Each year for the last five (which is about when they began streaming the meetings), I am always enthusiastic about listening to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, which prior to social distancing was more like a sporting event than a shareholder meeting.
Oh, for those that may be wondering, Berkshire Hathaway is headed by Warren Buffett age 90 (not Jimmy – being silly here) and Charlie Munger age 98. The name stems from a bankrupt textile company turned massive conglomerate filled with Insurance Companies (Geico) Railroads, and home builders (largest manufactured home builder in US) just to name a few.
Back to the meeting… Buffett honestly says (and it is true) the actual meeting is BOORING and Buffett even discourages folks to listen to the formal section, BUT there is an opening ceremony of such where Buffett has a 5-15 minute planned discussion followed by 3-3.5 hours of Q and A, most of which is known, but a few are sent in live and carefully reviewed and presented by Becky Quick of CNBC.
Finally A Way To Get Through The Meeting
So the last five years were a terrible failure as the attention span drifted before the entire meeting could be consumed…. Hey these guys are 90 and 98 and move at their own pace, but a wealth of VERY interesting opinions as well as knowledge.
This year a freak accidental trial was successful and made for a very enjoyable meeting review.
After finding a replay of the meeting on YouTube then cranking the speed up from 1x to 1.25 to 1.5 and finally landing on 1.75x normal speed, ta dah … the meeting was happily consumed with full 100% attention AND SOME NOTES!
These are in no sort of order, but basically organized as well as possible given the jumping of topics due to open questions – So here we go, hope you enjoy!
(These a not my opinions or thoughts, only a replay of Charlie and Warren’s high points)
Very Pro USA and Complimentary to Capital Creation in the USA
Brings a list of top largest 20 companies in the world, with total domination of USA
Currently have $145 Billion and only need $70 Billion – Current Asset Prices are Not Inviting to Warren and Charlie – Market is too fully priced (Sound Familiar?)
Sold Airlines to allow them to get Federal Funding
Munger Comment – His extra age seems to have loosened his muffler!
Higher State Taxes Chase some smart people away – Silly
SPACS are being created for Wall Street Not Investors and useless use of other peoples money – According to Charlie
Been and actor so long I do not know what I believe – Dogging on politicians and bad CEO’s
Buffett – More Politically PC
Low Interest Rates are causing very high asset prices
Inflationary prices are coming through the home building and other sectors, economy is red hot! Steel and scarcity of product
Furniture store red hot
More inflation going on than meets the eye- Yep
Both Admire Larry Summers convictions to Inflation concerns!
Great Closing Q & A Question:
What was greatest thing learned last year?
Munger: If you are not somewhat confused by what has happened you are not paying attention-
Buffett: Very interested in how this all works out!
Ok, so there you have it. 3.5 Hours condensed into one blog post with some high points that just by chance coincide with some of our thoughts….
Have a Great “Finally Made it Through a Berkshire Meeting” Day!
John A. Kvale CFA, CFP
Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Buffet Munger Analysis, Thoughts, High Points, Words to Live by and be Successful According to them …
On May 5-6 of 2023, the Annual Shareholder Meeting of Berkshire Hathaway (BH) occurred… if you are not familiar with BH, here is a nice review from Wikipedia.
At 92 (Warren Buffett) and 99 (Charlie Munger) a 7 hour marathon where random, unscripted questions are answered in very good form (if we could all be so lucky) makes for great theatre and some what of a cult like experience…
Until just a few years ago, thanks in part to the lockdown years, BH meetings … while not secret, were behind closed doors and demanded in-person attendance, even if one had to sit in the hall outside of the actual area of the meeting and watch a live feed of the event… today as noted, earlier in our pre-view post not only can you access the event live, but also in replay with the ability to turn up the speed !
Personal High Points of Interest from the Sped Up meeting (Live by comments at end):
Neither man would rather live in a different country or location, even while there are of course, short comings,
Warren would not mind starting over today with nothing, to see if he could do it again, Charlie, not so much.
Charlie: China and the US should just get along, do business together and jointly prosper, rather than bowing up to each other for perceived dominance. Was Russia in the day, today China. (Large Applause)
Not withstanding point one, the bifurcation and hatred in society is disheartening, unproductive and destructive according to both men.
Buffet reversed course on a $5 billion investment in a semiconductor company located in Taiwan due to tension, location and likely provoking point three above.
100 Year Plan/Dream/Desire (question from audience) Buffet explains to operate a Company that compliments society, is good for society and has good people working for it. (Simple, fresh, positive!)
Vice: NetJets – Charlie still rides in coach, even on NJ – Expensive, but worth it according to Warren, especially on overseas extended trips.
Absolutely bash (and do not care for), Venture Capitalists and Private Equity guys at every chance and state that at the onset of most deals, they are already looking for the escape hatch/sale.
BH is actually too big to make agile, more aggressive and growth like investments, which prevents it from being a growth like company. (Reiterated for years now)
Management Skill recommendation – “Phrase by name, criticize by category!”
Live on less then you earn to keep stress down.
You do not have to be lucky to make it.
Be nice to people.
Get toxic people out of your life.
From the infamous Buffett Shareholder letter, released 2-25-23
Early on, write your desired obituary – and then behave accordingly.
irrational and get lousy results.
thing for a long time is a huge advantage.
Remember, these are Warren and Charlie thoughts, only with a few comments and notes from us!
Have a Happy “Oracle of Omaha’s” day!
John A. Kvale CFA, CFP
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Posted in Education, Investing/Financial Planning, Market Comments
Tagged Berkshire Hathaway, Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett