The Berkshire Special 2018

The ever-evolving Mr. Buffett

The Oracle of Omaha’s journey has been one of continuous transformation

Chomp chomp chomp went the two wise men over peanut brittle and Coke. Not exactly what your doctor would approve if you were 87 and your best friend 94. In fact, the Berkshire movie this year even made fun of Charlie Munger, timing him as he struggled with opening a box of See’s peanut brittle. An earlier version of the movie in 2013 featuring a spoof of Breaking Bad had Munger going, ‘Brittle, bitches!’ in homage to Jesse Pinkman. This time around Warren himself was in the act, poking fun at Munger and opening a See’s box in a jiffy, no sooner had they settled down. His antics apart, shareholders love Warren Buffett for the millions he has made them but on the day of the annual meeting, he is more of a teacher than legendary investor. He has always wanted to be one and he is indeed. 

He opened the meeting after joking around with Munger, where he went down memory lane, right to when he bought his first stock — the March 1942 investment in Cities Service, which he bought for $38 and sold for $40, but not before it had dropped all the way to $27. The stock went past $200 soon after, but the point he was trying to make was that $10,000 invested in the index at that time would today have compounded to $51 million. A similar amount invested in gold would have grown to $400,000. And through this Buffett reiterated his belief that America would do well in the future too. “Think about how America will do over your investment lifetime. You’ll do well. Forget about the rest,” he declared. 

This is not the first time Buffett has voiced his optimism over America — he has famously talked about what he calls the “ovarian lottery” — the fact that he was born in America as opposed to any other country in the world, where the chances of success would have been vastly different. But his stupendous climb to becoming an ultra-billionaire is thanks to his metamorphosis of sorts as an investor. 

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