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Old School Curated Links and News (May 9th Berkshire Edition)


Don’t get over the Berkshire Weekend hangover just yet.

If you were at the annual meeting, congrats and I hope you had a blast.

If you weren’t at the annual meeting, you can watch the webcast. Much better to get straight to the Q&A and skip most of the other stuff.

I still feel like his annual letters have more content as every question isn’t great.

Instead of repeating what other outlets have written, here are a few pieces I found interesting from the WSJ live blog section instead.

This is an image from Buffett’s first purchase of Berkshire Hathaway stock. Much easier than all the complex transactions we go through nowadays.


Now to put things into perspective:

Buffett put in his first buy order for 2,000 shares with Wall Street broker Tweedy, Browne and Reilly back in 1962. He paid $7.50 a share for his initial stake.
That’s an increase of 3,333,233%.

Buffett says that he made a mistake with IBM and has been selling. He says he doesn’t understand technology, but I think he is downplaying it. Munger flat out said that Buffett’s purchase of Apple shows that he is still learning.

When asked about Wells Fargo,

We did not buy American Express or Wells Fargo or United Airlines or Coca-Cola with the idea that they would never have problems or they would never have competition. But we did buy them because we thought they had very, very strong hands.

Airlines is also an interesting topic. People tend to anchor on what Buffett has said decades ago – I do this just as often, but it goes to show that Buffett is willing and able to change his position when the situation changes. We all read and remember the time he said airlines are bad investments, but forget that Buffett has moved on from that train of thought already. Such mental nimbleness.

When asked about intrinsic value, he mentions interest rates again. It’s important to keep in mind that everything has a yardstick and the interest rate determines a lot of it. With low interest rates, the market isn’t expensive. If the interest rate was at 7%, then we’d be in trouble.

For a good coverage of the Berkshire meeting, check out the WSJ live blog.

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