Berkshire Weekend! (Take a bite out of the Apple)

This weekend is the big shareholders convention in Omaha where Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger discuss all things investing, life, wisdom, etc. I am looking forward to seeing what comes this year as festivities kick off now. Berkshire just acquired another huge chunk of Apple stock! Here are some highlights from this year’s letter:

  • High fees! Once again he warns that many Americans are being fleeced by high fees by “financial professionals.” In other words, they are taking our profits for adding very little value. In fact he made a bet that a low cost index fund just sitting for 10 years would beat the most fancy pants “financial helpers.”
  • Buffett says “performance comes and performance goes, but fees never falter.”
  • He talks about the risks inherent in bonds. He says if one has a long term investing horizon, high grade bonds can increase risk.
  • Berkshire stockpile of cash is at a huge $116 BILLION. He talks about using the cash for acquisitions, highlighting a necessary component of a “sensible purchase price.”
  • He mentions that the Berkshire stock has dropped before and could again. Debt free investors can take advantage of these dips.

A few highlights to remember from last year:

  • He clarified his stance on holding investments forever, he basically says we have every right to sell investments if it is time. But he still likes to hold for a VERY long time.
  • He did not mention much about Apple although it was one of the largest Berkshire buys in 2017, owning about 61 million shares or 1.1% of the company.
  • From Buffett on the Vanguard Group founder Jack Bogle, a statue should be erected of him for what he did for the average investor in America.

 

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