Corner of Berkshire & Fairfax Message Board

General Category => Berkshire Hathaway => Topic started by: Graham Osborn on January 03, 2018, 11:46:05 AM

Title: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Graham Osborn on January 03, 2018, 11:46:05 AM
Thread for events around the meeting.  Look forward to seeing folks there!
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Og on January 03, 2018, 01:21:12 PM
Likewise!
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: LongTermView on January 03, 2018, 02:03:03 PM
Yes, it will be great to see everyone.  8)
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: ValueMaven on January 03, 2018, 05:32:10 PM
If you want to carpool from NYC and try and keep expenses VERY, VERY low, PM me...I will be driving out...

Sincerely,
ValueMaven
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Graham Osborn on January 09, 2018, 12:43:48 PM
If you want to carpool from NYC and try and keep expenses VERY, VERY low, PM me...I will be driving out...

Sincerely,
ValueMaven

That's the spirit!  Here in Atlanta direct flights on Delta are not too bad.  But given all the New Yorkers going to the meeting you might be able to rent a bus - and call it the "BerBus."
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Seanzy on April 13, 2018, 11:23:23 AM
Guys I would like to go to the meeting for my first time, although I've researched Buffett for eleven years. I am trying to get there from the San Francisco Bay Area and find lodging as cheaply as possible. Any advice? Thank you!
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Og on April 13, 2018, 02:12:57 PM
Guys I would like to go to the meeting for my first time, although I've researched Buffett for eleven years. I am trying to get there from the San Francisco Bay Area and find lodging as cheaply as possible. Any advice? Thank you!

AirBnB
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: voyager on April 27, 2018, 04:11:25 PM
If anyone is still looking for a place to stay, I can offer an extra non-refundable room we booked for a negotiable price.

It's this one: Homewood Suites by Hilton, Omaha Downtown, 1314 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68102
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: longinvestor on April 27, 2018, 05:45:00 PM
I too can accommodate 1 person in an apartment rental which is walking distance from the market and CenturyLink venue. Available Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. We’re five and it’s a six bed unit. PM me.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Graham Osborn on May 04, 2018, 03:47:05 PM
We’re making this the “AirBnb of Omaha” thread :)

Hope you all had a good flight in!
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: slkiel on May 04, 2018, 04:03:19 PM
We'd love to see those in Omaha at our investor day event immediately after the Saturday meeting. Arquitos Capital, Alluvial Fund, Ironwood Fund, and Bonhoeffer Fund will be presenting. Feel free to stop by, even if just for a few minutes. Additional details below:

May 5, 2018, 4pm-6pm local time
Hilton Hotel, Murray Conference Room (second floor)— 1001 Cass St., Omaha, NE 68102

https://medium.com/@WOAM/investor-day-presentation-may-5-2018-28b71e38ca3a
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Ballinvarosig Investors on May 04, 2018, 04:36:02 PM
Here's a preview - https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/05/04/buffett-interview-.html

Interesting comments for me were..

The economy is growing slightly faster than in previous years.
Charlie and Warren have only met once in the last 2 years.
Warren seems to like Apple a lot.
Warren also seems to think that USG should look at a "strategic alternative" - in other words, he does not like the business in the long-term, he would be happy to be bought out.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Graham Osborn on May 05, 2018, 06:06:27 AM
Sitting up in the nosebleed section waiting for the movie.  Happy posting everyone!
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: wolverine890 on May 05, 2018, 06:19:58 AM
Up in the nosebleeds, too. What time do you floor people arrive?
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Graham Osborn on May 05, 2018, 06:21:33 AM
When you think about it, Berkshire is now buying the only higher-earning nonfinancial company than itself.  There isn’t much left to buy in the public markets - regardless of what the market does - that can really make a dent.  I guess they could buy some Aramco.  They might by some Google sooner or later.  But for really big companies, public or private, the number of candidates looks pretty slim.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Graham Osborn on May 05, 2018, 06:23:58 AM
Up in the nosebleeds, too. What time do you floor people arrive?

Apparently Berkers are now paying Omahans to camp out overnight to save their spots.  That’s crazy - I don’t care how rich he is.  And there is a kid next to me holding a giant poster of Charlie Munger’s head.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Gamecock-YT on May 05, 2018, 07:11:14 AM
this girl doing interviews on the yahoo broadcast is really bad at it.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Graham Osborn on May 05, 2018, 07:22:21 AM
Dynamic duo coming out..
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Jurgis on May 05, 2018, 07:31:50 AM
OK, let's get elephant into the room: Buffett looks tired.  :-\
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Jurgis on May 05, 2018, 07:39:06 AM
"Everybody knew that America will win the war" - talk about a backwards looking fallacy...

I'm superglad they did. But was it guaranteed? What were the real American win predictions in 1942?

Edit: Let's invert. "Everybody knew that Germany will win the war" in 1942. What would an investment into German stock be worth now?  ::)
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Jurgis on May 05, 2018, 07:48:29 AM
Not a bad PCP question. :)
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: LounginMKL on May 05, 2018, 08:01:58 AM
OK, let's get elephant into the room: Buffett looks tired.  :-\

Looks like he woke up a bit as time progresses. He must've been tired from buying all these AAPL stocks.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Jurgis on May 05, 2018, 08:41:29 AM
Not a bad PCP question. :)

So far IMO Jonathan Brandt is asking the best questions.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Graham Osborn on May 05, 2018, 10:17:59 AM
"Everybody knew that America will win the war" - talk about a backwards looking fallacy...

I'm superglad they did. But was it guaranteed? What were the real American win predictions in 1942?

Edit: Let's invert. "Everybody knew that Germany will win the war" in 1942. What would an investment into German stock be worth now?  ::)

I have to agree with you on that.  If Hitler hadn’t ejected Jewish quantum physicists, they might have built the fission bomb for the Third Reich - and I think we all know what Hitler would have done to each and every Allied nation that did not “surrender unconditionally” once he was so equipped.  Every nation that is born must die, and investors must consider that in their personal calculations.  I for one know that my calculations do not align 100% with Uncle Sam’s.  But I think if I’d been there I would have bet on the US too - who wants to bet in a nation that nationalizes industry.  And if you’re wrong, you’re screwed anyway.

That said, i am looking for ways to bet on Asia-Pacifc once the securities regulations firm up.  300 years ago it was said that “the sun never sets in the British Empire.” Now, Britain is little more than a flyspeck on the economic landscape.  WW2 devastated the UK economically and paved the way for the US to steal market share.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Graham Osborn on May 05, 2018, 10:40:32 AM
I think it’s interesting that both Buffett and Munger don’t seem repelled by the structural/ regulatory risk of Chinese securities.  Then again, I guess BYD hasn’t had a lot of sequels this far.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: John Hjorth on May 05, 2018, 11:13:04 AM
I'm really pleased by on Yahoo Finance to experience both those gents in good shape today!
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Graham Osborn on May 05, 2018, 04:08:56 PM
I have to agree with the complaint often voiced here that the quality of the questions is just not good.  Very few substantive issues about the business are being addressed.  Unfortunately the journalists and analysts aren’t helping that much - they tend to delve into the weeds rather than asking big-picture, difficult questions.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: benchmark on May 05, 2018, 08:43:47 PM
From NYT:

"As for Alphabet, Mr. Buffett said that he had “made a mistake.” He said he was unable to conclude that at Alphabet’s present prices, its “prospects were far better than the prices indicated.”"

