Berkshire Hathaway’s AGM ended. The event attracts investors from all over the world and is unlike any other company meeting. Those attending for the first time are driven by an urgency to get here while the 93-year-old Buffett is still alive.

A key ingredient was missing this year: It was the first meeting since Munger died. The meeting opened with a video tribute highlighting some of his best known quotes, including classic lines like “If people weren’t so often wrong, we wouldn’t be so rich.” The video also featured skits the investors made with Hollywood stars over the years, including a “Desperate Housewives” spoof where one of the women introduced Munger as her boyfriend and another in which actress Jaimie Lee Curtis swooned over him.

Buffett said Munger remained curious about the world up until the end of his life at 99, hosting dinner parties, meeting with people and holding regular Zoom calls. “Like his hero Ben Franklin, Charlie wanted to understand everything,” Buffett said. For decades, Munger and Buffett functioned as a classic comedy duo, with Buffett offering lengthy setups to Munger’s witty one-liners. He once referred to unproven internet companies as “turds.” Munger often summed up the key to Berkshire’s success as “trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.”

Here are 10 key takeaways

  1. Berkshire Hathaway trims its stake in Apple by 13%
  2. Every time you see the word EBITDA, you should replace it with bullsh*t earnings
  3. Successful investing is all about having a few very big winners but don’t check stock prices daily
  4. The power of compounding is the most underrated power in the world
  5. Always look at a stock like a business and don’t try to time the market
  6. The market is there to serve you. Use it to your advantage
  7. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham is the best investment book ever
  8. Berkshire Hathaway‘s primary investments will always be in the United States
  9. The best time to sell a wonderful company is (almost) never
  10. Always surround yourself with people you look up to and trust

Warren Buffett cautioned that artificial intelligence scams could become “the growth industry of all time.” Buffett told he recently came face to face with the downside of AI. And it looked and sounded just like him. Someone made a fake video of Buffett, apparently convincing enough that the so-called Oracle of Omaha himself said he could imagine it tricking him into sending money overseas. He predicted scammers will seize on the technology, and may do more harm with it than society can wring good. “As someone who doesn’t understand a damn thing about it, it has enormous potential for good and enormous potential for harm and I just don’t know how that plays out,” he said.

Munger’s absence, created space for shareholders to get to know better the two executives who directly oversee Berkshire’s companies: Ajit Jain, who manages the insurance units; and Abel, who handles everything else and has been named Buffett’s successor. The two shared the main stage with Buffett this year. Buffett has made clear that Abel will be Berkshire’s next CEO, but he said that he had changed his opinion on how the company’s investment portfolio should be handled. He had previously said it would fall to two investment managers who handle small chunks of the portfolio now. “He understands businesses extremely well and if you understand businesses, you understand common stocks,” Buffett said.

Nevertheless, the best applause line of the day was Buffett’s closing remark: “I not only hope that you come next year but I hope that I come next year.”

About the author: IE&M Team
IE&M Team
Indian Economy & Market is an Indian media and information platform producing data-backed news and analysis on all the vital elements at the intersection of the economy, stock markets, mutual fund, insurance, commodities, currency, technology, startups and business.

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