The Buffett


  • Warren Buffett Quotes

    1. Industries

    2. Do you invest based on trends or sectors?
    3. What do you think about the utility industry?
    4. What do you think of utilities?
    5. In the domestic soft drink model, is it winner take all, or is there room for three competitors?
    6. What do you think of the airline industry?
    7. What do you think of the banking business model?
    8. You’ve recently invested in Goldman Sachs and GE. Is the financial sector a good buy right now?
    9. Opinion on the gambling industry?
    10. Opinion on the healthcare industry and its costs?
    11. Berkshire has invested in several insurance companies, would you go into the health insurance business?
    12. Have you ever considered concrete as an understandable business for investment purposes?
    13. What do you think of the telecoms industry?
    14. Your opinion on the auto industry?
    15. What's your view of the newspaper industry? versus other media?
    16. What are your views on the railroad industry?
    17. When do you expect to see a return on investment in wind farms and other alternative energy sources?
    18. What industry will be the next growth driver in the 21st century and what do you see that supports that?

      Specific Businesses

    1. What was your thinking behind the purchase of Berkshire Hathaway?
    2. What is your analysis of Coca-Cola?
    3. Is it really a good idea to buy stocks in unhealthy products? e.g. Coca-Cola
    4. How do you distinguish the Cokes of the world from the Proctor & Gambles of this world?
    5. Opinion on Coke and Gillette? (2002)
    6. Coke and Gillette are off something like 30% from their highs. Do you still consider them exciting businesses?
    7. What did you think of the Calpers/ISS proposal that you should not be on Coke’s audit committee?
    8. Does McDonald's have the ability to dominate like a Coca-Cola or a Gillette?
    9. Would you buy McDonald’s and go away for twenty years?
    10. Could you comment on more on McDonald' does it stack up on the inevitables?
    11. Opinion of Procter & Gamble?
    12. Reasoning behind the PetroChina investment?
    13. Reasoning behind the National Indemnity investment?
    14. Reasoning behind the HomeServices investment?
    15. Reasoning behind the Geico investment?
    16. Reasoning behind the Iscar acquisition?
    17. Update on NetJets?
    18. What was the thinking behind the McLane purchase?
    19. How did the Clayton Homes purchase come about?
    20. Thinking behind the investment in Anheuser-Busch?
    21. Could you talk us through your thinking of the acquisition of Larson-Juhl?
    22. BYD [Buffett’s recent Chinese investment] seems like a speculative or venture capital investment, instead of a “value” investment. Could Buffett explain?
    23. Why did you invest in Harley-Davidson?
    24. Opinion of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? (2001)
    25. Opinion on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Other Highly Leveraged Financial Institutions? (2003)
    26. How did you decide to invest in Salomon?
    27. Is it true that Salomon almost caused a global financial crisis?
    28. You were rumored to be one of the rescue buyers of Long Term Capital, what was the play there, what did you see?
    29. I cannot buy See’s Candies in Bonn Germany. See’s Candies vs. Lindt. Sees’ has a 20% profit margin; their growth is okay. Lindt does 14%, but is now global. Which is better, high profits with low growth, or high growth with lower profits?
    30. Could you give a post-mortem on the Gen Re acquisition?
    31. General Electric and Goldman Sachs: GE has a history of trying to manage earnings. Do you regard GE and Goldman as attractive businesses or attractive securities?
    32. Swiss Re - I'd like to know about its float and risks. How can you be comfortable with the situation?
    33. Goldman Sachs - Every year you use clip from Solomon Crisis where you warned Solomon’s employees that you will be ruthless if reputation if the firm stained. Clearly GS has lost reputation. What is your reaction to the lawsuit, its affect on your GS investment, and what advice you have now for GS based on your experience at Solomon?
    34. On Goldman, if Lloyd Blankfein had to leave, who would you like to see run GS, were you made aware of the Wells notice, was it material, and would you have disclosed it? Have you been contacted regarding Galleon investigation?
    35. BNSF deal. You have discussed the certainty of allowable returns in the industry. How are these calculated?
    36. Moody’s had potential conflicts of interest. Why do you retain Moody’s in Berkshire’s portfolio? Why didn’t you use your influence to address Moody’s perceived problems?
    37. The tobacco industry has been under fire recently for its unhealthy products. Does this potential exist for Berkshire Hathaway holdings of Coca Cola, Dairy Queen and See's Candies? Is there a potential risk of loss of intrinsic value of these companies due to the current health concerns?
    38. Wells Fargo was a good deal at $9 per share, but AIG, the Irish banks, Fannie Mae, and Washington Mutual got there, and weren’t. How do you know the difference?
    39. Wells Fargo reportedly wanted to decline TARP funds, and its Chairman, Dick Kovacevich, referred to the TARP as an “asinine” government program. Do you agree with the Wells’ chairman, Charlie? And Warren, do you agree with Charlie?
    40. What are the economic characteristics that make Kraft a good business?
    41. Kraft, how would you grade Kraft board and compensation. CEO’s $23m?
    42. Could you give some specific numbers that relate to Coca Cola, Executive Jet, and some of the other acquisitions?
    43. Can you quantify the return on advertising spending at GEICO?
    44. To what extent should preferred shareholders and debt holders of GM and Chrysler should be exposed to losses in the restructurings of those companies?
    45. What is your opinion of the prospects for the Kmart/Sears merger? How will Eddie Lambert do at bringing Kmart and Sears together?