Comparing this with his investment in Apple (and IBM), I wish someone would ask him his reasonings.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Jurgis on May 05, 2018, 09:34:45 PM
I have to agree with the complaint often voiced here that the quality of the questions is just not good.  Very few substantive issues about the business are being addressed.  Unfortunately the journalists and analysts aren’t helping that much - they tend to delve into the weeds rather than asking big-picture, difficult questions.

What would those big-picture, difficult questions be?
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: ScottHall on May 05, 2018, 11:46:36 PM
From NYT:

"As for Alphabet, Mr. Buffett said that he had “made a mistake.” He said he was unable to conclude that at Alphabet’s present prices, its “prospects were far better than the prices indicated.”"

Comparing this with his investment in Apple (and IBM), I wish someone would ask him his reasonings.

Good of him to own up to this. He has cost shareholders a lot in terms of opportunity cost the past decade, hate to say it but it's true. Outside the GFC Berkshire has done nothing impressive and TBH even considering that opportunity returns have not been that impressive compared to what they should have been with the "world's greatest investor" at the helm.

Munger says Buffett keeps getting better with age. I don't see it, honestly. He's still very good but I don't get the impression he or Berkshire have morphed with the times in the way that is sold. It's cool he's trying new things with Apple, maybe he'll get his old groove back sooner or later.

I sold my Berkshire stock a while back, held it for a quick +20% on tax reform and redeployed to better opportunities. It'll probably do fine but not much more than fine, in the long run.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: scorpioncapital on May 06, 2018, 12:43:20 AM
Be happy opportunity cost lost has resulted in at least matching the sp500. It's quite a tribute that a one third pile of cash vehicle can do that...often when companies don't swing enough or make mistakes they tend to severely underperform the index which is the true disaster you need to avoid . Matching averages is not the worst fate.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: tombgrt on May 06, 2018, 03:21:13 AM
From NYT:

"As for Alphabet, Mr. Buffett said that he had “made a mistake.” He said he was unable to conclude that at Alphabet’s present prices, its “prospects were far better than the prices indicated.”"

Comparing this with his investment in Apple (and IBM), I wish someone would ask him his reasonings.

Good of him to own up to this. He has cost shareholders a lot in terms of opportunity cost the past decade, hate to say it but it's true. Outside the GFC Berkshire has done nothing impressive and TBH even considering that opportunity returns have not been that impressive compared to what they should have been with the "world's greatest investor" at the helm.

Munger says Buffett keeps getting better with age. I don't see it, honestly. He's still very good but I don't get the impression he or Berkshire have morphed with the times in the way that is sold. It's cool he's trying new things with Apple, maybe he'll get his old groove back sooner or later.


I'd say that is a little too negative considering size, market conditions and cash position. Ask Prem Watsa about true opportunity costs... Hell, ask most decent fund managers with a strong value bent. They'll come back in vogue at some point too. Buffett was buying in 08/09 while many were trembling with fear. And he still did some decent deals like you said. That's more than most can say. Nothing mindblowing but he has still kept up with the market and its soaring tech stocks with enormous cash levels. Maybe he got better with age but certain conditions make it very hard to see this. I'd love to see what happens if the S&P500 drops two or three years in a row! Also, selecting Todd and Ted, who both seem to be beating the market, is impressive in itself imo. They are not managing a few hunderd million...

So easy to say in hindsight that BRK did poor vs broader market. Maybe one of his biggest mistakes is not buying MSFT a few years back and going after IBM. (With IBM he fell prey to a backwards looking fallacy as someone else put it here. "They have always reinvented themselves thus they will do it again.") But who would have guessed Amazon, Google, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, ... would be where they are today. Five years ago, 99%+ of analysts, investors etc would have called you insane if you dared to predict this outcome. Do you know about many fund managers who got extraordinary outperformance vs the market? In any case, I would have slept better owning 100% BRK than 100% S&P500 in the last 9 years.

For the last 20 years, BRK has been a great stock to own in size at certain points in time. Good investors were best to trade around that. Early 2000 and 2011/2012 were two such occasions where the investment case was a no-brainer. Many didn't see it in 2000 and 2011 and I'm sure Mr Market will be blinded once again in the future.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: gfp on May 06, 2018, 04:25:04 AM
Cnbc has footage and other stuff from past annual meetings, not available previously.  They call it their new 'warren buffett archive' ->

https://buffett.cnbc.com/annual-meetings/
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: gfp on May 06, 2018, 04:41:35 AM
One thing I always enjoy is when someone asks about their access to the 'dry powder' they currently show.  This year it was about insurance regulators only allowing a certain amount of dividends out of the ins. companies per year without special request/approval.  Of course, cash does have to be outside the Ins. company to buy and cancel BRK shares, but it probably isn't necessary in order to buy them.  They can be distributed to the parent and cancelled later.

But my point is that they don't want to spit out a number (Charlie has accidentally spit out, 'we could do a 150 billion dollar deal tomorrow if one came along' last year) - but they were clearly indicating that they will have no problem at all getting creative and closing an enormous acquisition if one were to be possible.  This year he mentioned partners would line up - like FFH uses OMERS and others - even though it would be unlikely that BRK would require partners.  If debt markets stay like this, obviously that can and will be used as a major lever.  And, of course, one of the reasons BRK cash seldom goes down by much - even during years with large acquisitions like PCP - is that the amount of time between a deal being announced and it ultimately closing can end up bringing in another $25+ billion in cash to Berkshire.  Float growth, maturing securities, free cash flow from subsidiaries.

Through relatively short term (2-10 years) debt issues, Buffett would have no problem "pre-spending" some of Berkshire's future earnings power on the right deal.  Compared to the current situation it would be a luxury.

And capital doesn't have to be dividend-ed out of the Insurance companies to make acquisitions.  There is no problem if NICO ends up owning another large operating business.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: John Hjorth on May 06, 2018, 05:24:41 AM
Total policyholders statutory surplus of this "tiny taxi insurance company" doing business out of Omaha is actually USD 128,562,565,980 (http://www.nationalindemnity.com/finreports/nico.pdf) at year end 2017. [ : - ) ]
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: gfp on May 06, 2018, 05:46:41 AM
So many of the shareholder questions were from Chinese nationals and children.  A few questions from the Chinese folks were ok - trade relations, why not look to buy chinese businesses, etc.  The worst was probably from the Chinese woman who works at a 'family office' for high net worth Chinese.  "You two would be my dream clients"  ???  why?  "Do you have family offices and what do they do for you?"  give me a break...

