Chelsea_SunChelsea_Sun ・ May. 6, 2024
Major Takeaways From Buffett’s Talk at Berkshire's Annual Meeting
"I understand the United States rules, weaknesses, strengths … I don’t have the same feeling for economies around the world, I don’t pick up on other cultures extremely well," Buffett acknowledged.

AsianFin—Billionaire investing legend Warren Buffett took stage at Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholders’ meeting on Saturday, honoring his longtime business partner Charlie Munger, detailing the enhanced responsibilities of the executives designated to succeed him eventually, and delving into Berkshire's prospects.

Here are some remarks during the meeting on various topics from Buffett:

On artificial intelligence (AI):

Buffett has noted that artificial intelligence has enormous potentials to do harm, giving his own experience to support the view.  

“When you think about the potential for scamming people ... if I was interested in investing in scamming, it’s gonna be the growth industry of all time and it’s enabled, in a way” by AI, Buffett said. Buffett pointed to the technology’s ability to reproduce realistic and almost misleading content in an attempt to send money to bad actors.

He told the audience of the meeting that he could have been misled into sending money online to a person who claimed to Warren Buffett.

“Obviously, AI has potential for good things too, but ... I do think, as someone who doesn’t understand a damn thing about it, it has enormous potential for good and enormous potential for harm — and I just don’t know how that plays out,” Buffett added.

On Berkshire’s future:

Berkshire Hathaway won’t make a lot of investments outside the United States, Buffett noted.

"We made the commitment in Japan … five years ago and that was just … extraordinarily compelling … but you won’t find us making a lot of investments outside the United States," the billionaire investing guru told the tens of thousands of shareholders of his investment company.

He made the comments in response to a question from a Hong Kong shareholder during the meeting.

"I understand the United States rules, weaknesses, strengths … I don’t have the same feeling for economies around the world, I don’t pick up on other cultures extremely well," Buffett acknowledged.

"We will be American oriented. If we do something really big, it’s extremely likely it will be in the United States,” he said.

"The goal of Berkshire … is to increase the operating earnings and decrease the shares outstanding. It's that simple to describe, it's not quite so simple to pull off necessarily, but that's what we're attempting to do," the legendary investor added.

On Charlie Munger:

Munger was the "architect of today's Berkshire. The architect is the person who dreams of and designs, and finally supervises the construction of great structures. The carpenters and the beavers, that's me, are needed, but the architect is the genius of Berkshire."

"Charlie, in all the years we worked together, not only never once lied to me, ever, but he didn't even shape things so that he told half lies or quarter lies to sort of stack the deck in the direction he wanted to go."

On succession:

"I don’t really do much and I don’t operate at the same level of efficiency that I would have thirty years ago or forty years ago … when you’ve got somebody like Greg [Abel] and Ajit [Jain], why settle for me? It has worked out extremely well."

"The number of calls I get from managers is essentially awfully close to zero and Greg is handling those. I don’t know quite how he does it, but we’ve got the right person, I can tell you that."

"We will own Apple and American Express and Coca-Cola when Greg takes over this place."

On Apple:

"We own American Express which is a wonderful business, we own Coca Cola which is a wonderful business, and we own Apple which is an even better business."

"Unless something really extraordinary happens we will own Apple, American Express and Coca Cola."

"At the end of the year I would say it’s extremely likely that Apple is the largest common stock holding we have."

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