    1. What explains the extraordinary success of Berkshire Hathaway?
    2. Over the years, what has Berkshire Hathaway come to mean to you?
    3. What is the intrinsic value of Berkshire? Can you use book value as a guide to company valuations?
    4. How do you manage Berkshire Hathaway?
    5. What do you tell your managers at Berkshire?
    6. What is your fondest hope for Berkshire?
    7. What can go wrong at Berkshire?
    8. What is Berkshire's cost of capital?
    9. You've targeted Berkshire Hathaway's book-value growth at 15%. You have come through at about 24%. That is a big gap of 9% between your modesty and the outcome. Why is there such a big gap?
    10. Why don't more people copy Berkshire as an investment vehicle--a corporation that pays no dividend?
    11. What would Berkshire be like if you hadn't met Charlie Munger?
    12. What happens when CEOs call you?
    13. How to evaluate Berkshire or MSFT if it does not pay dividends?
    14. Reporting on Berkshire?
    15. Why don't you meet with analysts or large shareholders?
    16. Why did BRK buy so many debt instruments during the crisis period as opposed to equity?
    17. In the Annual Reports, look-through earnings, and unaudited financials, are no longer included. Why has it changed?
    18. Berkshire has best and most loyal investors. How do you attract and retain a shareholder base
    19. What is the current acquisition appetite and outlook? Has the phone been ringing?
    20. There are a lot of questions you do not get asked. So, what questions would you ask yourselves regarding BRK’s financials?
    21. What would BRK’s exposure be in another global financial meltdown?
    22. What economic laws have worked best for Berkshire?
    23. What’s the cheapest form of financing for Berkshire Hathaway? Would it make sense to issue bonds right now?
    24. Do you have an opinion on whether BRK should or shouldn't be included in the S&500? (1999)
    25. How much has Berkshire Hathaway done in the way of philanthropy?
    26. Can you tell us what are your goals and expectations for the value of Berkshire Hathaway’’s float?
    27. Why has Berkshire Hathaway avoided the life insurance business? And also, can you explain why there are discounts on A or B shares from time to time?
    28. How does Berkshire compensate its managers?
    29. Do Berkshire's Manager's Enjoy Coming to the Annual Meeting?
    30. Your successor at Berkshire?
    31. Succession at Berkshire?
    32. How did you select the four investment professionals who could succeed you in the CIO [Chief Investment Officer] position?
    33. How did the four CIO candidates perform last year, did they use leverage? (2010)
    34. How did the four investment managers waiting “in the wings” to eventually replace you perform in 2008? How would you rate these managers? Are all four still on the list?
    35. Why are you reluctant to bring in your [CEO] successor now? Why not train him now?
    36. Does Berkshire have a succession plan for Ajit Jain (the head of Berkshire’s insurance operations)?
    37. Your opinion of Google's emulation of Berkshire's Owner's Manual?
    38. What questions do the BRK audit committee ask the auditors?
    39. Berkshire's board and corporate governance?
    40. Given you [Buffett and Munger] are Berkshire’s sustainable competitive advantage, would you invest in Berkshire now?
    41. What is the impact of Berkshire losing its AAA rating? What will it take to restore it?
    42. Do you have a target rate of growth for Berkshire, given its size? Greater than 20% seems unlikely.
    43. Could you comment on union and other contracts at Berkshire subsidiaries?
    44. What is the worst-case scenario for Berkshire's insurance business?
    45. Could Buffett share his attitude toward layoffs and job security at Berkshire subsidiaries?
    46. What's the interview process for Berkshire managers?
    47. You are giving a lot of BRK stock to the Gates Foundation each year and they are selling. Won’t the foundation selling create downward pressure on the stock?
    48. Managers are allowed to operate without interference with Omaha. What would happen if BRK found illegal activity? Would they intervene?
    49. How is BRK ok with models used by its insurance companies after the widespread failure of models during the financial crisis? Are they different and/or safer than the ones that failed Wall Street?
    50. Please discuss some of the synergies among BRK companies and whether or not you encourage companies to do business with one another. e.g. At my local Dairy Queen, they don’ t accept Amex, and they still sell Pepsi.
    51. If one day I apply as manager to Berkshire company, what should I work on now, and what should I do to become your successor?
    52. You stated your policy about retaining earnings in the 1984 annual letter. Would a distribution be warranted based on 2005-2009 stock performance?
    53. Can you comment on Berkshire's holdings? (2005)
    54. Why don't you split the stock?
    55. Berkshire has bought a lot of shares in the last twelve months of listed companies (2008). Do you expect returns to be between 7-10% over many years? Well below your achievements in the past.
    56. How do U.S. government guarantees hurt Berkshire competitively?
    57. Why shouldn't shareholders sell their Berkshire shares and buy what you're buying?
    58. What safeguards are in place against breaking up Berkshire?
    59. How do you stop Berkshire subsidiaries hording capital?
    60. What do you see as the net effect of government interventions on Berkshire’s business? Will there be new rules of the game?
    61. Does Berkshire hedge its currency exposure?
    62. What is your level of involvement when the company has an ethical dilemma? For example, Fruit of the Loom’s competitors have sweatshops.
    63. Can you comment on the protests by Salmon Fisherman of PacifiCorp’s Dams on the Klamath River?