I have to agree with the complaint often voiced here that the quality of the questions is just not good.  Very few substantive issues about the business are being addressed.  Unfortunately the journalists and analysts aren’t helping that much - they tend to delve into the weeds rather than asking big-picture, difficult questions.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: ScottHall on May 06, 2018, 06:48:53 AM
From NYT:

"As for Alphabet, Mr. Buffett said that he had “made a mistake.” He said he was unable to conclude that at Alphabet’s present prices, its “prospects were far better than the prices indicated.”"

Comparing this with his investment in Apple (and IBM), I wish someone would ask him his reasonings.

Good of him to own up to this. He has cost shareholders a lot in terms of opportunity cost the past decade, hate to say it but it's true. Outside the GFC Berkshire has done nothing impressive and TBH even considering that opportunity returns have not been that impressive compared to what they should have been with the "world's greatest investor" at the helm.

Munger says Buffett keeps getting better with age. I don't see it, honestly. He's still very good but I don't get the impression he or Berkshire have morphed with the times in the way that is sold. It's cool he's trying new things with Apple, maybe he'll get his old groove back sooner or later.


I'd say that is a little too negative considering size, market conditions and cash position. Ask Prem Watsa about true opportunity costs... Hell, ask most decent fund managers with a strong value bent. They'll come back in vogue at some point too. Buffett was buying in 08/09 while many were trembling with fear. And he still did some decent deals like you said. That's more than most can say. Nothing mindblowing but he has still kept up with the market and its soaring tech stocks with enormous cash levels. Maybe he got better with age but certain conditions make it very hard to see this. I'd love to see what happens if the S&P500 drops two or three years in a row! Also, selecting Todd and Ted, who both seem to be beating the market, is impressive in itself imo. They are not managing a few hunderd million...

So easy to say in hindsight that BRK did poor vs broader market. Maybe one of his biggest mistakes is not buying MSFT a few years back and going after IBM. (With IBM he fell prey to a backwards looking fallacy as someone else put it here. "They have always reinvented themselves thus they will do it again.") But who would have guessed Amazon, Google, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, ... would be where they are today. Five years ago, 99%+ of analysts, investors etc would have called you insane if you dared to predict this outcome. Do you know about many fund managers who got extraordinary outperformance vs the market? In any case, I would have slept better owning 100% BRK than 100% S&P500 in the last 9 years.

For the last 20 years, BRK has been a great stock to own in size at certain points in time. Good investors were best to trade around that. Early 2000 and 2011/2012 were two such occasions where the investment case was a no-brainer. Many didn't see it in 2000 and 2011 and I'm sure Mr Market will be blinded once again in the future.

I really don't think that's true. I and many others have made very good returns on Facebook, Amazon and Google over the past five years. I sold out of Facebook recently - I will buy back in - held it since 2014 and had 137% gain on the position. Still have AMZN and GOOG.

I didn't miss these stocks and a lot of people on these forums think I'm one of the biggest idiots on here. I beat Buffett at growth investing, so did a lot of others on this forum TBH. He owns up to his mistake and there's no shame in making mistakes, but to say that 99% of people couldn't figure those stocks out seems a little silly to me.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Cigarbutt on May 06, 2018, 07:04:19 AM
Humble contribution.

Investment is like a race and you have to choose the vehicle and the driver.

It is impossible to maintain a permanent edge. ScottHall's comments may be right that the time has come but (politely submitted) the comments remind me of an article I read in 1999 titled: "What's wrong, Warren?" when I was trying to define the rules of the race.

At a time when the value of moats is questioned, if there is a message that will stay, even after Mr. Buffett is gone, it is that Markets can sometimes be wrong and, in spades, spectacularly so.

Borrowed from "Get your groove back":

"Looking at the past in the rear view mirror,
 Moving so fast I've never seen clearer,
 Now I get a new way to feel ten times better,"

Here to learn but to win a race, you have to try to finish the race, even if there is no finish line.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: tombgrt on May 06, 2018, 07:28:01 AM
From NYT:

"As for Alphabet, Mr. Buffett said that he had “made a mistake.” He said he was unable to conclude that at Alphabet’s present prices, its “prospects were far better than the prices indicated.”"

Comparing this with his investment in Apple (and IBM), I wish someone would ask him his reasonings.

Good of him to own up to this. He has cost shareholders a lot in terms of opportunity cost the past decade, hate to say it but it's true. Outside the GFC Berkshire has done nothing impressive and TBH even considering that opportunity returns have not been that impressive compared to what they should have been with the "world's greatest investor" at the helm.

Munger says Buffett keeps getting better with age. I don't see it, honestly. He's still very good but I don't get the impression he or Berkshire have morphed with the times in the way that is sold. It's cool he's trying new things with Apple, maybe he'll get his old groove back sooner or later.


I'd say that is a little too negative considering size, market conditions and cash position. Ask Prem Watsa about true opportunity costs... Hell, ask most decent fund managers with a strong value bent. They'll come back in vogue at some point too. Buffett was buying in 08/09 while many were trembling with fear. And he still did some decent deals like you said. That's more than most can say. Nothing mindblowing but he has still kept up with the market and its soaring tech stocks with enormous cash levels. Maybe he got better with age but certain conditions make it very hard to see this. I'd love to see what happens if the S&P500 drops two or three years in a row! Also, selecting Todd and Ted, who both seem to be beating the market, is impressive in itself imo. They are not managing a few hunderd million...

So easy to say in hindsight that BRK did poor vs broader market. Maybe one of his biggest mistakes is not buying MSFT a few years back and going after IBM. (With IBM he fell prey to a backwards looking fallacy as someone else put it here. "They have always reinvented themselves thus they will do it again.") But who would have guessed Amazon, Google, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, ... would be where they are today. Five years ago, 99%+ of analysts, investors etc would have called you insane if you dared to predict this outcome. Do you know about many fund managers who got extraordinary outperformance vs the market? In any case, I would have slept better owning 100% BRK than 100% S&P500 in the last 9 years.

For the last 20 years, BRK has been a great stock to own in size at certain points in time. Good investors were best to trade around that. Early 2000 and 2011/2012 were two such occasions where the investment case was a no-brainer. Many didn't see it in 2000 and 2011 and I'm sure Mr Market will be blinded once again in the future.

I really don't think that's true. I and many others have made very good returns on Facebook, Amazon and Google over the past five years. I sold out of Facebook recently - I will buy back in - held it since 2014 and had 137% gain on the position. Still have AMZN and GOOG.

I didn't miss these stocks and a lot of people on these forums think I'm one of the biggest idiots on here. I beat Buffett at growth investing, so did a lot of others on this forum TBH. He owns up to his mistake and there's no shame in making mistakes, but to say that 99% of people couldn't figure those stocks out seems a little silly to me.

Maybe I didn't make clear enough what I meant exactly. There is a difference between figuring some of these stocks out and predicting that they would be 5-10 baggers from 2013 levels. I'm not stating that 99% didn't figure these out, I'm saying that most people would have laughed in your face when you would have claimed, for instance, that Netflix would have a $140B market cap in early 2018. 99% seems about right to me, but the number was meant more to make a point. Could be 95%+ just the same. My point is that sentiment was véry different back then and that it was not easy to predict this outcome. If you and others did, you guys are eithers very bright or very lucky. I remember you buying FB a few years back, so congratz! (As an aside: I wouldn't assume the average money manager is on par with the brighest on this forum tbh. Or they might be but have various reasons (career risk etc) not to act on it.)

