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Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Message Board

  • hjclasvegas6969 hjclasvegas6969 Nov 10, 2013 8:18 AM Flag

    WHY a B share ??

    10. Why did Berkshire create "B" shares?

    We are making this move, though, for other reasons - having to do with the appearance of expense-laden unit trusts purporting to be low-priced "clones" of Berkshire and sure to be aggressively marketed. The idea behind these vehicles is not new: In recent years, a number of people have told me about their wish to create an "all-Berkshire" investment fund to be sold at a low dollar price. But until recently, the promoters of these investments heard out my objections and backed off.

    I did not discourage these people because I prefer large investors over small. Were it possible, Charlie and I would love to turn $1,000 into $3,000 for multitudes of people who would find that gain an important answer to their immediate problems.

    In order to quickly triple small stakes, however, we would have to just as quickly turn our present market capitalization of $43 billion into $129 billion (roughly the market cap of General Electric, America's most highly valued company). We can't come close to doing that. The very best we hope for is - on average - to double Berkshire's per-share intrinsic value every five years, and we may well fall far short of that goal.

    In the end, Charlie and I do not care whether our shareholders own Berkshire in large or small amounts. What we wish for are shareholders of any size who are knowledgeable about our operations, share our objectives and long-term perspective, and are aware of our limitations, most particularly those imposed by our large capital base.

    The unit trusts that have recently surfaced fly in the face of these goals. They would be sold by brokers working for big commissions, would impose other burdensome costs on their shareholders, and would be marketed en masse to unsophisticated buyers, apt to be seduced by our past record and beguiled by the publicity Berkshire and I have received in recent years. The sure outcome: a multitude of investors destined to be disappointed.

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209,000.09+1,255.09(+0.60%)Sep 17 4:01 PMEDT

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