2008 Berkshire Hathaway weekend

by Jeremy Schoemaker on May 5, 2008 · 62 comments

Berkshire Hathway

This years Berkshire Hathaway meeting was really awesome. We had a good friend who got in line at 2am the night before to reserve our seats which were 3rd row on the floor. Bill gates sat about 8 feet in front of us.

I always learn so much from attending this meeting. I could listen to Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger speak forever. They have such wisdom and lessons to teach. I have gone for the last 5 years and every year it has gotten better. I am not sure how much longer Buffett will remain as chairman but I would say business and finance wise there is nothing that has really made me think about things like the annual Berkshire Hathaway stockholders meeting.

I completely am on the same page with him on:

Religion – He is agnostic. A true agnostic. He just does not know and neither do I.

Investing – investing in what you know and understand. Diversification is for the idiot investor – I can’t agree with this more.

The Green Movement – Warren Buffet says whoever thought it was a good idea to burn corn for fuel is a complete idiot. He has said this every year for as long as I can remember. He is totally right. He has always said the only solution to alternative fuels is the sun and the wind. Based on our population growth and consumption its the only answer.

The US Dollar – Buffett has said for a long time the US dollar was over valued and he thinks it will go down before it goes back up. He also stated how amazing our country is that it can be run by complete idiots and yet still be an economic super power.

He commented on the Debt of the Us and it was a amazing answer that I wish I could remember word for word. It basically was saying that the US has always done well borrowing money and unlike other countries we are not savers and that has always worked very well for us.

There was countless things he gave. The q&a lasted about 6 hours. It was completely fascinating.

Here is a picture from my phone:

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2895 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.


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{ 61 comments }

1 browie

My sister-in-law works at Borsheims, did you go to that friday night party? or any other time?

2 john

Would love to hear more about this if you have the time to post more about it. I know in the past you weren’t too big on buying stocks, think you said it seemed strange to give people money rather than put the money into your own business.

Best,
John

3 Hustle Strategy

I need to get some shares. Sounds like a fun and educational experience.

4 Skitzzo

Would love to hear any more you can remember from the meeting as John said. Warren is quite obviously the top business mind alive.

5 ambed

Looks like you lost over 3,000.00 per share today!

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=BRK-a

6 jamieD

well in the post shoe says he has been going for 5 years…. so if you look at the stock he is up at least $80,000.00 PER SHARE. BRK is the least traded stock in the world. Its not a stock you day trade.

7 Hustle Strategy

or a 101 ish

8 Shaan

Well i do not have any idea about shares but i want to know about the camera phone…The picture quality is really good…lolz

9 Affiliate Confession

I definitely agree on the corn issue. Why the F are we making ethanol from corn when half the world is starving? I read somewhere that the reason for the wheat shortage around the world is because we (not the US, the world) are taking away wheat growing land and replacing it with corn and then burning it. How stupid is that?

10 Neill

Shoe, you’re a fortunate man. Any further insight about Warren Buffet’s thoughts would be appreciated. The guy obviously knows what he’s talking about.

11 ShoeMoney

HAHA my palm 755

12 Michael D

Events like this must be awesome to attend. I have not heard Warren Buffet speak in person but every time I’ve been to similar events they seem to open up my head to greater ideas. Thanks for sharing.

13 Gary

are there any videos of this event?

14 ShoeMoney

They are pretty Nazi about not allowing cameras. They also get a lot of celebs and musicians to perform for free with the promise it wont be recorded or ever sold so if you do find it i doubt its very good quality.

15 Jonathan Volk

Do you have Berk:a or Berk:b stocks? :D

I want to get some B’s cause 100k+ per stock is a bit out of my range unless I want to get just 1 share. Lol

16 ShoeMoney

we have both but rather not say amounts ;)

17 Chris D.

A friend of mine who works at TMZ was able to obtain a cell phone video of about 3 minutes of the speech, but as you predicted, it’s horrible quality.

18 Website Reveiws

I love that line about “The country is run by idots but we are still an economic superpower” Awsome!

The sad part about that comment, we elect idiots!

19 ShoeMoney

Its so true… I still cant believe we even have a democratic party! Thank god for bush

20 Paul

$130,000 a share I can’t believe it. i can’t believe you own some shares Shoe.

21 Gary

re: “thank god for Bush”

I thought you didn’t believe in god :)

hey, on a somewhat related note, shoemoney, have you ever seen the documentary: The Money Masters?

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-515319560256183936

If so, what are your thoughts on this?

