Catch up on the Berkshire Hathaway AGM

Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger took the stage for over 5 hours in early May and answered a variety of questions.

Watch the event here –>  Video

Listen to the event via podcasts –> Podcasts

Read some summarised notes here –> 10 insights

Read Buffett’s letter to shareholders here –> Letter 

An investor’s slide presentation on Berkshire –> Slide show

I had to sit in some traffic over the past 2 weeks and the podcasts got me through those painful hours!

I also read “How To Invest Like Warren Buffett” by Alec Hogg (which was recently added to the Rondebosch library).  It is a great quick read and here are the gems that stood out for me:

  1. Loads of book recommendations.  Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is the one I am on to next.  Alec Hogg also rates these as his top 5
  2. What does Buffett look for in a CEO?  Character, which means putting the interests of the owners of the business above their own.  The CEO sets the example and that needs to be a good one.
  3. The tension between trust and control when managing others. “The stewardship of managers must be trusted, but no matter how strong the values, the CEO must impose an active audit function – “no sense in being a dammed fool.”  In general though, trust produces better results than ‘streams of directives, endless reviews and layers of bureaucracy’.”
  4. The best investment you can make?  At one AGM Buffett said the following,”Just imagine you’re 16 and I was going to give you a car of your choice today, any car you wanted to pick.  But there was one catch.  It was the only car you were able to have for the rest of your life.  You had to make it last.  So how would you treat it?  Well, of course you’d read the owners’ manual about five times before you turn the key in the ignition.  You would keep it garaged; any little rust would get taken care of immediately; you’d change the oil twice as often as you were supposed to – because you would know it had to last a lifetime.  You get one body and one mind.  And it’s going to have to last you a lifetime so you’d better treat it the same way.  The best asset is your own self.”

What were your best bits from the AGM?

Paul Maughan

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