Would love to see if we could find more than a handful of fund managers who have, in the last 9 years, either: 1) trailed the S&P500 with an equal cash balance on average; 2) outperformed the S&P500 with >10b in assets. I'm also very interested to see how these managers will fare from now until after the next stock market slump versus Buffett, Todd and Ted. Somehow I feel I already know the answer.

Anyway, I think we both agree that Buffett is still very good but that he made some mistakes. So not really a big difference in opinion. Given the circumstances I just believe these mistakes are understandable and minor. Buffett isn't omniscient.


Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: ScottHall on May 06, 2018, 07:47:44 AM
Humble contribution.

Investment is like a race and you have to choose the vehicle and the driver.

It is impossible to maintain a permanent edge. ScottHall's comments may be right that the time has come but (politely submitted) the comments remind me of an article I read in 1999 titled: "What's wrong, Warren?" when I was trying to define the rules of the race.

At a time when the value of moats is questioned, if there is a message that will stay, even after Mr. Buffett is gone, it is that Markets can sometimes be wrong and, in spades, spectacularly so.

Borrowed from "Get your groove back":

"Looking at the past in the rear view mirror,
 Moving so fast I've never seen clearer,
 Now I get a new way to feel ten times better,"

Here to learn but to win a race, you have to try to finish the race, even if there is no finish line.

More about investing being like racing, for those interested: http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/berkshire-hathaway/sorry-warren!-another-year-of-dragging-ass/
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: scorpioncapital on May 06, 2018, 09:52:15 AM
One possible scenario , rates double, berkshire stock stays flat , fangs crash 50 percent... Warren said in a recent interview investing is not as easy as just buying anything at any price . I predict in due time the value of moats won't change, high valuation for growth will come down as the noose of rates ratchet up. And the basic principles he describes will be made clear again because like mathematics or gravity its just basic math.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: ScottHall on May 06, 2018, 10:00:39 AM
One possible scenario , rates double, berkshire stock stays flat , fangs crash 50 percent... Warren said in a recent interview investing is not as easy as just buying anything at any price . I predict in due time the value of moats won't change, high valuation for growth will come down as the noose of rates ratchet up. And the basic principles he describes will be made clear again because like mathematics or gravity its just basic math.

Yeah, then Warren gets to buy all the FANG stocks at the prices he originally should have. And I get to buy more. Not a bad idea!
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: rb on May 06, 2018, 10:34:50 AM
I think that all these comparisons to indexes miss the point that you have to be comfortable with what you hold.

Let's say that I didn't buy Amazon, or Netflix, or whatever. Yes I've missed on returns from those names. But it's not like I didn't know they existed. I didn't buy them because I didn't feel comfortable holding those. So then why would I put together a portfolio that has heavy weights in those names? After all the S&P 500 is just a portfolio of stocks.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: ScottHall on May 06, 2018, 10:49:05 AM
I think that all these comparisons to indexes miss the point that you have to be comfortable with what you hold.

Let's say that I didn't buy Amazon, or Netflix, or whatever. Yes I've missed on returns from those names. But it's not like I didn't know they existed. I didn't buy them because I didn't feel comfortable holding those. So then why would I put together a portfolio that has heavy weights in those names? After all the S&P 500 is just a portfolio of stocks.

Scorpion has the right idea, IMO. Perhaps Buffett is just waiting for a market pullback to buy the tech stocks. If the market crashed 50% all of them would probably be screaming buys.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: DanielGMask on May 06, 2018, 02:10:06 PM
From NYT:

"As for Alphabet, Mr. Buffett said that he had “made a mistake.” He said he was unable to conclude that at Alphabet’s present prices, its “prospects were far better than the prices indicated.”"

Comparing this with his investment in Apple (and IBM), I wish someone would ask him his reasonings.

Good of him to own up to this. He has cost shareholders a lot in terms of opportunity cost the past decade, hate to say it but it's true. Outside the GFC Berkshire has done nothing impressive and TBH even considering that opportunity returns have not been that impressive compared to what they should have been with the "world's greatest investor" at the helm.

Munger says Buffett keeps getting better with age. I don't see it, honestly. He's still very good but I don't get the impression he or Berkshire have morphed with the times in the way that is sold. It's cool he's trying new things with Apple, maybe he'll get his old groove back sooner or later.


I'd say that is a little too negative considering size, market conditions and cash position. Ask Prem Watsa about true opportunity costs... Hell, ask most decent fund managers with a strong value bent. They'll come back in vogue at some point too. Buffett was buying in 08/09 while many were trembling with fear. And he still did some decent deals like you said. That's more than most can say. Nothing mindblowing but he has still kept up with the market and its soaring tech stocks with enormous cash levels. Maybe he got better with age but certain conditions make it very hard to see this. I'd love to see what happens if the S&P500 drops two or three years in a row! Also, selecting Todd and Ted, who both seem to be beating the market, is impressive in itself imo. They are not managing a few hunderd million...

So easy to say in hindsight that BRK did poor vs broader market. Maybe one of his biggest mistakes is not buying MSFT a few years back and going after IBM. (With IBM he fell prey to a backwards looking fallacy as someone else put it here. "They have always reinvented themselves thus they will do it again.") But who would have guessed Amazon, Google, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, ... would be where they are today. Five years ago, 99%+ of analysts, investors etc would have called you insane if you dared to predict this outcome. Do you know about many fund managers who got extraordinary outperformance vs the market? In any case, I would have slept better owning 100% BRK than 100% S&P500 in the last 9 years.

For the last 20 years, BRK has been a great stock to own in size at certain points in time. Good investors were best to trade around that. Early 2000 and 2011/2012 were two such occasions where the investment case was a no-brainer. Many didn't see it in 2000 and 2011 and I'm sure Mr Market will be blinded once again in the future.

I really don't think that's true. I and many others have made very good returns on Facebook, Amazon and Google over the past five years. I sold out of Facebook recently - I will buy back in - held it since 2014 and had 137% gain on the position. Still have AMZN and GOOG.

I didn't miss these stocks and a lot of people on these forums think I'm one of the biggest idiots on here. I beat Buffett at growth investing, so did a lot of others on this forum TBH. He owns up to his mistake and there's no shame in making mistakes, but to say that 99% of people couldn't figure those stocks out seems a little silly to me.

Maybe I didn't make clear enough what I meant exactly. There is a difference between figuring some of these stocks out and predicting that they would be 5-10 baggers from 2013 levels. I'm not stating that 99% didn't figure these out, I'm saying that most people would have laughed in your face when you would have claimed, for instance, that Netflix would have a $140B market cap in early 2018. 99% seems about right to me, but the number was meant more to make a point. Could be 95%+ just the same. My point is that sentiment was véry different back then and that it was not easy to predict this outcome. If you and others did, you guys are eithers very bright or very lucky. I remember you buying FB a few years back, so congratz! (As an aside: I wouldn't assume the average money manager is on par with the brighest on this forum tbh. Or they might be but have various reasons (career risk etc) not to act on it.)

