While most of the insights coming out of the 2019 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting reflect the dealings of the company, one question asked CEO Warren Buffett and his longtime business partner Charlie Munger to look beyond the balance sheets.
Asked to share what he values most in life now, Buffett said, “It’s the two things you can’t buy: time and love.”
While both Buffett and Munger have seen their bank accounts swell from their successful investment careers, the Oracle of Omaha explained that material goods were never the goal.
“I’ve been very, very, very lucky in life to be able to control my own time to an extreme degree,” Buffett said. “Charlie’s always valued that too. That’s why we really wanted to have money, so we could do what we damned pleased.”
He went on to say how lucky he and Munger are to be able to do what they love.
“We are very, very lucky to be in jobs where physical ability doesn’t make any difference. We’ve got the perfect jobs for a couple of guys with aging bodies,” Buffett said. “I could do anything that money could buy, pretty much, and I’m having more fun doing what I do than doing anything else.”
‘I didn’t have any cash at the time’
Buffett earlier told shareholders about an investment he made when he “didn’t have any cash.”
“One time I bought one share of stock in the Atled Corp,” he said. “Atled had 98 shares outstanding and I bought one — not what you’d call a liquid security.”
Alted was formed by a group of 100 guys in St. Louis who had contributed $50 each to create the Delta Duck Club. Two of the 100 defaulted, hence the 98 shares.
“They shot ducks, but apparently someone shot into the ground and oil sprouted out,” Buffett said. The shares had gone from $100 to $29,000 in just a few years, but the company eventually sold.
Had they not sold, the shares would have been worth millions today, Buffett said.
“That was certainly the most interesting thing,” he said. “I didn’t have any cash at the time and I went down and borrowed money — I bought it for my wife. The loan officer said, would you like to borrow money for a shotgun as well?”
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