Here is my view on the last conference from Buffett and Munger, love to listen to those guys. Woodstock for capitalists
Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting – 15 points – Part 1
This Saturday the Woodstock for capitalists was on as Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger held the annual shareholder conference. If you want to succeed in investing and reach your financial goals, this conference and insights is all you need to listen to in order to learn about investing, what is going on and what to do about it. In this article, I’ll summarize what are the key points to take out and also save you the 6-hour watch.
Since this year, companies that own stocks have to mark them to market on a daily basis and include the changes in their bottom line. This has make BRK report a loss but as you can see below, operating earnings are positive.
So, don’t worry about the bottom line, look at what the business has done.
Indexes change – survivals win
Buffett talks about his first stock purchase but what I want to focus is the slide he used showing various indexes.
Buffett discusses the DOW Jones index that survived since then but nobody knows how did the railroad index do, the utilities or the 65 stocks index over the last 75 years. Survivalship bias is one of the biggest dangers affecting investors because you see only what survives but not what dies with investing. We now have the S&P 500, the Nasdaq and MSCI global and other 6,000 indexes. Be careful as not every index will bring to equal results.
Invest when things are not good – discussion on gold
Buffett discusses how it was to invest during the war and how if you invested $10,000 in the S&P 500 in 1942 that by the way didn’t exist then so you couldn’t not do that. Nevertheless, if you invested the $10,000 in the not existing S&P 500 you would now have $51 million. I’ve discussed last week how nobody has such an investment horizon so there is another thing to keep in mind when listening to Buffett.
If you bought gold at the same point in time you could buy 300 ounces of gold that didn’t produce anything. Today’s value would be around $400,000 that would be about $50 million less. I agree with Buffett and that is why I always say that gold is not an investment, it is a hedge against loose monetary policy that has to be constantly rebalanced. Further, I prefer miners that actually produce something and some even pay dividend.
China and U.S. – long term superpowers
On a trade war question with China Buffett explains how world trade is a win win situation for both countries and he believes in the benefits of free trade. Those benefits are huge and the world’s development depends on it so that he sees it as thing that will last where no one will do foolish things.
However, the gap between countries must not become too wide but also that a war would threaten global prosperity.