Warren Buffett: $10,000 invested in an index fund when I bought my first stock in 1942 would be worth $51 million today

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC on Monday that if someone invested $10,000 in an index fund back in 1942, it would be worth $51 million today.

"The best single thing you've could have done on March 11, 1942 — when I bought my first stock — was buy an index fund," Buffett told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Since that time, Buffett said that Americans have seen 14 U.S. presidents, world wars, 9/11 and the Cuban missile crisis.

"The only thing you had to believe in [1942] is that America would win the war and that America would progress as it has ever since 1776," he said. "The headlines were terrible every day."

Buffett appeared on CNBC from Omaha, Nebraska where Berkshire Hathaway held a weekend of events around Saturday's annual meeting.

Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire, and his longtime investing partner and vice chairman, Charlie Munger, spoke to tens of thousands of attendees on a wide range of topics from their massive stake in Apple to missing out Alphabet's Google and Amazon to bashing bitcoin as "rat poison."

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