50 Years of Profitable Partnership
By Scott Smith, CIMA®
I recently had the privilege of attending the 50th annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. A friend and I arrived about 20 minutes after the CenturyLink Center door’s opened at 7:00 in the morning. By the time we found a seat, we were in the second to last row of the upper deck. Needless to say, there was a buzz and excitement in the air.
The theme for this year’s meeting was “50 Years of Profitable Partnership”. The meeting began with a video that showed Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger doing humorous skits with notable celebrities, along with advertisements from many of their operating subsidiaries like GEICO, Helzberg Diamonds, Dairy Queen, and others. After the video, the question and answer session began where Buffett & Munger fielded questions from roughly 9:30 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon (with an hour break for lunch). Questions ranged across a broad number of topics, some related to Berkshire, philanthropy, investing, and public policy.
During the lunch break, I toured the exhibit hall, where all of Berkshire’s companies had their products on display. I bought See’s candy, toured a Clayton mobile home, RV, and a jet plane cabin. All in all, I thought Mr. Buffett & Mr. Munger did an excellent job of answering all the questions.
After attending an event such as this, I could not help but walk away from it with a renewed admiration of the culture that has been built within Berkshire Hathaway. It’s inevitable that Mr. Buffett and Mr. Munger will pass on some day, but I’m a believer that the culture, principles, and strategy that undergirds Berkshire Hathaway will continue long after their gone. As a shareholder, that’s good news!