First, this is not much related to Industrial Real Estate but happy to share helpful experiences I do through life. Second, this was not done in Chat GTP, I feel we have to start putting these on blogs.
This past May 6th, 2023, I was fortunate to attend the 2023 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Meeting. One of the most popular events in business. Over 40,000 people (including me) descended into Omaha, Nebraska to see Warren Buffet (92 years old) and Charlie Munger (99 years old), talk to shareholders and answer questions from the audience. It’s a once in lifetime event that is hard to duplicate.
I never knew about Warren Buffet until I was in college and didn’t understand the company until after I graduated from college. He’s one of the most successful investors in our generation. Over the years, I’ve contemplated going to the event but never made the effort. Finally, this year, in April, a few weeks before the event, I made the decision to go; booked a flight, hotel (whatever was left), and requested my ticket as shareholder.
As I was going through airports, I thought to myself: “Is this worth it? Am I a fool for doing this?” Then, on the day of the event, sitting in the arena, seeing Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger come on the stage and answer questions, I realized it was all worth it. Many people have been going for decades, others like me, it was their first time. Besides talking about the company and the businesses it owns, Warren and Charlie answer questions from audience and submitted online. Topics included: Debt ceiling, future of USA, Dollar and how it’s losing its power as reserve currency, Elon Musk, to trade with China. The knowledge and sharpness with which both answer these questions is unbelievable. While most people can’t wait to retire at 65, Warren and Charlie continue to go at it every day in their 90’s, with no plans to stop.
One can say that attending this meeting is equivalent to a few college classes, all in one day! The wealth of knowledge and information is incredible.
Here are some notes and highlights I took from meeting.
a. This is an event that attracts such loyal fans. From all ages, wealth status and from all corners of the world.
b. No pictures and video allowed during the event. At the beginning of the event, there is short video of Warren warning that if someone gets caught filming, he/she will be escorted out of the event. So, from that moment, you didn’t see phones out. No one wanted to lose the pass.
c. I admire the incredible discipline Warren and Charlie have to stick to what they know. Unwavering faith in their process to select investments. Not influenced by trends, criticism from analyst, nor pressure from other companies.
d. They briefly talked about Commercial real estate. Danger for office and retail sector. In the long term they said “buildings don’t go away, owners do”.
e. “What gives you opportunities is other people doing dumb things”. Interesting phrase from Charlie Munger.
f. “If you know yourself, then you shouldn’t doubt it.” It was in response to question from the audience about making right decision. Doing what you know and are confident.
g. “Your best defense is your earnings power” Advice from Warren on what to do on a recession or slowdown.
h. “Write your obituary and work backwards” Warren said this when asked about transition in family business. How many owners are not prepared to hand the business to next generation.
i. From Charlie in reference to practicing law, “Practicing law in a large firm is like being in pie eating contest and the winner gets to eat more pie.” Never ending work.
What does my team and I have in common with Warren and his company?
a. One thing in common with Warren Buffet is that we both love our businesses and wake up happy to go to the office. See what the market brings. Wouldn’t want to be in any other place.
b. Not dealing with small deals. Only large. Warren mentioned he only look at deal $10+ Billion. Can’t make enough difference on smaller deals.
c. “You chase deals but never know when it’ll strike” True in our business. One can stay after a deal for months or years before it happens.
Notes about Attending and the Trip
a. Request tickets by mailing out the page from annual report.
b. On the day of the meeting, Important to get in line but not necessary to be in front. Once you are in you can try to go in the lower section and find a seat. No reserved seats. People lining up from early hours. Doors open at 7pm. I got there right before 7 and line was few blocks long. Still got in and had good seat.
c. Wear comfortable shoes.
d. Take cash to buy Dairy queen desserts
e. Merchandise on the Exhibition floor has good prices.
f. Airport is super close from city.
Next Year’s Meeting is on May 4th, 2024.
Hope this was helpful and of value. Feel free to reach out with any comments or questions.
About the ComReal Miami Industrial Team: The ComReal Miami Industrial Team has been assisting companies with their South Florida real estate needs for over 30 years. The industrial team specializes in the sales and leasing of industrial properties. Visit Warehouses Market and/or call 786-433-2380 for more information.