Would love to see if we could find more than a handful of fund managers who have, in the last 9 years, either: 1) trailed the S&P500 with an equal cash balance on average; 2) outperformed the S&P500 with >10b in assets. I'm also very interested to see how these managers will fare from now until after the next stock market slump versus Buffett, Todd and Ted. Somehow I feel I already know the answer.

Anyway, I think we both agree that Buffett is still very good but that he made some mistakes. So not really a big difference in opinion. Given the circumstances I just believe these mistakes are understandable and minor. Buffett isn't omniscient.

Everybody is fallible, including Buffett. But I don’t think that passing on AMZN, GOOG or FB is equivalent to making a mistake. Those companies weren’t sure things when they were smaller/cheaper, and putting money into something where the price to owner’s earnings is ridiculously high because the market assumes it will grow and grow is more of a guessing game than investing.

Moats used to be way more stable and difficult to overcome. Technology disruption changed that and the likes of Buffett (myself included though much younger) are adapting to this new paradigm of assets-light companies with ever-changing moats.

Anyway, I don’t think we will ever see another investor with the capacity to achieve such great results for more than 60 years while maintaining an honest and humble attitude. It really doesn’t matter if he missed the likes of Intel, Wal-mart or Facebook, on the contrary, what’s incredible is that he achieved the impossible even after missing those great companies!
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: tombgrt on May 06, 2018, 02:23:02 PM
Maybe I didn't make clear enough what I meant exactly. There is a difference between figuring some of these stocks out and predicting that they would be 5-10 baggers from 2013 levels. I'm not stating that 99% didn't figure these out, I'm saying that most people would have laughed in your face when you would have claimed, for instance, that Netflix would have a $140B market cap in early 2018. 99% seems about right to me, but the number was meant more to make a point. Could be 95%+ just the same. My point is that sentiment was véry different back then and that it was not easy to predict this outcome. If you and others did, you guys are eithers very bright or very lucky. I remember you buying FB a few years back, so congratz! (As an aside: I wouldn't assume the average money manager is on par with the brighest on this forum tbh. Or they might be but have various reasons (career risk etc) not to act on it.)

Would love to see if we could find more than a handful of fund managers who have, in the last 9 years, either: 1) trailed the S&P500 with an equal cash balance on average; 2) outperformed the S&P500 with >10b in assets. I'm also very interested to see how these managers will fare from now until after the next stock market slump versus Buffett, Todd and Ted. Somehow I feel I already know the answer.

Anyway, I think we both agree that Buffett is still very good but that he made some mistakes. So not really a big difference in opinion. Given the circumstances I just believe these mistakes are understandable and minor. Buffett isn't omniscient.

Everybody is fallible, including Buffett. But I don’t think that passing on AMZN, GOOG or FB is equivalent to making a mistake. Those companies weren’t sure things when they were smaller/cheaper, and putting money into something where the price to owner’s earnings is ridiculously high because the market assumes it will grow and grow is more of a guessing game than investing.

Moats used to be way more stable and difficult to overcome. Technology disruption changed that and the likes of Buffett (myself included though much younger) are adapting to this new paradigm of assets-light companies with ever-changing moats.

Anyway, I don’t think we will ever see another investor with the capacity to achieve such great results for more than 60 years while maintaining an honest and humble attitude. It really doesn’t matter if he missed the likes of Intel, Wal-mart or Facebook, on the contrary, what’s incredible is that he achieved the impossible even after missing those great companies!

I'm not saying those were his mistakes? Are you all purposefully trying to misread my posts? ;) Or are you replying to ScottHall? I'm basically saying the same as you, DanielGMask. Not buying MSFT since the nineties is an example of an error of omission in my opinion. So I have a different view of what his mistakes are than ScottHall. Would be ridiculous to assume there is an investor out there that doesn't make mistakes anyway.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: benchmark on May 06, 2018, 02:23:39 PM
What's more interesting to me is that he chose to invest in Apple now vs others, in particular google, which I think has a high probability of growth than Apple.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: tombgrt on May 06, 2018, 02:36:45 PM
What's more interesting to me is that he chose to invest in Apple now vs others, in particular google, which I think has a high probability of growth than Apple.

Especially considering Munger has said that GOOG has the widdest moat he has ever seen. Maybe they considered regulation risk too?
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: longinvestor on May 06, 2018, 02:38:14 PM
Maybe I didn't make clear enough what I meant exactly. There is a difference between figuring some of these stocks out and predicting that they would be 5-10 baggers from 2013 levels. I'm not stating that 99% didn't figure these out, I'm saying that most people would have laughed in your face when you would have claimed, for instance, that Netflix would have a $140B market cap in early 2018. 99% seems about right to me, but the number was meant more to make a point. Could be 95%+ just the same. My point is that sentiment was véry different back then and that it was not easy to predict this outcome. If you and others did, you guys are eithers very bright or very lucky. I remember you buying FB a few years back, so congratz! (As an aside: I wouldn't assume the average money manager is on par with the brighest on this forum tbh. Or they might be but have various reasons (career risk etc) not to act on it.)

Would love to see if we could find more than a handful of fund managers who have, in the last 9 years, either: 1) trailed the S&P500 with an equal cash balance on average; 2) outperformed the S&P500 with >10b in assets. I'm also very interested to see how these managers will fare from now until after the next stock market slump versus Buffett, Todd and Ted. Somehow I feel I already know the answer.

Anyway, I think we both agree that Buffett is still very good but that he made some mistakes. So not really a big difference in opinion. Given the circumstances I just believe these mistakes are understandable and minor. Buffett isn't omniscient.

Everybody is fallible, including Buffett. But I don’t think that passing on AMZN, GOOG or FB is equivalent to making a mistake. Those companies weren’t sure things when they were smaller/cheaper, and putting money into something where the price to owner’s earnings is ridiculously high because the market assumes it will grow and grow is more of a guessing game than investing.

Moats used to be way more stable and difficult to overcome. Technology disruption changed that and the likes of Buffett (myself included though much younger) are adapting to this new paradigm of assets-light companies with ever-changing moats.

Anyway, I don’t think we will ever see another investor with the capacity to achieve such great results for more than 60 years while maintaining an honest and humble attitude. It really doesn’t matter if he missed the likes of Intel, Wal-mart or Facebook, on the contrary, what’s incredible is that he achieved the impossible even after missing those great companies!

I'm not saying those were his mistakes? Are you all purposefully trying to misread my posts? ;) Or are you replying to ScottHall? I'm basically saying the same as you, DanielGMask. Not buying MSFT since the nineties is an example of an error of omission in my opinion. So I have a different view of what his mistakes are than ScottHall. Would be ridiculous to assume there is an investor out there that doesn't make mistakes anyway.
MSFT is out of bounds for Berkshire. Including Todd and Ted because of the perception problem. This is as brought up even yesterday at the meeting.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: tombgrt on May 06, 2018, 02:50:00 PM
Right, forgot about that reason. Read it a few years ago. Thanks.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: John Hjorth on May 06, 2018, 03:07:07 PM
... and a lot of people on these forums think I'm one of the biggest idiots on here. ...