      The Market

    1. Views on the market and where it's going?
    2. Opinion of forecasts?
    3. Comment on the 1998 market?
    4. Do you think the current rally is for real? (Nov 2009)
    5. What do you think of the current market? (2000)
    6. Mr. Market is valuing Dow Jones at about 7000, and the S&P at about than 800. What is a fair valuation? (1997)
    7. The S&P 500 has a return on equity of 22%, compared with a 12-13% average for corporate America over the past decade. How did we get to this point of extraordinary profitability? (1997)
    8. Back in the Sixties, you disbanded the Buffett Partnership when you perceived the market to be overvalued. If you had only 100 partners in Berkshire Hathaway, would you disband it? (1999)


    1. What are the first things you look for in a management team?
    2. What are three traits of successful managers?
    3. What do you look for when you hire someone? What specific qualities do you seek?
    4. Machiavelli said that a man could be feared and loved. But one might want to be more feared than loved. Do you agree with this? Has there ever been a situation where you had to be more feared than loved?
    5. It has been well documented that you don’t manage your managers. Do you possess a strong intuition about people or do you have a process when you evaluate the management of companies that you are looking to purchase?
    6. If two people had the same knowledge base but one had two-years experience and one had ten-years experience, which one would do a better job?
    7. Any advice for spotting crooked managements?
    8. What qualities in managers set them apart as great leaders, in essence, where do you find the right balance between "hard" and "soft" skills?
    9. Should managers learn about investing?
    10. Your thoughts on management compensation? Management compensation in a cyclical industry?
    11. How important are managers?
    12. I am bad at hiring good managers. How do you assess a person’s capabilities?
    13. You take great pride in keeping your schedule wide open. Do you believe that corporate America is overscheduled and overstretched?
    14. Has the financial and economic crisis changed the integrity of management?


    1. I have worked in various technologies businesses, but I understand that you do not typically invest in the technology sector. Why is that? How do you view technology as an individual and as an investor?
    2. With speculation in the high tech area, what are your views on a crash? (2000)
    3. Are you worried about technology affecting investing?
    4. Because of the Internet, certain stocks will show great revenue and income growth like AT&T and Nokia. Would you consider investing in the telecommunications industry this way? (1999)
    5. Can you comment on how technological advances affect us financially?
    6. Why don't you use Bill Gates to invest in tech stocks?
    7. Won’t Microsoft be doing software development ten years from now, just like Coke will be selling soda? Doesn’t that make it a candidate for investment?

