Corner of Berkshire & Fairfax Message Board

General Category => Berkshire Hathaway => Topic started by: LC on May 01, 2020, 05:12:49 PM

Title: Buffett's legacy
Post by: LC on May 01, 2020, 05:12:49 PM
There was an off-tangent discussion in the Tesla thread about Buffett and his personal contribution to the world. It got me thinking, what his legacy will be after he passes.

To investors I think he has certainly contributed a great deal of in terms of both philosophy and example of behavior.

To business owners and employees, I also think he did quite a bit to keep businesses operating and people employed. Or perhaps it is a bit inconsistent - i.e. he kept Berkshire functioning but I recall in some of his Partnership letters he complained about having to shut down uneconomic businesses and being labeled "the bad guy". Also there is the 3G/Heinz debacle. But I think part of being a "home" for business owners to sell is an implicit promise that he will keep those people employed. A P/E firm with a heart, if you will.

And I think his biggest contribution will not be realized until after he's gone - which is the giving pledge / charitable ownership of BRK shares to Gates' foundation. Interestingly the giving pledge has over 500B in commitments - more than BRK's entire market cap.

Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: bizaro86 on May 01, 2020, 05:28:20 PM
I think the legacy will at least partially depend on how BRK does after he passes away.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: rranjan on May 01, 2020, 05:43:51 PM
I will remember him as a great teacher.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: Munger_Disciple on May 01, 2020, 07:11:43 PM
I think Buffett is a great teacher, phenomenal business leader, one of the greatest investors of all time, and a great philanthropist. I find him to be an inspiring teacher who has an amazing ability to simplify seemingly difficult concepts for his audience to understand. He is also a decent, honest and trust worthy (managing) partner. A great American treasure. His painting Berkshire is likely to last a long time.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: SHDL on May 01, 2020, 08:53:11 PM
I think one of his bigger but less visible legacies will be that he made financial markets more efficient than they were previously by teaching people how to “correct” Mr. Market when he’s wrong and get paid for doing so.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: Viking on May 01, 2020, 10:38:09 PM
I will remember him as a great teacher.

+1. I especially like how he questions the accepted financial orthodoxy :-)

His $ going to the Gates Foundation will benefit many.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: longinvestor on May 02, 2020, 07:48:56 AM
It’s becoming clearer that the buyback program is in place for the next guy. It’s not hard to picture the scenario wherein buybacks can go on for a long enough time to allow 100+ of billions because the valley of underpricing to IV will hold so much water. The elephant will be Berkshire for the next guy. I’ve speculated this but the equivalent of Buffett’s peak ownership of Berkshire (31%) will be retired with his retirement. The next guy’s job will be eased for a long time as he steps into this near impossible shoes.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: longterminvestor on May 02, 2020, 09:39:33 AM
My thoughts going into the week were “ok, probably not much change” considering Mungers comments. Then I read Bloomstran saying 1 yrs worth of FCF on buybacks and my mind starts to change my thought process. As I sit in my kitchen reviewing quarterly report, I initially found myself extremely mad. Then I said, what is Mr. Buffet teaching me right now?  And that lesson will be different for everyone. For me, couple hours after calming down - it’s confirmation bias can take over. I was calm coming in to earnings, then I read 1 article speculating a monster buyback and my mind melted. Great lesson. And many more. But that’s one for today.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: Dynamic on May 05, 2020, 02:34:37 AM
Another vote for a great teacher.

I also think it's very clear that his patience far exceeds most investors I see commenting and essentially saying "Swing you bum". Right now in particular, many asset prices are down from their Jan/Feb 2020 peaks but still relatively high, yet many commenters on the internet are making it seem like everything is at bargain prices right now. Another important lesson he's demonstrating now is never to risk multiplying your run of results by zero, so he's being patient and ensuring that Berkshire has ample capital to survive if this situation gets worse and probably to thrive on the other side, when the future outlook is more predictable.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: oldschoolvalue on May 22, 2020, 11:44:28 AM
Would you attribute value investing as Buffett's legacy or should that be attributed to Graham?
Graham was the pioneer, but Buffett got it out to the masses.