22 Carl

You crack me up sometimes Shoe. Why does a guy who doesn’t care about spelling and grammer and owns an undisclosed amount of BRK.A shares do paid postings for a grammer and spell checker on his blog? ;) If it was April 1st it would all make sense… lol.

23 Terry Tay

THe corn for ethanol is one crazy idea because the amount of fuel and energy it takes to produce will nullify any potential environmental benefits. Plus, when you are taking corn out of the food supply, the cost of corn and corn products, plus all the other crops that growing more corn takes away from, will cause the prices of food to rise.

With the dollar…In reality the US dollar is worth about 3 or 4 cents based on the fact the Federal Reserve prints money out of thin air. There are more US greenbacks in circulation than there should be. 1913 was a bad day for America when they allowed a small group of private bankers to take control of the country’s money. Most people think the word “Federal” in The Federal Reserve means it is controled by the US Government. Nope…not at all.
~Terry

24 Terry Tay

I think both parties have it made. They both seem to get what they want all the time and they just blame eachother for all the bad stuff. They have Americans acting like Democrats and Republicans instead of like Americans.
~Terry

25 Hustle Strategy

or 4,333.50… he has both which is cool. they seem to be golden.

26 Hustle Strategy

was there any indication he would step down anytime soon? i am sure the stock will drop when it happens and it would be cool to get in then.

27 Robert

Shoe, Josh Whitford got a response to a postcard sent to Mr. Buffet. There’s much Warren love floating around the last couple of months. I’m interested in what your elevator speech for Shoemoney Media Group. Glamous, silly, official or funny?

28 Brent

Awesome. I wouldn’t mind catching the Oracle of Omaha in person. Watching the Billionaire Next Door on CNBC right now.

29 Chetan

Warren Buffett is really an inspiring person!

30 MoneyBites

This doesn’t only attest to your wealth Shoe, but also is a great opportunity. I would feel so honored to be able to go, but hearing you talk about it I guess is the next best thing.

31 MoneyBites

Do you have a ton of money to throw up per share. Those Berk shares are EXPENSIVE!

32 Dave

The whole ethanol thing is the biggest scam going right now and we can thank al gore for that. Global warming might be a bigger sham, but they are kind of related. global warming my rear, the global tempature has been going down the past 7 years..not up.

33 ShoeMoney

I wouldnt… I have seen him a lot around town and at restaurant and have never talked to him…. why would I bother him?

34 ShoeMoney

you now get the joke.

35 ShoeMoney

Keep thinking about it… maybe it will all make sense eventually.

36 E

Interesting…except I feel the need to answer Warren Buffet’s quip about us being run by “idiots” yet still and economic superpower… lets not forget, that happened with 400 years of free slave labor and the raping and pillaging of Native American land. Hate to be a downer, but it is true. Now, the “idiots” are looking for a way to keep everything going without the free labor (minus migrant workers) and now that our land is almost “dry.”

37 emoney

Warren Buffett has always been the pimp of the world.

38 nate

Damn I was hoping to find a video or audio feed or this somewhere but it doesn’t look like thats gonna happen

39 purposeinc

I couldn’t agree with those points more.

If we as a people don’t put wind, solar, tidal etc. energy at the forefront of our civilization now, then we will be in deep yogurt in not too many years down the road.

dk

40 Mikael

He also stated how amazing our country is that it can be run by complete idiots and yet still be an economic super power.

That is a good point. But the question still remains: How ?

41 Prosperity Writer

i have read all of his annual reports. i complied and printed them from the berkshire hathaway website. its actually better than the investment books i bought

42 Luisana

Lucky you! Warren Buffet is such a smart man, he should run this country.

43 Conspicuous

It was definitely an amazing day. This was my second year and I hope to go to many more.

One of the last people to ask a question before the lunch break was Timothy Ferris, author of the 4-Hour Work Week. He asked a question from the mic I was sitting next to and we chatted in the hall during the break. Seemed like a cool dude.

One correction, Shoe: It was Charlie Munger that said burning corn for fuel was the dumbest idea he’s ever heard.

Since you’ve got the hook up on good seats, we’ll have to carpool together next year!

44 Tamish Mehra

So which celebs do you got see ?

45 Tamish Mehra

I am an agnostic too .

46 Dave

Saying you’re agnostic is just saying you’re too lazy (or don’t care) to think about the purpose of life. I think it’s a copout..believe in something or become an atheiest. I don’t know why people need to hear the voice of God to believe in a god, when they hear Al gore and believe in global warming. Agnostics don’t just throw up their hands because they ‘don’t know’ in other areas of thier life., so why this one?