To be totally honest, straight, bordering to being brutal here, Scott: For my part: Not. But please stop ruining your smart brain with pot, and come back. Furthermore, there seem to me to be at least some kind of correlation between you trolling here on CoBF and being under influence of pot, or whatever. If you hereby don't grasp how much damage your're causing, then, yes, you're one of the biggest idiots here on CoBF.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: rb on May 06, 2018, 07:22:47 PM
What's more interesting to me is that he chose to invest in Apple now vs others, in particular google, which I think has a high probability of growth than Apple.
Well for one Apple is a lot cheaper than Google. That has to count for a lot. Also I'm not that sure that google has a higher probably of growth than apple. I can make a case the other way around.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: ScottHall on May 06, 2018, 08:11:16 PM
... and a lot of people on these forums think I'm one of the biggest idiots on here. ...

To be totally honest, straight, bordering to being brutal here, Scott: For my part: Not. But please stop ruining your smart brain with pot, and come back. Furthermore, there seem to me to be at least some kind of correlation between you trolling here on CoBF and being under influence of pot, or whatever. If you hereby don't grasp how much damage your're causing, then, yes, you're one of the biggest idiots here on CoBF.

Unprovoked you bring up my marijuana usage, which I haven't mentioned once in this thread. It's an activity you intensely dislike, supposedly. Yet here you are promoting it to thousands of users and giving me a bigger microphone than I would have otherwise had due to that attention.

You're promoting personal behavior you don't approve of so that you can call me out on a message board topic you apparently felt offended by.

By a brief look through my post history, at least by a quick glance, it looks like I haven't mentioned weed on this forum since around this time last year. I gave you what you wanted, out of respect kept it to my Twitter account and off the forums, and yet you still don't want to let it go.

I'm sorry, but which of us is supposed to be trolling in this particular thread? Maybe changing behavior starts by looking in the mirror, John.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: rb on May 06, 2018, 08:53:59 PM
Scott, you have talked extensively and proudly about your pot use on this forum. You have exalted (in your case) the benefits of using pot. Once you do that you don't get to put that back in the box. You don't get to dictate when people can or cannot bring it up or direct on which platform they can bring it up on.

Here's the thing. This is an anonymous forum. Nobody investigated you to figure out if you smoke pot. If you don't want people to know that you smoke pot then don't tell them. But if you think that you can wave it in everyone's face and them they should refrain from mentioning it. Then man, you've smoked too much pot!
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: ScottHall on May 06, 2018, 08:59:42 PM
Scott, you have talked extensively and proudly about your pot use on this forum. You have exalted (in your case) the benefits of using pot. Once you do that you don't get to put that back in the box. You don't get to dictate when people can or cannot bring it up or direct on which platform they can bring it up on.

Here's the thing. This is an anonymous forum. Nobody investigated you to figure out if you smoke pot. If you don't want people to know that you smoke pot then don't tell them. But if you think that you can wave it in everyone's face and them they should refrain from mentioning it. Then man, you've smoked too much pot!

I don't care if anyone knows I smoke pot. John Hjorth asked me not to post about it here, so I stopped, and then he decided to bring it up anyway. It's not about my use of pot; I'm very proud of that, and have written about it extensively. But when you ask me to stop bringing it up, and I do, and then you start bringing it up yourself, that means you're now the instigator and have no room to speak.

I hope John doesn't mind if I start posting about weed every week again, since he likes to talk about marijuana now.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: rb on May 06, 2018, 09:38:00 PM
Scott, you have talked extensively and proudly about your pot use on this forum. You have exalted (in your case) the benefits of using pot. Once you do that you don't get to put that back in the box. You don't get to dictate when people can or cannot bring it up or direct on which platform they can bring it up on.

Here's the thing. This is an anonymous forum. Nobody investigated you to figure out if you smoke pot. If you don't want people to know that you smoke pot then don't tell them. But if you think that you can wave it in everyone's face and them they should refrain from mentioning it. Then man, you've smoked too much pot!

I don't care if anyone knows I smoke pot. John Hjorth asked me not to post about it here, so I stopped, and then he decided to bring it up anyway. It's not about my use of pot; I'm very proud of that, and have written about it extensively. But when you ask me to stop bringing it up, and I do, and then you start bringing it up yourself, that means you're now the instigator and have no room to speak.

I hope John doesn't mind if I start posting about weed every week again, since he likes to talk about marijuana now.
The way I see it nobody can stop you from posting income anything - well except Sanjeev but he's pretty liberal in that way. What I would say is that you should try to post your best. Post if you have something to add. If you try to do that i don't think that John's opinion should have anything to do with it. Maybe whether you or him bring pot up should be something you guys hash out privately.

But honestly, you can post your insights about pot and I just don't give a shit. So I just overlook anything you say. I simply don't care for that information. So you have a choice. You can be a troll, and I don't think anyone will stop you from that and lots of people will just ignore you. Or you could try to post your best and be considered a valued contributor.

Now, maybe you've turned a page - some of your recent post don't feel that trolly. But it takes time to rebuild a reputation. Sins of of the past are called that for a reason. You can't just say that you've turned a page and everyone should move along and shut up.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: DanielGMask on May 06, 2018, 10:12:49 PM
Maybe I didn't make clear enough what I meant exactly. There is a difference between figuring some of these stocks out and predicting that they would be 5-10 baggers from 2013 levels. I'm not stating that 99% didn't figure these out, I'm saying that most people would have laughed in your face when you would have claimed, for instance, that Netflix would have a $140B market cap in early 2018. 99% seems about right to me, but the number was meant more to make a point. Could be 95%+ just the same. My point is that sentiment was véry different back then and that it was not easy to predict this outcome. If you and others did, you guys are eithers very bright or very lucky. I remember you buying FB a few years back, so congratz! (As an aside: I wouldn't assume the average money manager is on par with the brighest on this forum tbh. Or they might be but have various reasons (career risk etc) not to act on it.)

Would love to see if we could find more than a handful of fund managers who have, in the last 9 years, either: 1) trailed the S&P500 with an equal cash balance on average; 2) outperformed the S&P500 with >10b in assets. I'm also very interested to see how these managers will fare from now until after the next stock market slump versus Buffett, Todd and Ted. Somehow I feel I already know the answer.

Anyway, I think we both agree that Buffett is still very good but that he made some mistakes. So not really a big difference in opinion. Given the circumstances I just believe these mistakes are understandable and minor. Buffett isn't omniscient.

Everybody is fallible, including Buffett. But I don’t think that passing on AMZN, GOOG or FB is equivalent to making a mistake. Those companies weren’t sure things when they were smaller/cheaper, and putting money into something where the price to owner’s earnings is ridiculously high because the market assumes it will grow and grow is more of a guessing game than investing.