I feel Buffett is also a great marketer because he also had the results to back it up. That propelled him forward.
Pretty much like how the magic formula got so much attention with great results, but then died down because Greenblatt wasn't able to replicate it.

Buffett's business acumen is second to none. That's his legacy IMO.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: Ballinvarosig Investors on May 27, 2020, 03:13:28 AM
It’s becoming clearer that the buyback program is in place for the next guy.
Agree. If Buffett was to leave, or die tomorrow, then I think the stock is likely to go on a tear from where it is.


Buffett's stake is going to take a LONG time to unwind, but once it starts happening, I expect Berkshire to go on a generational charge, a bit like Microsoft did when Bill Gates took his stake from 24% to 1% today. Berkshire is obviously not as good a business as Microsoft, but it's still quite strong. I could easily see Berkshire providing a 15% annualised return over the 10 years from after Buffett dies.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: cherzeca on May 28, 2020, 02:49:04 PM
WEB's genius is to use simple examples to make important points.  my favorite is the 20 hole punchcard.  it is one thing to say have a strong filter to sort out opportunities, and another to say, here, take this punchcard and this is all of the investments you can make in your lifetime. a photographer once told me to try the exercise of taking only one shot a day.  in a digital world, this is crazy...crazy smart, as is WEB
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: villainx on July 28, 2020, 04:44:00 PM
Buffett (and Munger) famously said he reads a bunch of newspaper.  I pretty much never read the newspapers, .  Am I missing something?  Are there things in particular they focus on?
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: Parsad on July 28, 2020, 05:12:09 PM
Buffett (and Munger) famously said he reads a bunch of newspaper.  I pretty much never read the newspapers, .  Am I missing something?  Are there things in particular they focus on?

I love newspapers.  I read at least two a day in print, and one online.  You have to sift through what is in the newspaper...weed out pertinent articles and those that provide little value.  It gives a very good perspective of what is happening in the world around you, and a very broad view of the world, business, science, technology, life, sports, entertainment...you name it! 

A book can provide useful information, but it may not be relevant or relate to the state of the world around you.  Hand in hand, books and newspapers provide a broad base of knowledge, and you never know which will come in handy on any given day, at any given point of time.  Cheers!
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: Vish_ram on July 29, 2020, 06:37:51 AM
Buffett's greatest legacy is about how to live ones life to the fullest. How to not let money go into your head, change your traits, habits, virtues etc.

He was able to keep a healthy distance to money and not let it rule his life.

When Gandhi was asked, what is your message? he replied "My life is my message". The same thing probably applies to Buffett too.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: nickenumbers on July 29, 2020, 08:01:17 AM

I love newspapers.  I read at least two a day in print, and one online.  You have to sift through what is in the newspaper...weed out pertinent articles and those that provide little value.  It gives a very good perspective of what is happening in the world around you, and a very broad view of the world, business, science, technology, life, sports, entertainment...you name it! 

A book can provide useful information, but it may not be relevant or relate to the state of the world around you.  Hand in hand, books and newspapers provide a broad base of knowledge, and you never know which will come in handy on any given day, at any given point of time.  Cheers!

Thanks for the posting Parasad.  I read lots of books, but not a lot of newspapers.  I do skim WSJ about 2 times per week.  Parasad, what newspapers do you usually read?
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: stahleyp on July 29, 2020, 11:02:50 AM
Buffett's greatest legacy is about how to live ones life to the fullest. How to not let money go into your head, change your traits, habits, virtues etc.

He was able to keep a healthy distance to money and not let it rule his life.

When Gandhi was asked, what is your message? he replied "My life is my message". The same thing probably applies to Buffett too.

Dude, he didn't let it rule his life? His wife left him and his kids talked about how distant he was growing up.

Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: longterminvestor on July 29, 2020, 01:53:16 PM
Mr. Buffett loves his business.  He doesn't love money.....because he has enough.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: BG2008 on July 29, 2020, 02:04:33 PM
Buffett's greatest legacy is about how to live ones life to the fullest. How to not let money go into your head, change your traits, habits, virtues etc.

He was able to keep a healthy distance to money and not let it rule his life.