47 SystemsThinker

It’s a real testament to Warren Buffett that I am usually put to sleep by talk of economics and investing, but can listen to him talk all day. He is so full of wisdom that seems like common sense but for some reason isn’t. I also agree with everything he said that you listed here. Wouldn’t mind attending one of those meetings someday to hear him speak.

48 Web Marketeer

Can’t agree with you more, the price of fuel however is so high that it makes more sense to grow genetically modified corn that is roundup resistant and toxic to humans and livestock. It’s hardly food they’re turning into fuel, but the land that should’ve been used for food production is being used for more profitable fuel production. This is leading to the end of state subsidized overproduction and more realistic prices for food.

49 Web Marketeer

Government is meant to be the servant of the people. This principle generally is applied in reverse though. The sad thing is that politicians are heavily funded by parties that expect a ROI if the candidate / party is victorious. A true champion of the people stands no chance…

50 Web Marketeer

Exactly! We’re at the end of a warm interglacial cycle, and the world is going to get colder, not hotter!

51 TEGS

Hey Dave-

Saying your “agnostic” doesn’t mean your “lazy” it just means you don’t subscribe to the “magical tales” told by major religions. eg. I don’t believe katrina was punishment by God for homosexuals buggering each other.

It also doesn’t mean you don’t believe in God, it just means you know your not capable of understanding god and you don’t think the other “major religions” have it right either.

Thats what it means to me anyway

52 Dave

99% of agnostics that I’ve met don’t even know the basic tenants of the major religions. So if you don’t know what a religion is about, then how can you have an educated opinion about it? They just denounce religion as a fairy tale because they don’t like organized religions/churches. Forming an opinion about something because you are uninformed is the problem, not the fact that you don’t care for a certain religion. And in my experience, most agnostics I’ve talked to don’t even know the basics about a given religion. So that makes them ignorant in my book because they don’t like something they know nothing about.l

53 TEGS

Sorry Dave,

I never want to make someone feel bad or that they have to be defensive of their beliefs. I just think everyone should respect other peoples rights to believe what they want without using words like “lazy” or “ignorant”.

One thing I’ve found true is

“People who want to tell you about their faith rarely want to hear what you believe”

I actually thought it was kinda wierd that the agnostic thing was brought up in the first place. Is Berkshire Hathaway an agnostic group?

54 Berkshire isn't a religious thing

A dude got up and wanted to know if Warren Buffet had a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ and knew him as his lord and savior.” Buffet said he was agnostic and Munger said he didn’t want to talk about religion.

Last year somebody got up and tried to take issue with Buffet for donating his personal money to Planned Parenthood. Buffet told the guy he believe in what they were doing and got a round of applause.

Dave- I’d have to say I’m agnostic too. It’s not a rejection of religion or a mockery of those who have faith. I’d admire those that truly have it. If I met god today I’d be happy to tell him that the flaw of his plan was that he gave me a scientific mind that requires empirical evidence. That’s how I’m wired.

You’re not going to change me and I’m not going to change you, so let’s move along people.

55 Debo Hobo

Good point Dave “Agnostic is a lazy man’s way of saying-I don’t care to think about that part of life” but I also believe to each there own and believe whatever you wish to believe.

Shoe-It is a really cool thing to be able to sit before your mentor and glean valuable truths and ideas and a belief system. It seems like you were in a church like state of mind and your idol of worship is Warren Buffet. Hmmmm…..?

56 TEGS

I couldn’t disagree more with the “lazy” part. It would be much easier to follow suit with everyone else in your family / community. just following the crowd and believing that what your taught as a child is correct.
What happens to everyone else on the planet who doesn’t believe what you do?
Do they all go to hell?

57 Dave

There’s a difference between ‘following suit’ and belief in your religion. ‘following suit’ is also lazy. As far as what happens, don’t you know the answer to that already? What major religion doesnt have consequences for people that don’t believe?

58 Moldova

I would also like to go to such great events. Sitting next to Bill Gates is awesome!

59 George

Thanks for the report on the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. I added it to my Ultimate 2008 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting Guide.

60 David Taylor

Gold I have been preaching to anyone I have met since 2000 to buy gold.It is now getting close to $1000/oz. Why? market cycles—Gold has a 30 year cycle life, the last top was 1984. I expect gold to hit $3550/oz

61 4wheelparts

I only like technology, are not interested in investing.

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