The event was streamed exclusively by Yahoo Finance. Check out the highlight here.
Known as the “Oracle of Omaha” for his track record of picking winning investments, Buffett will be joined by his right-hand man Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire. The duo will share their unscripted views on their company, the financial markets, the economy, politics, corporate governance, and of course investing. It’s an experience like no other.
Their comments on the near-term have been known to move markets. Their insights on the the long-term have earned fortunes for investors.
News was breaking even before the meeting started — including Berkshire Hathaway beating Q1 earnings expectations, Munger opining on Coca-Cola considering the marijuana business, and one Berkshire shareholder detailing a criticism of Buffett.
We'll be streaming the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Meeting live on this page. You can follow along here for the live blog.
It all began with a ‘monumentally stupid decision’
Buffett, 88, first invested in a Berkshire Hathaway, a failing textile company, back in December 1962 accumulating 7% of the company at $7.50 per share. The company was owned by a man named Seabury Stanton, who in 1964 asked Buffett for the price he’d be willing to sell his stake. Buffett said $11.50, and they had a deal.
However, Stanton later turned around and made a tender offer to shareholders for $11.275 per share. Buffett didn’t care for that behavior, so he ended up hanging on.
“That was a monumentally stupid decision,” Buffett said in his 2014 letter to shareholders. “Irritated by Stanton’s chiseling, I ignored his offer and began to aggressively buy more Berkshire shares.”
Buffett took control of the company in May, 1965. And that was followed by another two decades of tough lessons.
“During the 18 years following 1966, we struggled unremittingly with the textile business, all to no avail,” he said. “But stubbornness – stupidity? – has its limits. In 1985, I finally threw in the towel and closed the operation.”
Despite his great success and status, Buffett’s career is riddled with failures. Ultimately, his real triumph is learning from his mistakes to eventually seal his legacy as the world’s greatest investor.
Furthermore, through letters, interviews, meetings and TV appearances, Buffett has shared his lessons with the public so that they can be better investors themselves. So while many know him as a great investor, there are plenty who will also remember him as a great teacher.