When Gandhi was asked, what is your message? he replied "My life is my message". The same thing probably applies to Buffett too.

Dude, he didn't let it rule his life? His wife left him and his kids talked about how distant he was growing up.

I'm going to agree with Stahleyp here.  If you read Snowball, it is very obvious that Buffet is a subpar father.  Then there's the tidbit about how he would invite people to come visit and stay with him.  When people show up with their family from out of town, he wouldn't spend anytime with him.  He loves showing up his intellect, especially to females.  Alice talks about how his wife got jealous because he was showing off his intellect on the private jet.  Buffet was a klepto in his late teens.  I think one of his sons had a bit of klepto streak during his teens.  Peter Buffet gives talks about growing up a Buffet.  I think he really always want to carve out his own niche for his own work and not that he's Warren Buffet's son. 

Bill Brewster has talked about this quite a bit on Toby's podcast. 
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: John Hjorth on July 29, 2020, 02:54:02 PM
Buffett's greatest legacy is about how to live ones life to the fullest. How to not let money go into your head, change your traits, habits, virtues etc.

He was able to keep a healthy distance to money and not let it rule his life.

When Gandhi was asked, what is your message? he replied "My life is my message". The same thing probably applies to Buffett too.

Dude, he didn't let it rule his life? His wife left him and his kids talked about how distant he was growing up.

I'm going to agree with Stahleyp here.  If you read Snowball, it is very obvious that Buffet is a subpar father.  Then there's the tidbit about how he would invite people to come visit and stay with him.  When people show up with their family from out of town, he wouldn't spend anytime with him.  He loves showing up his intellect, especially to females.  Alice talks about how his wife got jealous because he was showing off his intellect on the private jet.  Buffet was a klepto in his late teens.  I think one of his sons had a bit of klepto streak during his teens.  Peter Buffet gives talks about growing up a Buffet.  I think he really always want to carve out his own niche for his own work and not that he's Warren Buffet's son. 

Bill Brewster has talked about this quite a bit on Toby's podcast.

BG2008,

Can't we let this go? I, for one is a person, that'll never finish reading the "Snowball" through [from start to finish.] [I suppose I never will]. In short, Mr. Buffett is [after all] a male human being - not some kind of [male] saint -, with all the implications related to that.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: Vish_ram on July 29, 2020, 03:00:06 PM
You are right, my comment was more about how he didnt turn to drugs or other vices.

On social side, Maybe he was more on asperger side

Buffett's greatest legacy is about how to live ones life to the fullest. How to not let money go into your head, change your traits, habits, virtues etc.

He was able to keep a healthy distance to money and not let it rule his life.

When Gandhi was asked, what is your message? he replied "My life is my message". The same thing probably applies to Buffett too.

Dude, he didn't let it rule his life? His wife left him and his kids talked about how distant he was growing up.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: villainx on July 29, 2020, 05:13:24 PM

I love newspapers.  I read at least two a day in print, and one online.  You have to sift through what is in the newspaper...weed out pertinent articles and those that provide little value.  It gives a very good perspective of what is happening in the world around you, and a very broad view of the world, business, science, technology, life, sports, entertainment...you name it! 

A book can provide useful information, but it may not be relevant or relate to the state of the world around you.  Hand in hand, books and newspapers provide a broad base of knowledge, and you never know which will come in handy on any given day, at any given point of time.  Cheers!

Thanks for the posting Parasad.  I read lots of books, but not a lot of newspapers.  I do skim WSJ about 2 times per week.  Parasad, what newspapers do you usually read?

Hmm... I guess I just don't enjoy reading newspapers.  I prefer a lot more curation, long form, analysis, opinions, stuff like that.  I don't want groupthink, but I like a strong voice.  Most normal newspaper reporting is just ... takes too long to give the main points, or are too broadly sentimental in its appeal. 
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: stahleyp on July 29, 2020, 05:15:40 PM
Buffett's greatest legacy is about how to live ones life to the fullest. How to not let money go into your head, change your traits, habits, virtues etc.

He was able to keep a healthy distance to money and not let it rule his life.

When Gandhi was asked, what is your message? he replied "My life is my message". The same thing probably applies to Buffett too.

