5 things I learned from Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

Rockstar Finance
I enjoy reading and learning about personal finance and investing in every aspect.  It should come as no surprise that I wanted to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual conference for the last few years and because of great people like Mr. 1500 days, shareholder, I was able to attend this year’s annual meeting.  To attend the meeting you need to be a shareholder in the publicly traded Berkshire Hathaway A share or B share, approximately $200,000 and $150 respectively, which I currently am not.  So, in exchange for passes to the conference Mr. 1500 drove a hard bargain and agreed upon a nacatamale for each shareholder entrance, I am in the process of reaching out to Mrs. Even Steven mother to cook up the delicious breakfast/lunch/dinner option in the future.



In the near future I hope to share a few blog posts over the next couple weeks in regards to Berkshire Hathaway and my trip to Omaha; today though I want to share my immediate thoughts while everything is still fresh, like a newly picked pineapple.  Also like a pineapple expect today’s post to be delicious both on the grill and in a Pina colada, enjoy!


These guys are really funny

After a humorous video played, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger took their seats with Coca-Cola cans and a box of peanut brittle ready for consumption.  Warren started off explaining how the video depicts that Charlie is the ladies’ man of the two, but a past story reminded him of why this is the case. Warren went on to share a story that he had been told from a family member, when choosing between two equally rich men like Warren and Charlie make sure to pick the one who is older.  The story brought an array of laughter as Charlie is 92 and Warren 85, thus making Charlie the obvious selection.

It was jokes like this that made the conference wildly entertaining.  While most of the questions during the Q and A were serious in nature they did a great job of explaining the business side of things while still keeping me on the edge of my seat waiting for the funny wit of team Berkshire.  The last question from the audience of “Where do you get your humor from” was summed up quite nicely by Charlie Munger by capping off his final words with “If you see the world accurately, you think it’s humorous because it’s ridiculous”.  Indeed it is Mr. Munger.

In it for the long haul

There were many questions answered along the way about negative interest rates, oil prices, real estate, and Donald Trump.  One thing that remained constant in each and every answer is that Berkshire Hathaway does not look at 3 month time frames or even annual reports for that matter.  The financial magnifying glass and criteria that is looked at with each major decision and company purchase is made looking ahead to the next 10 years and more.  Buffett and Munger are not into IPO’s or the latest stock pick and do not believe that the average investor should be either. Long haul my friends.

My investments can beat a hedge fund manager

Right before lunch, Warren Buffett brought up this slide shown below, credited to @bySamRo managing editor at Yahoo Finance, and his long standing bet against hedge funds.


When you look at the numbers it’s laughable at how badly the Vanguard S & P Index Fund has beaten hedge funds, to the tune of a cumulative thrashing by over 40% in the past 8 years.  The lesson learned from above shows that we need to look at things in the long haul, but it certainly would be difficult to make up the difference over the next 2 year run to round out the 10 year mark.

Are you looking for the best way to track keep track of your money, like Warren Buffett? Then sign up today for the most outstanding financial tool to view your financial accounts in one place.  Even Steven Money Approved!

Looking for the best way to track keep track of your money, like Warren Buffett? Meet the most outstanding financial tool to view your financial accounts in one place.  Even Steven Money Approved!

I know we all want to be the next Warren Buffett and buy the next Coca-Cola or Wells Fargo to make billions, but I think some of the best advice that we could all listen to is adding money every paycheck and bonus to an S & P index fund, as it turns out that you just might be smarter than a hedge fund manager.

Some things in life make you happy, enjoy them

Apparently a few shareholders and critics alike question whether Coca-Cola, one of Berkshire Hathaway’s largest holdings, is the best moral item to be present in his stock portfolio.  The underlying suggestion is that Coca-Cola has largely contributed to obesity and diabetes in the world.

The answer made me smile.  While I don’t drink very much Coca-Cola, I understand that if I drink Coke in large quantities it’s pretty likely that I’m going to be a little heavier and filled with a little more sugar.  However, Warren Buffett, certainly had 18 billion reasons to disagree, the approximate value of Berkshire Hathaway holdings reported at the end of year 2015.

Warren went on to explain that while he is taking in 700 calories of Coke, he really enjoys drinking what I believe is Cherry Coke from a few rows away.  He went on to say that he enjoys eating and drinking things that make him happy and asked everyone to consider the fact that having a Coke makes him happy.  Charlie Munger chimed in saying he thinks that some of the criticism is “immature and stupid” and “to measure the detriment without measuring the advantage”.  All of this was met with an ovation from the crowd, including me.

Surround yourself with good people who want to do the right thing

Lastly, I learned that while Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger are thought of as two of the smartest investors of all time, they are not doing this alone.  Numerous times managers of each company were mention on how great they were doing, how capable each business was in the hands of the individual.  He mentioned the employees at Berkshire Hathaway and how happy he was to have such smart, hardworking, honest individuals to work with every day.

I took away many things from the annual shareholder’s meeting and I really felt this hit home the most, especially as it relates to money and people.  While I was there to take in all of the wisdom offered from Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, I came to realize I had also surrounded myself with good people while I was there.  I had the pleasure of talking with Mr. and Mrs. Pop from Planting our Pennies, Bryan from Income Surfer, Gwen from Fiery Millennials, Steve from Steveonomics, and of course Mr. and Mrs. 1500 Days.

During our time in Omaha, I felt each person fit the mantra of good people who want to do the right thing in so many of the conversations and talks about life, money, and the pursuit of happiness.

