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Why Berkshire Hathaway is 'so very peculiar,' according to Charlie Munger

Katie Krzaczek
Associate Editor

As Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-ABRK-B) shareholders gathered in Omaha, Nebraska, for the annual meeting on Saturday, Vice Chair Charlie Munger explained why what he called the “so very peculiar” company operates as it does.

[Click here for coverage of the 2019 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting.]

“We have a different kind of unbureaucratic way of making decisions,” Munger said. “We don’t have endless committees deliberating forever and making bad decisions.”

Munger went on to explain “it’s awkward being so different, but I don’t wanna be like everybody else, because this has worked better.”

The meeting itself serves as a reminder of Berkshire’s unusual operations. Individuals who own at least one share of Berkshire stock are invited to join the annual meeting to hear insights from the Oracle of Omaha himself, along with Munger. Far from your typical shareholder meeting, the event has come to be known as Woodstock for Capitalists.

‘Value investors’ oversaw BRK’s Amazon buy

Berkshire manages a portfolio that includes investments in big names such as Apple, Coca-Cola, American Express, and Delta Air Lines. Absent that list, until recently, had been Amazon.

Ahead of the 2019 meeting, Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett revealed that Berkshire had finally bought into Amazon. In an interview with Yahoo Finance’s Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer, Buffett explained his earlier reservations on Amazon.

“I didn't realize you could go from books to what's happened there,” Buffett said. “[Bezos] had a vision, and executed it in an incredible way.”

This buy of Amazon shares was made by one of the company’s portfolio managers, not Buffett himself.

Of the buy, he explained that “the people making the decision on Amazon are absolutely as much value investors as I was when I was looking around for all these things, selling below working capital years ago.”

More from Berkshire:

Warren Buffett decries accounting rule that made a mess of Berkshire earnings

Charlie Munger: ‘Berkshire will probably be more liberal when it comes to repurchasing shares.’

Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger react to Wells Fargo fake account scandal

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