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Author: Metal27 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 41315  
Subject: Re: barrons article re buffett Date: 4/22/2007 1:09 AM
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I am a BRK.B shareholder and for my money, Mauzy is right on target. When it comes to his shareholders, this emperor is wearing few clothes. Like any human being, Buffett has his strong points and his weak points. Unfortunately, his weaknesses are in the investor relations area. His refusal to split the stock could be taken as an evidence of a prejudice against the small investor. And it is belied by the issuance of the B shares, which are in effect a 30 to 1 split of the A shares.

His refusal to pay a dividend in effect says he believes he can allocate our company's earnings--ALL of them--better than the thousands of individual shareholders, few of whom he even knows. This patrician, "father knows best" approach is wearing increasingly thin as his stockholders age--and realize the only way they'll get a dime out of him is to sell shares. So the shareholders end up bearing the trading expenses instead of the corporation, and gradually become ex-shareholders.

As Mauzy points out, Berkshire has so much cash they cannot invest it properly. I think Buffett and the rest of us would all be enjoying the experience a lot more if Buffett had paid out dividends over the years. Then he'd actually be challenged by the problem of how best to allocate the remainder, instead of playing King Midas.

Don't mistake me--I think he's great in many ways, one of a kind in our era when it comes to investing and to motivating wealthy managers. But I wonder if he has anyone around who dares disagree with him on these important matters.

The stock has appreciated nicely in the year or so that I've owned it, but I bought it at my wife's insistence (she is purely subjective about these things) and last night, out of a clear blue sky, she suddenly wanted to sell. Do I want to try for two hurricane-free seasons? Or would I rather avoid any hurricanes in our home?

Cheers,

Scott
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