So many lessons and valuable information were absorbed while I attended the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting.  I had a great time which I can only describe as wildly entertaining; I hope to do it again next year.

*While reflecting on my personal experience I used the marketwatch post/live blog to remember some of the quotes, most are summarized

27 Responses to “5 things I learned from Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

  • It was a great time Steven, and I’m glad you enjoyed it also. It was fun to meetup with you two. For me, it was a huge component to meet up with like minded investors. I find I learn a little bit from each and every persons story. Glad you guys made it home safe, and I hope we meet up again before too long

    I hope you guys have a great week
    Income Surfer recently posted…The Berkshire Hathaway Annual MeetingMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      Likewise nice to meet you. It’s great being around great energy and great people at the BH meeting and of course with fellow investing and FI enthusiasts.

  • Sounds like a great time. I caught a good bit of it on Yahoo. I hope I’m throwing down the jokes when I’m 85. There is no argument for that slide. I’ll take 65% over 22% any day of the week.
    Brian @ debt discipline recently posted…My Commencement Address to Graduating SeniorsMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      Yeah I think it’s great to stream the meeting online especially now as everything is available via the web. S&P in a landslide.

  • This nacatamale looks awesome!
    I did follow part of the event online on Yahoo, I’m sure it wasn’t the same as being there physically, but that was a pretty cool saturday morning nonetheless.
    Apart from the wisdom and the humor that the 2 dispense during the Q&A, what really striked me is how old Warren and Charlie are. I mean, of course they are 85 and 92, but I can’t think of any large company run by not only a person 80+, not by 2. When Warren makes jokes that he wouldn’t make another 10-year bet with the hedge fund today because he isn’t sure he’ll be alive to collect, that is funny but it’s also worrying.
    I’m thinking that I really need to make that trip next year. I can’t imagine those rallies to be what they are once of one them is gone.
    TheMoneyMine recently posted…Ask the readers: When life gets busy, how do you protect your time?My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      That was certainly just one of the reasons to attend this year’s BH meeting. If you want to see them live and in person the tour can only go on for so long.

      I love that’s how you spent your Saturday morning:)

  • Thx Steven for this write up.
    Blog posts like this and the available video from the meeting allow me to eel as if was there. It is on my bucket list to attend it one day. The possibility to meet other bloggers, the atmosphere, the “show”…
    You re right to highlight the following: Something in life makes you happy, enjoy it. This is so true. Fro me enjoy it also mean do not overdo or abuse it.
    amber tree recently posted…Passive income – April 2016My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      It’s great to have such access to BH and abstract knowledge from such great investors that’s hard to beat.

      Enjoy life…..I can do that;)

  • Hi Steven,

    I watched the live stream and I enjoyed it. It seems you had a great time attending the event. I hope I can attend next year.

    Mrs. Moneypenny

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      BH meeting was fantastic, I think it’s a great opportunity to be surrounded by great minds like Buffet and Munger. Hope to see you there next year!

  • Sounds like it was a good time filled with FIRE meet-ups!
    Fervent Finance recently posted…Attaining A Remote Work ArrangementMy Profile

  • Oh I didn’t know you could get in without being an investor. Smart move securing tickets.

    Sounds like it was a fun time. How much was the trip?
    The Roamer recently posted…Big Savings & Happiness, Can you have both?My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      Yeah the FI community helped me out in this situation, so that was a big help. The trip itself wasn’t that expensive with gas prices being lower and we stayed at an airbnb outside of town it was a frugal trip for the most part……Blog posts coming on the cost and some of specifics;)

  • nice post!
    really informative. thanks for sharing with us. keep this blog update

  • I have always wanted to go. Technically, I own shares of Berkshire Hathaway, but it is through a mutual fund so I wouldn’t have the amount needed to get it. I will live vicariously through your experience. It does sound like a great time.
    Jason recently posted…Financial Tip Friday: Investing is NOT GamblingMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      Yeah I think it’s worth a trip or at the very least watching the stream from yahoo finance, I really enjoyed it. Smart guys, funny guys!

  • Awesome!

    I am still in the process of watching the whole thing online but I agree that they are hilarious and entertaining.

    If anything, this meeting made me feel less stressed about the way things are going.

    If Warren and Charlie are not worried, why should I be?

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      These guys are way smarter than you or I (well me for sure) so a reminder that the sky isn’t falling with a little humor is certainly a glimpse into a sunny day.

  • Fantastic experience – and thanks for sharing. I may need to find a way to borrow $200k before next year or figure out how to cook a great dinner. It sounds like this is a fantastic event to attend!

    And great advice as well. It’s incredible how long-haul strategies really do out-perform “get rich quick” plans, time and time again.

    Great blog and I wish you the best on your continued journey to financial freedom!

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      I’d stick with the cooking, much cheaper! Although B Shares are only around $150, so not bad. Thanks for the kind words Rob, much appreciated.

  • Never been to a BH meeting, but with family in Omaha, I have been in town when the meeting was taking place. It’s a madhouse, but a fun one. Attending the meeting must be a blast.

    • EvenStevenMoney
      5 months ago

      Yeah it was great to be there, you should stop in especially since you have family. It’s like going to a carnival of Berkshire;)

  • Buffett seems like a kind and reasonable man. It makes me happy to hear that he acknowledges how ridiculous the world is, but lives a life and runs a company with his own personal values. Definitely a man to emulate.
    ZJ Thorne recently posted…Net Worth Week 7 – Huge Wins EditionMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge