The smartest and most witty from Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting

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Berkshire HathawaySaturday’s annual shareholder meeting includes dozens of questions spanning topics such as investment strategy, artificial intelligence and politics for legendary investors leading the group: Chairman Warren Buffett and Vice President Charlie Munger

But that’s not all strictly business. Buffett and Munger – aged 92 and 99 respectively – made jokes and shared insights drawn from decades of the investment world during the more than five hours spent answering questions.

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Tens of thousands of people gathered at CHI Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, repeatedly laughing at the sarcasm of underage people.

Shareholders watch Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger from the spill room during the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting on Saturday, May 6, 2023, in Omaha, Neb.

Rebecca H. Gratz | AP

Here are some of the best moments from ​”Oracle of Omaha” and Munger:

King Charles and King Charlie

Buffett mentioned King Charles III’s coronation in England was also scheduled for Saturday when he introduced Munger. Charles was the 40th king to be crowned at Westminster Abbey in a tradition that dates back to 1066, according to NBC News.

When I woke up this morning I realized we have a competitive broadcast going on somewhere in the UK… They’re celebrating ‘King Charles’ and we have ‘ King Charles’ is here today.

Many people do ‘stupid things’

Munger said value investors should be prepared for smaller returns as competition gets tougher. But Buffett says yes there’s still a chance because a lot of people are short-sighted and often do stupid things in a panic.

What gives you a chance is that other people are doing silly things… In the 58 years we’ve run Berkshire, I can say that the number of people doing silly things has increased enormously, and they do big, silly things.

‘Deep Removal’

Munger considers it “crazy” to teach that one must diversify when investing in common stocks.

One of the crazy things taught in modern higher education is that great diversification is a must when investing in common stocks… That’s a crazy idea. It is not easy to have countless good opportunities that are easily recognized. And if you only have three ideas, I’d rather go with my best than the worst.

And he says investors should know themselves and their strengths.

We’re not very smart, but we know the limits of our intelligence… That’s a very important part of actual intelligence. … If you know your abilities fairly well, you should ignore most of our experts’ notions of what I call ‘deconstruction’ of portfolios.

‘Keep God — Stocks’

Munger had a simple piece of advice when it came to Berkshire Hathaway in real estate. And he didn’t mince words when he shared it.

Well, at Berkshire, we have a simple estate planning problem. Just hold god — stocks.

Write your obituary and live by it

Buffett offers advice on how to live, spend, and invest in a way that won’t be detrimental.

You should write your obituary and then try to figure out how to live up to it. That’s something you become wiser to keep going on. … You just want to make sure you don’t make any mistakes that get you out of the game or nearly get you out of your game. You should never have a night worrying about investing, assuming you have money to invest. … Spend a little less than you earn and you can spend a little more than you earn. … Then you’re in debt, and chances are you’ll never get out of debt. I will make a mortgage exception for your home.

Not smarter, but wiser

Buffett says investors don’t need to be experts on the technical side of the business if they can understand the fundamentals and commit to learning.

We are interested in owning a great business forever. … We learn a lot from traveling together. … We are always learning how to behave as consumers. I won’t be able to learn the technical aspects of businesses. It would be nice if I knew that, but it’s not necessary. … We have a business at Apple … I don’t understand anything about phones, but I do understand consumer behavior. … We are always learning, from all of our businesses. … However, we don’t get smarter over time, we… get a little wiser, over time.


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