<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-WSMCRCP" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting: Perspective From a First-Time Attendee

May 08, 2024 | Joanne Yecies


Take a look at the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders meeting through a pair of fresh eyes.

shareholder meeting

When we arrived in the Exhibition Hall on Friday, the energy was palpable. Thousands of people milled about, wearing their Berkshire Hathaway "Shareholders" badges. Some took photos of the Squishmallow stuffed animals fashioned after Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett. Others waited in line to buy peanut brittle at See's Candies. The bright lights of CNBC's stage were ready for a rotating cast of commentators who would broadcast throughout the weekend. For those accustomed to the commotion, it was business as usual. As this was my first trip to the Annual Shareholders Meeting, I was seeing everything with a pair of fresh eyes led by my experienced tour guide – Steve Ross. 

One main theme throughout the weekend was the absence of Charlie Munger, the former Vice Chairman of Berkshire who passed away in November 2023 at the age of 99.  As I had never been to a meeting with Charlie, I can only present my view of the ‘post Charlie’ world.  What struck me was that the attendees were not just there to hear Warren Buffett's (along with current co-Vice Chairmen Greg Abel’s and Ajit Jain's) reasoning for their trimming of Berkshire's tech shares, their views on cybersecurity insurance, or their thoughts on climate change and its impact on utilities. Rather, shareholders came to hear and absorb the wisdom from the "Oracle of Omaha," as he approaches his 94th birthday and finds himself alone at the top of Berkshire's $189 billion cash mountain.

In the middle of the morning question and answer session, a young woman asked Warren what advice he wished to share. Warren said that we were now living in the best world that has ever existed and the possibilities are endless. He encouraged the young lady to think about how she wanted her obituary to read. Then, she should find the right people and activities that would allow her to build that life and align herself with them. While this may seem simple, this long-range thinking is emblematic of the Berkshire Hathaway investment philosophy and reflects many of the same values that the Ross Group holds. By taking small, incremental, measured steps over a long period of time, we can work together with our clients to help them achieve their lifetime goals. 

I can only hope that Warren’s wisdom continues to serve as an example for generations to come, and that we all continue to believe that the possibilities are endless.