40,000 Royal Bank of Canada loan — he still has the financial statements.

Source: Bloomberg

It was the beginning of The Jim Pattison Group, a conglomerate of more than 200 companies across 85 countries that generates C$10.1 billion in annual sales (US $7.75 billion).

It was the beginning of The Jim Pattison Group, a conglomerate of more than 200 companies across 85 countries that generates C$10.1 billion in annual sales (US $7.75 billion).

Source: Forbes, Bloomberg, The Jim Pattison Group

It spans a variety of industries, including packaging, food, lumber, fisheries, billboards, and entertainment, a division that includes Great World Lodge, Guinness World Records, and the Ripley's Believe It Or Not! chain.

It spans a variety of industries, including packaging, food, lumber, fisheries, billboards, and entertainment, a division that includes Great World Lodge, Guinness World Records, and the Ripley's Believe It Or Not! chain.

Source: Forbes, Bloomberg

Pattison also controls more than 40% of Canfor, a publicly-traded forest products company, and has a big stake in Westshore Terminals Investment Corp., a coal export facility.

Pattison also controls more than 40% of Canfor, a publicly-traded forest products company, and has a big stake in Westshore Terminals Investment Corp., a coal export facility.

Source: Forbes, Bloomberg

His latest venture is Pattison Agriculture, comprised of John Deere equipment dealerships.

His latest venture is Pattison Agriculture, comprised of John Deere equipment dealerships.

Source: Bloomberg

With such a hefty fortune from his business successes, Pattison seems to have mastered the balance of frugality and lavish spending. He stays on the down low, but knows how to indulge.

With such a hefty fortune from his business successes, Pattison seems to have mastered the balance of frugality and lavish spending. He stays on the down low, but knows how to indulge.

"Most of the time, I didn't have the money to buy anything that was any good, so I had to buy stuff that nobody wanted," Pattison told Bloomberg.

"Most of the time, I didn't have the money to buy anything that was any good, so I had to buy stuff that nobody wanted," Pattison told Bloomberg.

Source: Bloomberg

He keeps his wheels modest, driving a Toyota Ram 1500 Laramie truck around his hometown. The pricing for the 2019 model ranges from $31,695 to $56,495.

He keeps his wheels modest, driving a Toyota Ram 1500 Laramie truck around his hometown. The pricing for the 2019 model ranges from $31,695 to $56,495.

Source: Edmunds, Bloomberg

But Pattison doesn't always get around so casually — he also owns five jets, including a Dassault Falcon 900 that seats up to 19 people. However, they're all used for business.

But Pattison doesn't always get around so casually — he also owns five jets, including a Dassault Falcon 900 that seats up to 19 people. However, they're all used for business.

Source: Bloomberg, Business Vancouver

By water, he gets around on his $25 million, 150-foot yacht Nova Spirit. Princess Diana and Oprah have both been on board.

By water, he gets around on his $25 million, 150-foot yacht Nova Spirit. Princess Diana and Oprah have both been on board.

Source: Bloomberg

And like many billionaires, Pattison also has an extensive real-estate portfolio, which includes an office condo in Vancouver and a property in Palm Springs previously owned by Frank Sinatra.

And like many billionaires, Pattison also has an extensive real-estate portfolio, which includes an office condo in Vancouver and a property in Palm Springs previously owned by Frank Sinatra.

Source: Bloomberg

When asked by a Bloomberg reporter whether he takes vacations, Pattison replied, "Well, I get 365 days ... If you like your work, it's not work."

When asked by a Bloomberg reporter whether he takes vacations, Pattison replied, "Well, I get 365 days ... If you like your work, it's not work."

Source: Bloomberg

Pattison is also known for investing in memorabilia. In 1985, he bought a Rolls Royce once owned by John Lennon for C$2.3 million (US$1.74 million). At the time, it was the world's most expensive used car. He later donated it to a museum.

Pattison is also known for investing in memorabilia. In 1985, he bought a Rolls Royce once owned by John Lennon for C$2.3 million (US$1.74 million). At the time, it was the world's most expensive used car. He later donated it to a museum.

Source: National Post

He paid US$5 million for the gown Marilyn Monroe wore in 1962 while singing "Happy Birthday" to then-President John F. Kennedy. Displayed in Ripley's venues across North America, the publicity has generated a lot of money for the company.

He paid US$5 million for the gown Marilyn Monroe wore in 1962 while singing "Happy Birthday" to then-President John F. Kennedy. Displayed in Ripley's venues across North America, the publicity has generated a lot of money for the company.

Source: Bloomberg

Pattison is also generous. His charitable foundation, The Jim Pattison Foundation, donated $12.5 million in 2016.

Pattison is also generous. His charitable foundation, The Jim Pattison Foundation, donated $12.5 million in 2016.

Source: Vancouver Sun

Pattison has a history of donating to Canada's healthcare system — he's given away more than $35 million to various hospitals including Vancouver General Hospital, Lions Gate Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital, and Victoria's Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Pattison has a history of donating to Canada's healthcare system — he's given away more than $35 million to various hospitals including Vancouver General Hospital, Lions Gate Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital, and Victoria's Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Source: Global News

And in 2017, he donated $75 million to St. Paul's Hospital Foundation to build the Jim Pattison Medical Centre.

And in 2017, he donated $75 million to St. Paul's Hospital Foundation to build the Jim Pattison Medical Centre.

Source: Global News

As he once said, "I was always brought up to give up 10% of what I made, and I always have."

As he once said, "I was always brought up to give up 10% of what I made, and I always have."

Source: Global News

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