Warren Buffett said that business owners should write this phrase on their mirror tomorrow morning. » Read More
Warren Buffett said Saturday that Wall Street's real source of wealth is not based on its strong investment acumen, but on something else.
"[There's] far more money made through salesmanship abilities rather than investment abilities," Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway's chairman and CEO, said at the company's annual shareholders meeting.
Buffett added many hedge fund managers are paid "just to breathe" based on a flawed compensation scheme. He also said high-paid consultants always recommend something other than doing nothing, and benefit from long-term growth of US business.
In turn, Buffett recommended that investors take a more passive approach to investing, noting his long-term bet against Protoge Partners still shows this approach works much better than active management.
"The railroad [business] is down considerably in the first quarter, and will most likely remain down for the year," Buffett, also known as the Oracle of Omaha, said at his annual shareholders meeting. In 2014, Berkshire said its BNSF, its railroad operation, had let investors down, but referred to the operation as its"most important" non-insurance business.
"I would say we've taken the most [valuable] part of the company and made it even more valuable to the company," Buffett said at Berkshire's annual shareholders meeting. He referred to Precision's management, specifically CEO Mark Donegan. "I would say Mark is one of a kind."
Buffett said Donegan can now spend more time working on designing and building aircraft parts, rather than breaking down earnings to shareholders and analysts.
"Precision Castparts will do better under Berkshire than it would on its own and it would do very well on its own," he said.
Berkshire announced the $37.2 billion acquisition in August.
More than 40,000 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders flocked to Omaha, Nebraska for the business conglomerate's annual shareholders meeting.
Investors listened carefully to Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, as well as Vice-Chairman Charlie Munger, answer their questions.
A slew of celebrities and billionaries, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, were in attendance.
Here are some images from "Woodstock for Capitalists."
— By CNBC's Fred Imbert
30 April 2016
The soft drink giant, along with others in the sector, has taken incoming fire from nutrition advocates concerned about the health impact of sugary drinks and fatty foods. Notably, an effort to ban soft drinks of a certain size in New York City failed in 2014, after a state court declined to renew the limit instituted by former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"We ought to have a law ... where these people shouldn't be allowed to cite the defects without citing the advantage. It's immature and stupid," Munger said Saturday at Berkshire's annual shareholders meeting.
Berkshire has been a longtime shareholder of Coca-Cola and owns 9.2 percent of the Dow component, according to a 13-F filing from Dec. 31.
Warren Buffett is not worried about who becomes the next president of the United States.
"That won't be the main problem" for Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett said at the company's annual shareholders meeting, adding the company will "do fine" whether Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton or Republican candidate Donald Trump win the November elections.
Buffett has been an outspoken supporter of Clinton, and has spoken approvingly about the campaign messageof her Democratic challenger, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. In February, the Oracle dismissed the doom and gloom of the current election cycle, saying U.S. citizens have abright future ahead.
The billionaire businessman said Berkshire has operated under all kinds of government leadership, and that good businesses are able to adapt to circumstances. He noted that, even with low interest rates American businesses have kept on finding ways for being profitable.
"The system works very well with aggregate output," he said.
Munger said the much-maligned pharmaceutical turned out to be a "sewer" and those who created it deserved everything they got, after the Sequoia Fund was sued by shareholders for its lofty investments on the firm.
Warren Buffett is legendary as an investor, but he's also an incredibly successful businessperson, too — a fact that sometimes gets lost in the millions of words that have been written about his advice on how to buy a stock.
That advice can be summarized with a just a few words. Appearing on the CNBC-produced syndicated program "On the Money" in 2014, Buffett said, "If you own your stocks as an investment — just like you'd own an apartment, house or a farm — look at them as a business."