Here’s some of what Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger had to say at the annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting that caught my eye this past weekend.
The majority of our businesses will report lower earnings this year than last yearWarren Buffett
This one’s pretty straightforward and speaks to the earnings recession that has been predicted for some time.
The fact that a massive and massively diversified conglomerate like Berkshire Hathaway will suffer lower earnings for the foreseeable future means that the rest of the US economy will suffer the same fate.
If you’re investing in 2023 like I am, be careful how you go about it.
One of the inane things that’s taught in modern university education is that a vast diversification is absolutely mandatory in investing in common stocks … That is an insane ideaCharlie Munger
Charlie’s straight talking is what I’m most impressed with. He really does not give a cr*p if he insults you or not, but at least you get the truth.
For me, this quote speaks to the choices you have as an investor:
- Buy a low-cost S&P 500 index tracker, or
- Invest in a portfolio of 10-15 common stocks that are conservatively financed and represent an adequate margin of safety at purchase.
What gives you opportunities is other people doing dumb thingsWarren Buffett
Recent examples include Kanye West’s antisemetic ranting (he’s a special kind of pleb) leading to a collapse in the Adidas share price, government-enforced worldwide lockdowns leading to a collapse in the price of oil, and Mark Zuckerberg basing the future of Meta on an unproven technology which also drove a collapse in its share price.
See a pattern here?
The best publicly listed business in the world
It (Apple) just happens to be a better business than any we ownWarren Buffett
I own some Apple and so does a sizeable chunk of the investing public, either through their pensions or if they simply track the S&P 500, such is its size.
My logic when investing in Apple:— D J Thomas (@djthomas) May 6, 2023
“It’s 40% of Berkshire’s portfolio”
There’s no doubt that right now, at this time, Apple is the most recognisable brand in the world and happens to manufacture the world’s most iconic item – the iPhone.
Apple’s recent foray into banking in collaboration with Goldman Sachs is a great example of how a business with a crocodile-infested moat can take advantage of its dominance by entering into new markets with ease. AAPL is a keeper.
QE is over. Hello QT
During the last six months or so, the incredible period for the US economy has been coming to an endWarren Buffett
Buffett was referring to the massive amounts of government spending and quantitative easing that ensued as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Which lead to some dumb things.
Such as a lot of Berkshire’s businesses overspending.
Some of them had too much inventory on order, and then all of a sudden it got delivered, and people weren’t in the same frame of mind as earlier. Now we will start having sales when we didn’t need to have sales before.
More sales to get rid of stock means lower earnings going forward until that inventory has been worked through.
All whilst rates continue going higher.
The thing I’ve learned through multiple market and economic cycles is that people will ALWAYS do dumb things which leads to some excellent investment opportunities.
In the past, I’ve been reluctant to take them either through fear or through trying to catch the bottom.
Developing a behavioural finance practice has made a huge improvement in my ability to execute on an investment.
Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, didn’t talk much about behavioural finance and a calibrated mindset, but they sure lead the way when it comes to knowing how to find investment opportunities, managing a portfolio, and the best types of businesses to own.