Michel Pireu Columnist

For years, the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting was a nonevent — just 23 people attended in 1981. Warren Buffett first put in a plug for the gathering in his 1984 letter to shareholders, acknowledging that "many annual meetings are a waste of time", but claiming that "Berkshire’s meetings are a different story". "The number of shareholders attending grows a bit each year," he wrote, "and we have yet to experience a silly question or an ego-inspired commentary. Instead, we get a wide variety of thoughtful questions about the business. Because the annual meeting is the time and place for these, Charlie [Munger] and I are happy to answer them all, no matter how long it takes." Last Saturday, that took nearly six hours when about 40,000 people attended the Berkshire meeting at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Berkshire Hathaway shareholders love Buffett for the investment acumen that has made many of them multimillionaires, but idolise him for the nuggets of wit and wisdom he...

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