The Berkshire Special 2018

The Warren & Charlie Show

The Oracle of Omaha and his long-time partner shared insights right from moats to cryptocurrencies at Berkshire Hathaway’s 2018 annual meeting at Omaha. Edited excerpts

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Published 3 years ago on Jun 01, 2018 16 minutes Read

Warren, you previously said that there are two parts to your job — overseeing the managers and capital allocation. Ajit and Greg now oversee the managers, which leaves you with capital allocation. However, you share capital allocation with Ted Weschler and Todd Combs. Does that mean you are semi-retired or, if not, please explain?

BUFFETT: I’ve been semi-retired for decades. Well, it’s hard to break down the percentage of the time that I was involved. Ajit and Greg have been doing a great job. Likewise, Ted and Todd are doing a very god job when it comes to investing, managing $12 billion-$13 billion each. We have $170 billion now in equities, $20 billion in bonds and another $100 billion in cash. And I still have the responsibility, basically, for the other $300 billion. Clearly, we’ve got two people in Ajit and Greg who are smarter, more energetic, and just bring more to the job every day. Ted and Todd not only do a great job with the $12-13 billion each but they also do – have done a number of things for Berkshire that they do it cheerfully, but more importantly, very skillfully. There’s one thing or another that I will have them looking into or working on, and sometimes I steal their ideas.

MUNGER: Well, I’ve watched Warren for a long time, and he sits around reading most of the time and thinking. Part of the Berkshire secret is that when there’s nothing to do, Warren is very good at doing nothing.

Warren, have you given a thought to other Berkshire managers becoming publicly more visible so that future generations of successful business owners continue to bring deal opportunities to Berkshire like they have in prior decades?

BUFFETT: I don’t think our reputation is dependent on Charlie or me but on the reputation that Berkshire is a very good home for companies, particularly private ones. There will be a little testing period for whoever takes over but basically we’ve got the money to do the deals. People can see how our subsidiaries operate in the future and the truth is that I think some of the other executives are getting better known. As I mentioned, my phone isn’t ringing off the hook with good deals but maybe the next guy will get more calls. We absolutely are the first call and we will continue to be the first call whether Charlie or I answer the phone or someb

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