Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

33 Replies

Who is planning on going to Omaha this year for the Berkshire Hathaway Annual meeting? 

Booked my flights last week and ready to hear the Oracle himself and Charlie Munger speak. This is my second time going - any advice from more seasoned veterans?

@Scott Morongell Absolutely! I wasn't sure what to expect, but sitting in a stadium with 40k people and it being totally quiet is eerie. Just listening to how Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger think as they answer questions about all types of topics on investing and the economy was one of the most valuable. A simple clear approach to how they think about the world as well as the differences in opinion. 

There were a lot of questions last year about the trade war and investing in China Vs. the US. Charlie is investing in other markets and would consider global investing. Buffett is much more focused on the US market and what he knows.

The networking opportunities are also fantastic. I didn't take advantage as I should have last year so would love to join any meetups

@William Glass wow that is awesome, great takeaway for sure. Just from reading this response, it ensure me to keep focus on what I know and do best! Have a great time this year at the annual meeting.

@William Glass , I'll be attending for something like the 8th year. Get up early, get in line early, and grab a seat first. People are usually respectful of a seat with a jacket in it. Arrive the day before to go shopping in the expo hall.

Definitely be in your seat in time for the movie - it's always super fun. 

The arena clears out after lunch, so you can get a better spot if you're stuck in the nosebleeds.

I'm hoping to ask Warren and Charlie another question this year. I asked what they thought of the housing market a few years ago. 

Thanks @Mindy Jensen ! I really appreciate the advice. 

Do you know if BP will be doing a meetup this year? I heard there was one last year, but I missed it, unfortunately. :/

@Bill F. That's exciting! We'll have to get a meetup organized with all the BP folks if there isn't one already planned. 

What made you decide to go this year?

@Collin Schwartz

I’ll have to check out the Meetup if I go again down the road. I’ve been 5 times & loved it. I highly recommend visiting the Buffett authors at Dairy Queen, going to Yellow Brkrs & Whitney Tilson’s party or similar. I had a great time especially the 50th anniversary year a few years back. I brought my business partners & friends.

I wish we had a small event like Berkshire that wasn’t just another apartment, flip or tax conference.

@Mindy Jensen Does Bigger Pockets do any official or unofficial events in Denver area?

My brother moved there & I’m planning to move to Springs down the road. I did enjoy taking Scott Trench to lunch a couple years ago & Josh & some of rest of the team came by too!

Yal should interview more podcast guests about passive & syndication investing like Jeremy Roll, Omar Khan one myself.

Cheers & have fun in Omaha!

Originally posted by @William Glass :

@Bill F. That's exciting! We'll have to get a meetup organized with all the BP folks if there isn't one already planned. 

What made you decide to go this year?

It has always been a goal of mine to go in person and I just decided to stop saying 'next year'.

@William Glass . I’m not going to this annual meeting, but I just had a different question for you. (This is not meant to be inflammatory)

Does it ever make you curious how warren buffet has this great reputation as a person/investor when he has done some shady things? Since this is a real estate forum, mainly what I’m referring to is Clayton homes (which is owned by him) .

Originally posted by @Caleb Heimsoth :

@William Glass. I’m not going to this annual meeting, but I just had a different question for you. (This is not meant to be inflammatory)

Does it ever make you curious how warren buffet has this great reputation as a person/investor when he has done some shady things? Since this is a real estate forum, mainly what I’m referring to is Clayton homes (which is owned by him) .

Not OP, but as a BH shareholder and MHP investor I'm curious what you are specifically referring to as shady that has happened with Clayton?

Originally posted by @Bill F. :
Originally posted by @Caleb Heimsoth:

@William Glass. I’m not going to this annual meeting, but I just had a different question for you. (This is not meant to be inflammatory)

Does it ever make you curious how warren buffet has this great reputation as a person/investor when he has done some shady things? Since this is a real estate forum, mainly what I’m referring to is Clayton homes (which is owned by him) .

Not OP, but a a BH shareholder and MHP investor I'm curious what you are specifically referring to as shady that has happened with Clayton?

Mainly predatory lending and preying on poor people, or accusations of that stuff.  

There’s some other stuff but it’s not really real estate related. 

Originally posted by @Caleb Heimsoth :
Originally posted by @Bill F.:
Originally posted by @Caleb Heimsoth:

@William Glass. I’m not going to this annual meeting, but I just had a different question for you. (This is not meant to be inflammatory)

Does it ever make you curious how warren buffet has this great reputation as a person/investor when he has done some shady things? Since this is a real estate forum, mainly what I’m referring to is Clayton homes (which is owned by him) .

Not OP, but a a BH shareholder and MHP investor I'm curious what you are specifically referring to as shady that has happened with Clayton?

Mainly predatory lending and preying on poor people, or accusations of that stuff.  

There’s some other stuff but it’s not really real estate related. 

Caleb, since Clayton makes and sells home I'll assume you are referring to 21st Mortgage/Vanderbilt and articles like this from the Seattle Times. 

I haven't followed this area with a great deal of focus, but from what I do know, there have been no lending violations levied against any of BH's MH lending arms. If I'm mistaken someone please correct me.

Does MH lending seem predatory COMPARED to 1-4 owner occupied loans?

Yes, but there is a big difference between looking bad and being illegal. For a number of reasons chattel loans (the official name for MH loans) have shorter terms and higher rates. So is it weird that chattel loans have shorter terms and higher rates or are resi loans the outliers? 

The answer is that resi loans are the outliers. The GSE's add a massive amount of liquidity to the resi market which at least drives down rates. The market deems that MH's depreciate faster than traditional stick built homes so a shorter term is in response to overall market pressure. 

This is a good non-biased piece explaining the chattel loan market. 

Now this situation may change. Fannie and Freddie have started to implement their Undeserved Market Plan and their Duty to Serve Obligation, both of which deal with increasing their role in creating a secondary market for, among other things, manufactured housing. 

In short, this isn't simply an isolated BH issue. Its a market/regulatory problem.

@William Glass I’ll be there for the 16th consecutive year in May.  We are planning an informal meetup of real estate investors (mostly MHP investors) on Friday night.  I’ll keep you updated if you’re interested in joining.  It’ll likely be at the Hilton bar Friday evening.

@Caleb Heimsoth Besides my quick search on Wikipedia just a few minutes ago I was not familiar with the Clayton Home allegations. To that point Buffett last year answered a question regarding the Wells Fargo scandal that I think applies in this case. With how large Berkshire Hathaway is as an organization and the sheer number of people they employee there is almost certainly bad actors. The question is are those outliers or is the incentive structure set up to reward the bad behavior. Once that bad behavior is identified then does management swiftly act to combat it. 

Buffett doesn't oversee day to day management operations and relies on the managers he has to run their own companies. Another comment from last years meeting was around how some of the subsidiaries don't offer inexpeinsive index funds in its 401k plans for employees which goes against the advice Buffett gives. He made that comment that HQ doesn't mandate to its managers how to run its business and he hopes that those managers listening will hear what employees are saying. 

His style is to invest in good companies at a good value and then enable them to be successful.

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