Jump to content

Questions to ask at Annual meeting


cheapguy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Can we make a list of questions to ask at the annual meeting.

 

We can either ask ourselves or send them to the people selected by Buffett.

 

Let us work on the list.

 

Can we select them, either by voting or some other way ?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am wondering whether it is worthwhile to go for the meeting this year. Haven't been before and am put off by the thought of the crowds and queues. Besides, the meeting looks like it will be well covered.

 

Would appreciate advice of those who have been there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OEC,

 

I went last year for my first time and would say that it is worth it. Similar to the Kentucky Derby or the Indy 500, it is something that every value investor should do once.

 

And, not to be morbid, but Warren and Charlie are not getting any younger so if one of them were to pass before you went, you would certainly regret not  having gone.

 

-Crip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Crip,

 

Thanks for the advice. Looks like you have convinced me to go. Any advice on planning/making arrangements for the trip, what to do when there - to get the most out of attending - would be appreciated.

 

Cheers,

oec

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also highly recommend going, the meeting is great; however there are several events held around the meeting that are just as enjoyable.  Last year Markel did a presentation on Sunday, Tilson had an event, a couple of friends went to Shai's presentation.  Plus, you get to meet with like-minded investors and talk about your ideas. 

 

I remember last year I met a couple of other fellow investors from different backgrounds (tech, energy, and insurance) and we spent a considerable amount of time talking about different ideas. 

 

The Berkshire meeting is good just to see Munger make his "I don't have anything to add" comments that draws laughs, the video at the beginning, and Buffett. 

 

Great experience overall!

 

I won't be attending this year, I was planning on attending the FFH meeting, however my father planned a family trip that I had very little control of, we are coming back on the 16th of April.  Hopefully someone can ask a couple of questions I have regarding the insurance operation.  I may do the SHLD meeting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I won't be attending this year, I was planning on attending the FFH meeting, however my father planned a family trip that I had very little control of, we are coming back on the 16th of April.  Hopefully someone can ask a couple of questions I have regarding the insurance operation.  I may do the SHLD meeting.

 

Thanks, Shah. I will be attending the FFH AGM. Will be quite happy to ask the questions on your behalf if can email them to me at oec2000@shaw.ca.

 

Re BRK, how does one find out about the other events you mentioned? Suggestions on where to stay, etc?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OEC,

 

I heard about most of the events through word of mouth, most people are extremely generous.  Tilson's meeting was at the Hilton, but I think the best route is to just see who else is going to the meeting and exchange contact info.  I'll send some questions your way, thank you very much.

 

Cheapguy,

 

I would contact investor relations of Markel to see if they have plans, a couple of us went to Gorats on Sunday, I ran into Sham Gad (who now writes for TheStreet.com) and he told me about the Markel meeting. 

 

Hope that helps.  The weekend is overwhelming and I'm sure you will enjoy it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

for Brk AM itinerary see this thread:

http://cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/index.php?topic=12.0

 

i also like the new format for increasing question quality, editing

however, it does take away the terror of asking a fool question.

 

(it's not like the good ole days, when there were no time limits, or number stations, you could go to the ballgame, shake his hand, take photos, get autographs)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I think that Mandeep asks a great question. Presumably, Buffett knows his holdings much more intimately than he knows non-holdings. So, if you consider that he held his larger holdings for years (WFC, AXP) tells me that they were not overvalued, or significantly over-valued, a couple of years back. Fast forward to now when they have dropped more than 75%, it is logical to assume that they are significantly under-valued. If this is the case, then why would he not buy more of these familiar under-valued firms as opposed to the other deals he is getting? This is not second-guessing as I am sure that there is a reason, but I would love to understand his reasoning. 

 

-Crip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Crip / Mandeep, my apologies.  I didn't realize this was a question for the AM... I think it's a good question, i was just giving my reason.

 

Didn't mean to dismiss the question as non-relevant.

 

I personally am assuming that Buffett is/was adding to WFC.  But, I've been under the assumption that a safer preparation is to be buy debt now as long as it's convertible.

 

You get better deals from companies that need capital than from companies that don't... so likely focusing on campanies where you are providing direct funding is a good strategy.

 

My 2 cents.

 

Ben

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that when AXP and WFC flew high a couple of years ago, the market flew higher still. Berkshire's refusal to sell AXP and WFC might have more to do with the lower opportunity costs of 2003-2006 than with their intrinisic values.

 

Berkshire will probably try to keep their interest in AXP below 9.9%. Now that AXP is a banking institution, holding more than that amount could subject you to regulatory issues. For example, where the government normally might let AXP earn its way out of trouble, at 11% ownership the government might require Berkshire to act as a source of strength.

 

When WFC fell below $10.00, it's hard to imagine that Buffett didn't bite.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ben,

Not speaking for Mandeep here but it was certainly not necessary to apologize from my perspective. Reiterating, when asking questions I like the idea of understanding his decision-making process. As we all know, Buffett's knowledge is vast as is his ability to process that knowledge. But he has always proven to be able to filter out the non-key factors of decision making and focus soley on the key factors. I would like to understand this more.

 

Rabbitsrich,

You have two good points. We'll see if Berkshire (and FFH for that matter) bought more WFC in the US$10 and below area.

 

-Crip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that Mandeep asks a great question. Presumably, Buffett knows his holdings much more intimately than he knows non-holdings. So, if you consider that he held his larger holdings for years (WFC, AXP) tells me that they were not overvalued, or significantly over-valued, a couple of years back. Fast forward to now when they have dropped more than 75%, it is logical to assume that they are significantly under-valued. If this is the case, then why would he not buy more of these familiar under-valued firms as opposed to the other deals he is getting? This is not second-guessing as I am sure that there is a reason, but I would love to understand his reasoning. 

 

-Crip

 

I believe part of it is that he can't by more without dealing with "Bank Holding Company" stuff, I agree with Rabbit.

 

Also, he has held in the past companies that became overvalued (particularly Coke during the .bomb).  His positions are so large that he cannot get in and out quickly, and even if he did, the taxes on the sales would negate a large portion of the overvaluation.  Even *then*, he has said that he made a mistake in not selling Coke at the 2000 level valuation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to ask

 

1. What was the intrinsic value of Coke, when he first started buying ?

    What was the purchase price (either starting, or average).

 

2. Ask for other stocks, like Washington Post, American Express, Wells Fargo

 

  These are the historic purchase prices and the intrinsic values at that time.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to ask

 

1. What was the intrinsic value of Coke, when he first started buying ?

    What was the purchase price (either starting, or average).

 

2. Ask for other stocks, like Washington Post, American Express, Wells Fargo

 

   These are the historic purchase prices and the intrinsic values at that time.

 

 

 

you can sort of check this out yourself ... from the annual reports ... rather than asking at the GM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is the question I would like asked at the BRK AGM:

 

"When most anybody today hears about Berkshire Hathaway they immediately think about Warren Buffett and then relax. Warren, you talk about how people can call you up and make a deal in 30 minutes on the back of a napkin. I get how great you are. I have my punch card in front of me and, fortunately, I have a few punches left. Help me understand how Berkshire is going to stay great without you and why I should use up one of my punches on BKR today." 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to know what rationale he used, and valuation metrics when he invested in those two Irish Banks that went completely bust.

 

2% return on assets.

 

 

 

On another note:

 

At current market prices buyers should expect a 5 year annual return of about 20%, and a 10 year annual return of about 17%.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...