      Investing Approach

    1. What is your investment process?
    2. Have you ever bought a company where the numbers told you not to? How much is quantitative and how much is qualitative?
    3. What is it that really piques your interest in a stock? What tells you that it could be interesting?
    4. What's your acquisition criteria? What has made you successful in this area where most others have failed?
    5. What's your acquisition strategy? How do you get deals?
    6. Deal flow?
    7. What sources of investment ideas are available today?
    8. Do you have any investing tips?
    9. How do you build your investment knowledge?
    10. Is there an organizational model that allows you to deal with all the information?
    11. Do you have advice for the individual investor to help them narrow the stock universe?
    12. What advice would you give to new investors?
    13. Advice for getting into investing?
    14. Where is a good place for new investors to invest right now?
    15. What advice would you give to non-professional investors?
    16. Are investors more or less knowledgeable today compared to ten years ago?
    17. How to approach index funds?
    18. If you were today 20-something years old would you primarily be searching for: a) Situations reminiscent of 1957 – akin to Daehan Flour Mills, or b) Situations reminiscent of 1987 – akin to Moody’s Corporation?
    19. What's your opinion of cigar butts vs quality businesses?
    20. If you were starting out again today, what would you do the same or differently?
    21. First, would you say 'I could make you 50% a year on $1 million' again today? Second, what else would you do differently?
    22. Do you believe that we'll have significant mispricings again? And if you were 26 today how would you generate the 50% returns that you said you might do with smaller amounts of capital?
    23. Where Can I Find 50% Returns?
    24. Could you describe the capital allocation process you follow? How do you determine the charges for capital to your different managers?
    25. What filters do you use when looking at companies?
    26. How would you recommend an individual investor who follows the Graham and Dodd philosophy to allocate their capital today?
    27. What impacts have Graham/Dodd and Phil Fisher had on your investment philosophy? What percentage of your investment philosophy would you attribute to each of them?
    28. Since Ben Graham isn't around anymore, what money managers do you respect today? Is there a Ben Graham today?
    29. If you were to teach an investment course, besides works by Ben Graham and Phil Fisher and your book on the instalment basis, what would be on the syllabus
    30. What's the temperament of successful investors?
    31. Do you agree with Philip Fisher's two reasons to sell?
    32. What tells you when an investment has reached its full potential?
    33. Could you explain more about the circle of competence?
    34. What two industries are the first you should learn when developing your circle of competence?
    35. Is there a moral connection to who you invest in?
    36. Who do you think will be one of the next greatest investors and are you partial to favoring someone with a similar investment style as yours?
    37. What do you think of discounted cash flow (DCF) models?
    38. Could you explain your opportunity cost decisions of the past year?
    39. What are your views on diversification?
    40. Would you consider spinning off some companies to realize value?
    41. Why would you hold stocks forever, if the fundamentals change permanently? (Buy and hold)
    42. Why do you think more people don't follow your advice?
    43. Why do you think that despite making your methods publicly available, that relatively few people have been able to emulate your success?
    44. What have been your best investments ever?
