A big thanks to those of you who contacted me over a doco to be made of Warren Buffett by the BBC around Berkshire Hathaway shareholders and the Berkshire 2009 Annual Meeting in Omaha Nebraska that kicks off this weekend.
I have had many replies, and none more so than the following one encapsulates the deep feeling and respect this great investor and thoroughly interesting man seems to capture from his many millions of followers, including myself:
"I understand you are looking for Berkshire shareholders. I have been a Berkshire shareholder since 2001.
I can say with some confidence that Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger are more important in my life than God! I am a university graduate and a Chartered Accountant. I have worked in businesses for over 25 years but any knowledge I have acquired from these experiences is like a pebble in ocean in comparison to what I have learned from Warren and Charlie.
If you study Berkshire and the people behind it you are tapping into a rich reservoir of knowledge and wisdom that has proved incredibly useful in the real world of business over a long period of time. The Berkshire values are very old fashioned and very simple. It is about taking the long term view, common sense, humility, rationality, hard work and prudence.
Much of what goes on in the world of business and politics looks absurd and grotesque when viewed through the Warren Buffett lens. Why are people so loyal to Warren Buffett and Berkshire? It is just pure Disney. Failing textile mill, Berkshire Hathaway, taken over by young investor Warren Buffett. Investment is a terrible mistake. Buffett uses the company as his investment vehicle choosing not to take a management fee from his fellow shareholders. Over time the company evolves into one of the largest and most respected companies in the world. Warren Buffett turns out to be the greatest investor ever and becomes the richest man on the planet. In the end it’s not about the money and Warren gives the bulk of his fortune to the children of Africa. Who would not want to be part of this?
Good luck with your documentary. It will be easy to make the shareholders look like crazy America cult members. I know the BBC will go deeper than that." Gareth, Northern Ireland.
What Buffett has to say this weekend will be covered by media from around the world and more than 35,000 people will be attending in person to get his pearls of investing wisdom sieved through a down home style of old fashioned hokiness and a wonderful sense of black humour.
The world will be watching closely for some explanation of his frenzied buying activities over the last year and also his view of economic conditions over the following 12 months and of course the years to come.
I will be watching closely and you can keep up to date on what is more commonly known as the "Woodstock for Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders" at Everything Warren Buffett.
Until then I highly recommend reading his 2008 Annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders published in February of this year. It will change your way of thinking about investing .
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Pilgrimage to Warren Buffett's Omaha: A Hedge Fund Manager's Dispatches from Inside the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting by Jeff Matthews
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c Share Investor 2009