It's not every day you get to see the world's second richest man lose.
But the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Warren
Buffett's holding company, got to see it twice during the first
weekend in May at the Berkshire Hathaway 2007 Annual Shareholders
Meeting in Omaha, Neb.
Buffett, whose net worth Forbes
magazine lists at $52 billion, took on friend and Cleveland Cavaliers basketball
star LeBron James in a game of "horse." Then he challenged an 11-year-old
table tennis champion.
Suffice to say, Buffett probably ought
to stick to investing.
Much of the weekend was filled with
light-hearted fun. Shareholders who made the pilgrimage to Omaha this year got
a chance to shop the merchandise of Berkshire's many subsidiaries, watch a company
video of Buffett playing James and capture many Kodak moments of Bill Gates and
Warren Buffett playing table tennis at the local mall.
Of course, the real reason people flocked to Omaha,
had nothing to do with a desire to see Buffett's athleticism. People
came to hear the Oracle of Omaha's comments on a range of issues
affecting their lives.
May 5, The annual meeting
The annual meeting, which attracted some
27,000 shareholders this year, is anything but a stuffy investors meeting. Beginning
like a concert, singer Jimmy Buffett, introduced as "Mr. Buffett," performed
a special version of "Margaritaville" -- "Wasting Away in Berkshire
Hathawayville," which featured new lyrics about Berkshire and its directors.
The shorts-clad songster introduced the headliners
of the event: Warren Buffett and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie
Munger. The investing pair then sat down for a six-hour question-and-answer
session with shareholders, who brought up topics ranging from global
warming to Buffett's successor.
highlighted consumer finance and investing issues worth repeating here. We present
some of his thoughts on various financial questions raised by shareholders and
members of the press during separate question and answer sessions.
|Gems about investing
and think before you invest. When a 17-year-old
who was attending his 10th consecutive Berkshire annual
meeting asked how to become a better investor, Buffett
offered some simple but golden advice. Read everything
on investing you can get your hands on and fill up your
mind with various competing thoughts. After doing that,
it's time to get started, as investing on paper and dealing
with real money is like "reading a romance novel
and doing something else."
He added that when you think about
buying shares in a company, think about why you might buy the whole business.
If you couldn't write an essay about it, then you shouldn't buy any shares.