    45. Could you give us your definition of stock market risk?
    46. How much and how does risk factor into your investment decisions? Would you invest in emerging markets?
    47. What do you think of setting an asset allocation?
    48. How often do you review each position in your portfolio?
    49. What are your expectations for future returns on stocks?
    50. Do you expect the stock market premium to continue to be 6.5% over bonds?
    51. You have espoused a constant ROE on the stock market of about 13%, over time. Do you think that such an expectation is reasonable if you factor into equity and ROE the effect of stock options granted to managements? When option programs are present in a company, what do you think is a realistic way of valuing them on a cash basis?
    52. Do you think investors expect too much?
    53. What's your investment hurdle rate?
    54. Do you prefer public or private investments?
    55. Investors eventually repeat their mistakes. How can you prevent this--through fast growth or safety?
    56. Why do large caps outperform small caps?
    57. What is the definition of Value vs. Growth stocks?
    58. From the partnership letters in 1964, you had a strategy called ‘generals relatively undervalued.’ We have recently begun to implement a technique where we buy something at 12x, when comps sell at 20x. Comps go to 10x. Is this pair trading?
    59. Importance of filtering out the noise?
    60. What is the benefit of being an out-of-towner as opposed to being on Wall Street?
    61. There is always mention that some of your success could be attributed to not buying in to the Wall Street mania b/c you are in Omaha—what importance do you give to balance as it pertains to work and life and what do you do to maintain your appropriate balance?
    62. There are a record number of ‘value’ investors here this year. Are there fewer $100 bills? Should I go to run a business instead of being a value fund manager?
    63. Do you ever change your investing standards?
    64. Have there been instances in your career where you have been tempted to deviate from your strategy and if so, how did you handle that?
    65. When did you know you were rich?
    66. How important is conviction in investing?
    67. How do you avoid misjudgment?
    68. How do you improve independent thinking?
    69. What are the key traits needed to correct the crowd mentality?
    70. Don't you have a lot of competition to buy great businesses? For example, from private equity funds?
    71. How do you learn who to trust and who not to trust?
    72. What's your philosophy on partnering with others?
    73. We know that you are a big bridge player. Do you think that bridge correlates to investing? Are there any traits or characteristics that might carry over from one to the other?


    1. How do you think about value?
    2. How do you calculate intrinsic value?
    3. What do you believe to be the most important tools in determining intrinsic value? What rules or standards do you apply when using these tools?
    4. Could you comment on the matter of intrinsic value as it applies to some of the Inevitables?
    5. When you estimate intrinsic value in capital intensive companies like McDonald's and Walgreens where a very healthy and growing operating cash flow is largely offset by expenditures for new stores, restaurants, etc how do you estimate future free cash flow? And at what rate do you discount those cash flows?
    6. Is the skill of judging risk just as important as calculating intrinsic value?
    7. What valuation metrics do you use?
    8. What do you think of the use of book values in making investment decisions?
    9. If you can’t talk with management, and can’t read the annual report, and didn’t know the price, but could only look at the financial statements, what metric would you look at?
    10. How do you think about growth rates when you value businesses?