Moats used to be way more stable and difficult to overcome. Technology disruption changed that and the likes of Buffett (myself included though much younger) are adapting to this new paradigm of assets-light companies with ever-changing moats.

Anyway, I don’t think we will ever see another investor with the capacity to achieve such great results for more than 60 years while maintaining an honest and humble attitude. It really doesn’t matter if he missed the likes of Intel, Wal-mart or Facebook, on the contrary, what’s incredible is that he achieved the impossible even after missing those great companies!

I'm not saying those were his mistakes? Are you all purposefully trying to misread my posts? ;) Or are you replying to ScottHall? I'm basically saying the same as you, DanielGMask. Not buying MSFT since the nineties is an example of an error of omission in my opinion. So I have a different view of what his mistakes are than ScottHall. Would be ridiculous to assume there is an investor out there that doesn't make mistakes anyway.

I’m not trying to misread you and I was indeed answering the previous comment. Still I don’t totally agree with the statement that not investing in MSFT since the nineties was a mistake. From my observations on Buffett I conclude that he invests when he thinks he can asses the future cash flow of a business and that number makes sense when compared to the actual share price.

I think that’s the reason he is now investing in AAPL but didn’t invest in MSFT during the nineties. It wasn’t a mistake but a lack of understanding MSFT’s potential or a consequence of his personal relation with Gates.

According to my point of view, the IBM investment is an example of one of Buffett’s mistakes.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: rb on May 06, 2018, 10:16:56 PM
IBM... Yea... That was a mistake. This is what I love about berkshire mistakes. They break even or turn a small profit. Somehow it's always a little heads I win tails you loose.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: ScottHall on May 06, 2018, 10:54:58 PM
Scott, you have talked extensively and proudly about your pot use on this forum. You have exalted (in your case) the benefits of using pot. Once you do that you don't get to put that back in the box. You don't get to dictate when people can or cannot bring it up or direct on which platform they can bring it up on.

Here's the thing. This is an anonymous forum. Nobody investigated you to figure out if you smoke pot. If you don't want people to know that you smoke pot then don't tell them. But if you think that you can wave it in everyone's face and them they should refrain from mentioning it. Then man, you've smoked too much pot!

I don't care if anyone knows I smoke pot. John Hjorth asked me not to post about it here, so I stopped, and then he decided to bring it up anyway. It's not about my use of pot; I'm very proud of that, and have written about it extensively. But when you ask me to stop bringing it up, and I do, and then you start bringing it up yourself, that means you're now the instigator and have no room to speak.

I hope John doesn't mind if I start posting about weed every week again, since he likes to talk about marijuana now.
The way I see it nobody can stop you from posting income anything - well except Sanjeev but he's pretty liberal in that way. What I would say is that you should try to post your best. Post if you have something to add. If you try to do that i don't think that John's opinion should have anything to do with it. Maybe whether you or him bring pot up should be something you guys hash out privately.

But honestly, you can post your insights about pot and I just don't give a shit. So I just overlook anything you say. I simply don't care for that information. So you have a choice. You can be a troll, and I don't think anyone will stop you from that and lots of people will just ignore you. Or you could try to post your best and be considered a valued contributor.

Now, maybe you've turned a page - some of your recent post don't feel that trolly. But it takes time to rebuild a reputation. Sins of of the past are called that for a reason. You can't just say that you've turned a page and everyone should move along and shut up.

I never said anything about not "trolling." That is one of my biggest value adds here, whether you believe it or not. My use of copywriting helped inspire one person to leave their job and start their own business, because they believed they could make use of the same techniques I was showing off in order to improve their life.

Many seem to assume I post these things malevolently rather than out of a sense of comedy and humor, and to help people learn about techniques that are being used on them literally every day without even realizing it.

A lot of conservative political operatives started in my little subdomain, so anyone in the U.S. is exposed to a more sinister version of this on a daily basis. Many just don't realize it. In some ways the modern conservative movement was built on such techniques. You have to read a lot of my posts with second order thinking in mind to truly grasp them.

Book rec about the topic above: https://www.amazon.com/Americas-Right-Turn-Conservatives-Alternative/dp/1566252520

I've laid out the roadmap on here several times, and I get PMs and e-mails all the time from people who have read them and are taking the teachings to heart. It's okay if you're not one of them or if you don't get it. Not everyone has to like it, but my posts have helped create real, tangible value for forum members who bother to look beyond the veil.

If you can't get past those biases, that's up to you. But it probably will make you more likely to miss my obvious winners like CAOX at $1k, because of underestimation. So far that has proved to be the reader's loss, not the author's. Maybe John is right and that won't be the case going forward, who is to say. But so far so good.

I will hazard a guess and say that I have a different view of what best is than most of you, probably because of my background. It's very unusual. My grandma was a witch and she raised me while my mom went to school, so I lived in a mountain town of 500 people. I dropped out of the fourth grade there and later talked myself into a job that I ended up leaving after 4 or 5 years because of severe depression with regard to my gender dysphoria.

I now work in marketing and replace that income by working fewer days per year, because of my copywriting ability. The point of writing copy is to write in a way that incites response, rather than writing as a way to convey pure, unadulterated information. It's in the name DRM - Direct Response Marketing. This usually means using lots of colloquialisms and writing in a very visual way.

It's a different style of writing compared to what most people are used to, and it does have a lot in common with the more harmless varieties of internet "trolling." Basically because to a large extent, in my copywriting career, I've often ended up playing devil's advocate for ideas that were someone else's. It didn't matter what I thought of them, but I needed to be able to write about them in a sense as if they were my own.

And you have to write them compellingly, because if you don't, your client is not bringing in any sales and you're not getting paid.

What I have done here in the past is essentially the same thing, except I have more control over the subject matter. Sometimes they're chicken scratch ideas I'm just beginning to work on in my head for my own investing philosophy, and writing them in this way helps me think them through a bit more, and gets other people to contribute as well because the format of writing helps to excite them.

Other times it's because I want to test the reaction to a certain viewpoint that I may have to incorporate in a future campaign. It's important to have practice to make sure you're hitting the mark with people who pretty closely represent your target demographic but who are miles away from who you are yourself.

I don't see anything harmful or nefarious about this; use strong language to hook people in, and then serve the main course. Sometimes people will view that in a negative or villainous way because the targets might be some of their heroes, but that is helpful sometimes because that perception can serve as a lightning rod for response. In the social media age, that can be quite a valuable thing.

When people open up to the idea that I'm trying to help them, they tend to learn and learn quickly. But I get that it's not for everyone.

It's for some people, though, and so long as I keep hearing stories about how my posts have helped improve the lives of people who have read them, I do not intend to stop writing the way I do. I view it as my responsibility to share my knowledge with the world.

