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Author: exilion Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 211764  
Subject: Re: Dominate The Meeting Date: 5/6/2001 12:45 PM
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UsuallyReasonable & others that may be interested,

This has turned into a long post. I am a 4 year + lurker on this board and though I have posted in the past elsewhere, I have never posted here. I believe I have received much more from you than I can ever repay and my deepest appreciation to the many that have provided food for thought, spirited debate, psychology lessons, and general commentary on this most interesting company.


This was my 3rd meeting I have been able to attend. I also cringed when a new zone was called on by the Chairman, and I heard "My name is ____________, I am 11 and a half years old... but then again I cringe also when someone (an adult that should know better) asks a question that has no value added for me and others, that could be answered by reading the owner's manual, or other readily available research to answer their query. I was pleasantly surprised at a couple of youngster's questions that allowed the Chairman and Vice-Chairmen to follow through on bigger picture comments. (Munger stating that if all you do is make money, you have missed out on many other opportunities, opportunity cost comments, and speculation of the might have been).

I am sure many of us knew that Lou Simpson did the Gap purchase. How did we know? We read and we are educated and prepared! However, it was an opening for the Chairman to further illustrate his complete confidence (if there was any doubt) in Simpson's abilities to run his own show at GEICO.

Speaking of GEICO, I am a customer that has a small problem that no one can help me with regarding a roadside assistance rider that is in force on two vehicles (grandfathered), but not available for a newer vehicle due to a policy change (I have liability only on all three, new policy dictates no new roadside riders for liability only policies). If GEICO could have some small division that actually listens to and can either fix our dilemmas or give us more than the standard "It is our policy to do it this way." reply; they would, in the long run retain more customers and have a higher satisfaction rating, which in turn would provide cheaper, word-of-mouth advertising that would bring in new preferred clients in some cases.

By the way, I realize I did not do my part in "Dominating The Meeting", but had the queries lasted later than 3:30, I may have made it to the microphone by gametime at 7:05.

I have felt in the previous meetings I have attended that I could do much better for myself listening instead of asking. I am still learning after being invested the last 14 years, the last 7 with a defined discipline. This year, I wanted to ask something of real substance and relevance, and I had copied questions from this board to ask, and I believe I would have been able to ask one, but those before me in many cases asked long-winded multiple essay type questions...

"Chairman Buffett, Vice-Chairman Munger: (Intro Including a life story in a nutshell), what they think and theorize, what do you think and further this, that, etc., AND AND AND the second question (which has no relevance to the first question).

I always thought if you had a two-parter to ask that they be at least half-relevant to the first. But then I noted at least one instance when there was a three-parter asked.

Truth be told, this doesn't bother me as much as you might think. My only quarrel is that it just allows fewer shareholders the opportunity to ask and can be construed to be at least mildly rude. Usually, these queries have been well thought out and composed well in advance. This type of questioning is much better than the youngsters that want to know how to ensure they go to college, or if the gentlemen have grandsons that are single.

Does anyone think it would be a good idea to request of Chairman Buffett & Vice-Chairman Munger to make available a FAQ of sorts, either by publishing it on the http://www.berkshirehathaway.com homepage, or printing it with the visitors guide or something. That way we could bypass the hit by lightning scenario, the favorite book list (though this could be updated briefly at the time of the meeting), and others that have been asked time and again. Maybe not, as some folks have to ask directions to somewhere they are already. (Just happened to me last week when attending another annual meeting.) Some folks would probably also want to get further detail than could be asked in a FAQ, but I am struggling to find a more efficient way to eliminate the redundancy. Perhaps a link to the FAQ here at http://www.fool.com? ?????

Did anyone see me there? I was the one with the navy Berkshire embroidered polo shirt and khaki Dockers. Oh yeah, so were about 6 others I saw in attendance.

I also was stunned to see Vice-Chairman Munger autographing "Damn Right" prior to the meeting. He certainly didn't have to do this, but I for one am grateful for the autograph and photo op.

Boy this is getting long, but I have already booked my hotel for next year, and I would very much like to meet many of you. Anywhere specific I need to register or contact?


Thanks again to everyone for all of the ongoing posts!

Good Day!

exilion
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