      How to Think About Businesses

    1. What's your philosophy in buying businesses?
    2. What is the ideal business?
    3. What makes a great business?
    4. When you are looking at a business in which to invest, what are your priorities?
    5. What makes a company something that you like?
    6. What types of businesses have the highest ROIC?
    7. What businesses should we avoid?
    8. What have been your business mistakes?
    9. How do you determine what is the proper price to pay for the business?
    10. What do you do if business changes are recognized?
    11. Do you know of any examples of companies that have lost and regained their competitive advantage?
    12. Impact of regulation on businesses?
    13. Would you comment on the quality of earnings in capital-intensive businesses, like utilities?
    14. Please talk about the shift to investing in capital intensive businesses and the ultimate impact on intrinsic value. Help us understand the time value of the necessary capital expenditures.
    15. How do you place a value on intangible assets? What are the signs of great “moats” around a business and great managements? Do you place a dollar value on this? What discount rates do you use?
    16. Not too long ago, a reasonable person might have concluded that Kellogg and Campbell Soup had big moats around their businesses, but that has proven not to be the case and their stocks have languished. What might we learn from this?
    17. What's your opinion of downsizing and outsourcing?
    18. Can you comment on the impact of rising commodity prices on margins?
    19. Could you explain a little more about the mind of the consumer and the nature of the product? And explain how you actually apply these concepts to find the companies with the best potential?
    20. What do you think the best quality is in a business or a person?
    21. How do you grow a small business into a big business?
    22. How do you build the culture of a new organization or change that of an existing one?

      Alternatives to Common Stock

    1. Your opinion on derivatives? (2003)
    2. What are your views on derivatives and how do you think they have affected the global market?
    3. What's your opinion of stock options?
    4. Would you use stock options to enter a position in a public company?
    5. What's your opinion of gold as an investment?
    6. When would you exchange shares for gold?
    7. What is your opinion on exchange-traded funds and how to do you accurately judge them?
    8. Muni bond defaults you described in 2008 -- they haven’t materialized. Should investors worry about getting higher returns?
    9. Experience with junk bonds?
    10. There are discounts in the fixed income market. Will you take advantage?
    11. Can you give us your insights on the oil and silver markets?
    12. Investing in ethanol?
    13. Any comments on commodities?
    14. What are the future trends in coal? Does the cost advantage outweigh the environmental impact?
    15. Could you comment on your currency position?
    16. Do you hedge and what are your thoughts on the U.S. dollar?
    17. What are your views on the dollar?
    18. Early on in you career you bought some land and then rented this out to some local farmers? Why didn’t you pursue this type of investment in real estate?

      Accounting, Corporate Finance, & Investing

    1. What adjustments to reported earnings do you make?
    2. Recommendation of a book on accounting?
    3. What can be done to improve the accuracy of financial statements of financial institutions? What can be done to improve the integrity of financial statements?
    4. Would you comment on companies you say use questionable accounting practices to make their operations look good?
    5. What does it mean to own stock in a company?
    6. Where can you buy stock with the cheapest commissions?
    7. How do you know when you are going to lose money and when you aren't? Since the stock market changes every minute.
    8. What's the role of the board of directors?
    9. Your thoughts on EBITDA?
    10. Opinion on share buybacks? and dividends?
    11. Why do you not believe in dividends when Benjamin Graham believed in them?
    12. Your thoughts on inflation?
    13. Do you see deflation as a threat to our investments?
    14. What's your opinion of Enron and creative accounting?
    15. What's your opinion of day trading?
    16. What's your opinion on asbestos liability?
    17. What are your thoughts on short selling?
    18. Opinion on IPOs?
    19. Are corporate jets a waste of shareholders’ money?
    20. Can you forecast the continuing debate between Efficient Market Theory (EMT) proponents and value investors? Are your designated successors “outliers” as well?
    21. How did you get to be so rich?
    22. What is your unified principle?
    23. Thoughts on banks willingness to deal with shady characters?
    24. Risk of holding assets at banks or brokerage houses?
    25. Any comments on the behaviour of accountants in tax avoidance schemes?
    26. Does protection of the banking system warrant the lack of public disclosure in Bank of America’s purchase of Merrill Lynch?
    27. What is the main contribution to the stock market crash of this century?
    28. Are investment banks so complex that the head is not aware of the risks?
    29. What are the risks in the financial system?
    30. What can we learn from past blow-ups?
    31. Do you think the bankruptcy process should be reformed?
    32. Insurance pricing and risk?
    33. How do you manage insurance risk?
    34. Can you comment on the consolidation taking place internationally in the insurance industry?
    35. How do you price super cat insurance policies?
    36. Could you comment on fraud in the insurance industry?
    37. Opinion on the likely housing bubble? (2005)
    38. How do you feel about the current real estate environment?
    39. Your views on the securitization of real estate?
    40. Where do you see the residential real estate market going in the next year or two?
    41. Can you comment on the subprime market?

