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The BRK meeting was great. My reflectios are listed below. As Warren would say, "Buy low. Don't sell! Thanks again to TMF Hunzi for setting up that Foolish dinner at Austin's.


Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting
April 29, 2000
Andrew Cenedella's Notes

This year I attended the Berkshire Hathaway meeting with Pete McGregor, from Denver, and Judi Malone, from Bloomington, IN. We had a great time at the best shareholder meeting in the country.

One of the highlights was the Motley Fool Dinner, held at Austin's Steakhouse in downtown Omaha. Mr. Buffet spent 30 minutes with us fielding questions, signing autographs, and permitting Fools to have pictures taken with the Sage. What a wonderful man! Thanks to Joann Floyd (TMF Hunzi) for setting this up. Many in attendance also were at last year's dinner. It was nice to see familiar faces again and meet Fools that I've never seen before. There must have been 40 Foolish people there!

The dessert at Borsheims did not materialize. We got there one hour after the event started. They ran out of dessert, but I did have a Coke!. What a huge crowd! We were able to meet a few interesting people, see HDTV and lots of jewelry that major shareholders can afford. As for me, I only have one “B” share, which entitled me to enjoy this fabulous weekend!

Executive Jet had six jets on display. This was very impressive to see on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Judi and I enjoyed the jets,h while Pete opted for the Denver – Detroit hockey game. Is hockey a real sport?

Warren “The Whip” successfully induced Ernie Banks to hit a weak grounder down the third base line. In Ernie's words, they should have “played two” on that beautiful spring night.

I took a few notes which that I'd like to share. These will be presented in “bullet” format.

 Newspapers are, and will be greatly affected by the Internet. Information is quicker today and very inexpensive to put on the Net. Mr. Buffett envisions that the Buffalo News will continue to be one of the top 50 newspapers in the country. They are working on an Internet strategy. No comment was made regarding the Washington Post. Does this mean that he is not optimistic about the Post?
 Geico will be favorably affected by the Internet. The Net will drive down costs for them.
 BRK returned 24%/year for the past 35 years. Investors shouldn't expect those kinds of returns in the future. BRK should be able to out perform the S & P 500.
 1999 results were not good. Warren's investing record was poor last year and he takes full responsibility. He doesn't worry about one year results though. He has full confidence in all of his managers. “They did a great job. I did not.”
 Coke, Gillette and Freddie Mac had poor years, but will have many good years in the future, just as they have in the past. When they do poorly we will do poorly.
 Warren looks at intrinsic value when evaluating risk. Valuation does count when evaluating companies.
 Stock options and compensation perks paid by companies to executives erodes shareholder value.
 General Re – “Unicover” was a $ 275 million mistake. (I don't know what Unicover refers to. If I owned more than 1 “Baby Berkshire”, I'm sure that I would know!
 General Re will be a good business for Berkshire and Mr. B is happy to have purchased this company.
 Geico has been a great company. This company was purchased in 1976 when they were losing money.
 American Express – BRK bought 5% of the company in 1964. $ 300 billion was charged to AXP last year, and they earned a fee of 2.7% on those charges. Visa and Master Card only get 1.7% of the purchases purchased with their cards. That's quite a difference. BRK now own 11% of Am. Exp. And their business is growing rapidly.
 Disney – He has reduced some of his holdings of this company.
 BRK owns, or has interests, in 20 to 30 insurance companies.
 Mr. Buffett is more interested in buying entire companies and real estate than equities. Equities will not do as well in the coming decade, as they did in the last.
 Tech stocks- Mr. B doesn't buy them because he can't predict what value they will have ten years from now.”Andy Grove and Bill Gates can't even tell how to value tech companies 10 years from now.”
 BRK makes up >99% of Mr. Buffett's net worth.

The quote of the day was attributed to Charlie Munger. His response to a question on dot com companies went something like this, “When you mix rasins with turds, you still have turds.” Typical Charlie! A book on Mr. Munger's life will be released this year. I plan on reading it.

My take in the Weekend:

As is always the case, a great time was had by all. I was surprised not to hear shareholders express displeasure on the 1999 performance. Perhaps most feel like Buffett. One year doesn't mean much. Shareholders that I ran into focused on the long term record of BRK

Attendance was way down fron last year. The Civic Auditorium seats 9,000. It was about 90% full. Last year Aksarben was overflowing. My memory tells me that about 12,000 showed up last year. Did the drop off have anything to do with 1999 stock performance?

Most people commented that BRK low for the year was on the day (March 10) the NASDAQ hit it's high. Since that time BRK is up 40%. The NASDAQ must be down 30% +

BRK is a great place to invest your “non tech” money. Buffett's record proves it. I envision me buying more Class B shares when I am ready to reenter the market in a meaningful way.
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