Dude, he didn't let it rule his life? His wife left him and his kids talked about how distant he was growing up.

I'm going to agree with Stahleyp here.  If you read Snowball, it is very obvious that Buffet is a subpar father.  Then there's the tidbit about how he would invite people to come visit and stay with him.  When people show up with their family from out of town, he wouldn't spend anytime with him.  He loves showing up his intellect, especially to females.  Alice talks about how his wife got jealous because he was showing off his intellect on the private jet.  Buffet was a klepto in his late teens.  I think one of his sons had a bit of klepto streak during his teens.  Peter Buffet gives talks about growing up a Buffet.  I think he really always want to carve out his own niche for his own work and not that he's Warren Buffet's son. 

Bill Brewster has talked about this quite a bit on Toby's podcast.

BG2008,

Can't we let this go? I, for one is a person, that'll never finish reading the "Snowball" through [from start to finish.] [I suppose I never will]. In short, Mr. Buffett is [after all] a male human being - not some kind of [male] saint -, with all the implications related to that.

perhaps I'm too hard but perhaps loving your wife and kids more than you love your business isn't too saintly. :P
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: BG2008 on July 29, 2020, 05:28:06 PM
You are right, my comment was more about how he didnt turn to drugs or other vices.

On social side, Maybe he was more on asperger side

Buffett's greatest legacy is about how to live ones life to the fullest. How to not let money go into your head, change your traits, habits, virtues etc.

He was able to keep a healthy distance to money and not let it rule his life.

When Gandhi was asked, what is your message? he replied "My life is my message". The same thing probably applies to Buffett too.

Dude, he didn't let it rule his life? His wife left him and his kids talked about how distant he was growing up.

I had a chance to ask Alice that Asperger question in person a couple years back, I regret not asking it.  In the grand scheme of things, I owe my investing career to Buffet.  Over time, I have come to really appreciate how impressive his writing and lessons are.  Relative to other wealthy and successful business personalities, he's a saint.  There is rumors that Larry Ellison uses his daughter's film company, which he bankrolls, to offer auditions to young ladies in exchange for you know what favors.  Pure rumors.  No proof.  Relative to your average father making $75,000 a year that manage to spend time with their kids, he can't hold their jock straps as a father.  I guess I have studied the man quite a bit that I can't help myself make these distinctions.     
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: Gregmal on July 29, 2020, 05:45:58 PM
To each their own. Different people have different priorities. I remember relating tremendously to the section of the HBO doc on WEB when his wife was telling the story about bringing up the pot when she was sick. Sometimes, when you are a deep dive person, the lights are on, but mentally you're just somewhere else. But personally I'll never understand not doing everything you can to be there for your kids. After a certain point, money becomes meaningless. Its hard not to judge people who spend their whole lives rabidly in pursuit of it to the cost of many of the "finer" things in life. I would never trade the opportunity to experience certain things on my own terms for any amount of money. From time to time I get offers to go work for people in the city or at an office. While I'm always flattered, the response is always the same. "Can I pickup my son from Pre K at noon? Can I take my daughter to swim lessons at 2pm on Thursday? Your answer is my answer. Thanks though."

Of course, none of this means there isn't a boatload to learn from folks who do it differently. If anything, having the roadmap of people like Buffett, who dedicate their lives to certain causes(regardless of our opinions on their nobleness) make it somewhat easier for all those that follow.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: longinvestor on July 29, 2020, 07:45:53 PM
Buffett’s main legacy is laying low the Nobel Prize winning theory of the EMT. Frequently efficient but not always thing.

I can see the past 10 years of the edge of the Index and Buffett’s advanced age being the equivalent of running out the clock by the EMT’ers. They are already saying , see I told you so! Kinda like the 3,4,5 sigma events that they used in the past.

Giving up elegant theories and stopping to teach them not easy for the intellectuals. I hope there is a new generation of Graham and Doddsvillers just to keep peeing on them.
Title: Re: Buffett's legacy
Post by: longinvestor on August 30, 2020, 04:45:53 AM
Happy 90th Birthday to Warren Buffett! Enjoy a few extra Oreo cookies and ice cream soda!