Todd, For people who want to buy more (add more BRK) or want to be larger % partners/owners of BRK, by BRK buying back thier own stock they are better served with lower prices than higher price near term.
But here is the real issue. Berkshire doesn't pay a dividend. Let us say I need to grow my portfolio every year so that I can withdraw some funds and grow the baseline at inflatio rate. Let us say that i have only 20 years left on this planet as an active investor, and let us say Berkshire grew to be 1 Trillion in book value in 20 years (which is about 10% growth per year book compunded, so small feat for a company that size). How exactly I implement a system of withdrawal for yearly income? I have to assume Berkshire could fall and then I have to think how much can it fall. As Buffett gives sizable sum of BRK to charity (Gates foudnation and as that foundaiton liquidates to invest in charitable causes) there is pressure on the stock to keep trading low till some onne buys (i.e. Berkshire itself). So I view that 1.1x book as the first line of defense for next 20-30 years, the years that matter to me. The way to look at BRK is: it is cast iron at 1.0x book and below, It is cement between 1.1x book 1.0x book and it is slush above 1.1x book. Gates foudnation won't wait for the stock to realize instrinic value as it keeps selling over next 20-30years
If I were to need the money under 5 years I might not have it in the market. In any 5 year period you are likely to get a fair price for BRK sometime in that 5 years so you can also sell shares during that time for your dividend. Also, I don't think the Gates Foundation will have any significant impact on the price over time. I've heard people post about it but I don't think the math works out like that. No worries.