If you aren't cool with that, it's fine. I'm just trying to expose this forum to a new set of what can be powerful mental models. Some have opened themselves to these ideas, others "don't get it" and just see a troll or an idiot and will just ignore me. I'm totally cool with that, too.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: benchmark on May 06, 2018, 11:10:35 PM
What's more interesting to me is that he chose to invest in Apple now vs others, in particular google, which I think has a high probability of growth than Apple.
Well for one Apple is a lot cheaper than Google. That has to count for a lot. Also I'm not that sure that google has a higher probably of growth than apple. I can make a case the other way around.

If he were to reflect on the 'mistake' of not investing in google, I wonder what are the lessons, and seems to me that those lessons still won't get him to invest in google. Btw, I don't think google is expensive (not cheap, but not expensive).
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Graham Osborn on May 07, 2018, 07:32:13 AM
From NYT:

"As for Alphabet, Mr. Buffett said that he had “made a mistake.” He said he was unable to conclude that at Alphabet’s present prices, its “prospects were far better than the prices indicated.”"

Comparing this with his investment in Apple (and IBM), I wish someone would ask him his reasonings.

If you look at Buffett's historical purchases, he rarely pays more than 20X earnings even for a franchise.  And the only time Google made it there was in 2008-2009, when I think Buffett was distracted by opportunities in the financials sector.  He doesn't do so well with these higher-growth businesses where you might have to put up to 20X earnings (or maybe a bit more).  That's why he missed Microsoft too.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: cubsfan on May 07, 2018, 07:36:25 AM
But he didn't "miss" Microsoft - it's always been "off limits" since 1991.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Jurgis on May 07, 2018, 08:46:06 AM
A lot of conservative political operatives started in my little subdomain

ScottHall for President!  8)



You heard it here first (TM)
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Kapitalust on May 07, 2018, 09:38:53 AM
A lot of conservative political operatives started in my little subdomain

ScottHall for President!  8)



You heard it here first (TM)

Seconded.

People take things way too seriously and have difficulties reading between the lines...
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Nomad on May 07, 2018, 10:05:25 AM
So many of the shareholder questions were from Chinese nationals and children.  A few questions from the Chinese folks were ok - trade relations, why not look to buy chinese businesses, etc.  The worst was probably from the Chinese woman who works at a 'family office' for high net worth Chinese.  "You two would be my dream clients"  ???  why?  "Do you have family offices and what do they do for you?"  give me a break...

I have to agree with the complaint often voiced here that the quality of the questions is just not good.  Very few substantive issues about the business are being addressed.  Unfortunately the journalists and analysts aren’t helping that much - they tend to delve into the weeds rather than asking big-picture, difficult questions.

Having attended in person this year, I have to third this sentiment - many of the questions were downright cringeworthy. From the "family office" question to the "they call me the Warren Buffett of fertility" doctor to the Chinese man who asked about a World War redux between the US and China, idiocy abounded. And of course there had to be New York parents who flew in their eight-year old daughter to read a "question" from a script they had obviously pre-written. Do people actually fall for this stuff?

Also, having stood in line outside the CenturyLink Center, I have to say that I observed all kinds of attempts to jockey for position and cut in line. I suppose it's a function of the growth in the meeting size and the large foreign presence, but it seems like the basic norms of civility shown to fellow shareholders hit a nadir this year.

Although I always love to go to Omaha, I'm considering live-streaming the meeting in 2019.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: gfp on May 07, 2018, 10:19:57 AM
I’m enjoying the video of the meetings from the 90’s. Audience questions are from people like Bill Ackman, Christopher Davis and a bunch of Omaha locals (at least in 94). Steve Burke did us all a huge service lobbying Warren to get those videos online!
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: voyager on May 07, 2018, 10:59:35 AM
I’m enjoying the video of the meetings from the 90’s. Audience questions are from people like Bill Ackman, Christopher Davis and a bunch of Omaha locals (at least in 94). Steve Burke did us all a huge service lobbying Warren to get those videos online!

Would you be able to share where you found those videos?  I'd love to have the chance to watch them too.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: CharlesMunger on May 07, 2018, 12:09:05 PM
https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/05/07/cnbcs-buffett-archive-over-130-hours-of-searchable-video-content-from-warren-buffett.html

 :)
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: gfp on May 07, 2018, 12:26:17 PM
https://buffett.cnbc.com

Click on annual meetings to get the videos, starting in 94
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Seanzy on May 07, 2018, 12:44:29 PM
THANKS!
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Jurgis on May 07, 2018, 01:49:27 PM
I mostly agree with this https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-05-07/warren-buffett-needs-to-share-the-stage
Although I'd add that Warren should have Todd and Ted there too.

But then the Omaha circus zoo show is about Warren, so probably won't happen. Maybe when Charlie dies, but even then who knows.
At least Abel talked a bit during the official business meeting, which was IMO positive.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Spekulatius on May 07, 2018, 08:29:43 PM
Quote
And of course there had to be New York parents who flew in their eight-year old daughter to read a "question" from a script they had obviously pre-written.

Yeah, I recall that one too. I loved Mungers answer when he was asked what he thought about thr question

“I am glad she is not nine years old”.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: kiwing100 on May 09, 2018, 06:14:34 AM
FYI,

link to video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF-PW7C3J88
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: gfp on May 10, 2018, 06:53:36 AM
So, to my ears it sounded like Warren alluded to the likely possibility of another warrant / preferred deal being announced in the not so distant future.  Maybe not a 10% one, but something above market for Berkshire.  He mentioned, I believe, not a huge one.

The likely source seems to be QSR, but it could be anyone I guess.  He's offered similar stuff to JAB in the past, although they didn't end up getting their deal (Avon I think it was).

Any guesses?  I'll throw Domino's pizza out there since there have been rumors.  My track record of predicting Berkshire deals is very poor...
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Graham Osborn on May 15, 2018, 06:30:30 PM
I have to agree with the complaint often voiced here that the quality of the questions is just not good.  Very few substantive issues about the business are being addressed.  Unfortunately the journalists and analysts aren’t helping that much - they tend to delve into the weeds rather than asking big-picture, difficult questions.

What would those big-picture, difficult questions be?

Obviously I have a personal ax to grind.  I emailed Sorkin my question about new/ seasoned insurance business depressing the cost-of-float calc.  That got booted in favor of AI and healthcare.  If you're out there, Sorkin, know this: next year I'm emailing someone else.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Graham Osborn on May 15, 2018, 06:45:51 PM
But he didn't "miss" Microsoft - it's always been "off limits" since 1991.

No, before they were on boards together there would have been no issue.  In fact, Buffett bought a tracking position after he met Gates.  He just never loaded up.  He saw the economics, but he was anti-tech at that point.  One should have a circle of competence defined by economics rather than by industry.  As far as the industrial circle of competence goes, you gotta learn - or you'll miss things.
Title: Re: Berkshire 2018 Annual Meeting
Post by: Mephistopheles on May 21, 2018, 05:21:03 PM
My suspicion is that Buffett has no real objection to buying Microsoft, as his ambitious and opportunistic self would never avoid a great investment. Instead, I bet that he either doesn't understand or doesn't think there is a durable competitive advantage in MSFT, but feels awkward admitting this because of his relationship with Gates.