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Stocks B / Berkshire Hathaway


Subject:  Thursday & Friday Date:  12/4/2006  12:31 AM
Author:  mhirschey Number:  125849 of 235714

This past Thursday and Friday, I accompanied KU students and faculty to Omaha for Q&As with top management at Borsheim's and the NFM. We met with the Great One for a Q&A and lunch at Gorat's on Friday.

Lots of good questions were asked, and the responses were very interesting. Most everyone posts results from the college Q&As, and I'll do the same within a week or two, if there is any interest on the board.

In terms of my own reactions:

1. I first learned of Buffett in Adam Smith's Supermoney in 1972. Since then, I've tried to keep up with almost everything published about the man and the company. I have never been more impressed.
2. Buffett displayed awesome physical stamina. He fired back at student questions with clarity, wit, and precision for two full hours, pausing only for two sips of Coke. It reminded me of a Bruce Springsteen concert when Bruce was in his prime and loved to wear out the concert audience. Buffett wore me out. (I teach for a living, I'm in good shape, I'm 21 years younger than Buffett, and I was sitting down.)
3. Buffett has an amazing intellect. It's scary to contemplate the possibility that he's lost anything. Buffett's command of the economic fundamentals is breathtaking; his general intellectual curosity is stunning.
4. Buffett talked at length about the importance of running with the right crowd. I'm convinced that Buffett not only greatly improves the first-rate people with whom he interacts, he has also been improved by that interaction.
5. The folks at Borsheim's and the NFM are razor sharp and focused. (If I hear the word “moat” one more time this week, I think I'll jump in.) From the top down, Berkshire is a learning and improving organization. It's actually getting better with time.

After 30+ years of study, I really thought I had a pretty good understanding of the man and the organization. Both are better than my most optimistic assessment. Much better.

In terms of my stock portfolio, I really don't know why I own anything else.


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