      Foreign Investments

    1. What's your opinion on investing in foreign stocks?
    2. What are your requirements for investments outside the U.S.?
    3. When looking at other countries Mr. Buffett, do you look at the country’s overall financial status or do you look at the financials of that specific company in a foreign country? You mentioned investing in Korean companies – do you ever look at the state of the country you are investing in?
    4. 1/8th of world is in India. Why aren’t you investing in India?
    5. How large is the universe of companies whose intrinsic value you know? Why invest in South Korea or China?
    6. Investing in Brazil?
    7. Investing in Russia?
    8. Investing in Africa?
    9. May I ask you your reasons for coming to Germany?
    10. Are you concerned with the effects of foreign economies and their weak currencies? These have played a role in Coca-Cola’s profitability recently - and Coke is trading at P/E multiple of 75. (1999)
    11. Do you foresee Berkshire buying any businesses in India or China in the near future?
    12. Please talk about Greece, the future of the Euro and fiscal discipline in the world. Greece and other countries are clearly in trouble and BRK has investments in Europe. How is BRK positioned for currency failures? What is your advice to investors regarding the future of the Euro?
    13. What is most important thing you learn from China?
    14. How will Buffett invest in China in the future? What will happen to the purchasing power of China’s large holdings in U.S. Treasuries?
    15. Why is car insurance business not expanding globally? Why not China?
    16. What are your thoughts about Japan?
    17. Does the Japanese economy affect your outlook?

      The Investment Industry

    1. Is the individual investor even capable of assessing the riskiness of securities given the large number of institutions/hedge funds in the market?
    2. What do you think about all the money flowing into private equity and hedge funds? And do you see the future of buying businesses changing based o­n the considerable increase in private equity activity?
    3. What do you think about how most money is managed?
    4. Advice for finding good investment advisors?
    5. Comments on the mutual fund scandal? (2004)
    6. Why don't you start a mutual fund?
    7. Opinion of money management as a job to aspire to?
    8. What's your opinion of the wider money management industry?
    9. What effect does large institutional ownership have on stock price volatility?


    1. What is your opinion of the importance of technology in business education today?
    2. Could you comment on the state of financial literacy? Is there anything that could be added to educational curricula to improve it? What should future generations know?
    3. What can be done to educate children of financial management, and prevent future financial mayhem?
    4. Do you think an MBA is an important degree for students to have today?
    5. What do you remember about your education at the University of Nebraska?
    6. You began you university education at another institution, what are you thoughts on the education you received at the University of Nebraska?
    7. What's the one thing that your MBA didn't prepare you for when you got out into the real world?


    1. How would you define your character? And what portion of your character do you believe contributed the most to your success?
    2. After all your accomplishments, what legacy do you want to leave behind?
    3. What led you to develop your values and goals at an early age?
    4. Are you a goal oriented person? When you were in college did you set goals for yourself?
    5. Your goals were financial in college?
    6. Who are your heroes?
    7. What goals do you set for yourself today; do you have goals you still want to accomplish?
    8. How do you spend your day?
    9. What do you read?
    10. How do you define happiness and what about your life makes you most happy?
    11. If you could have lunch with one person you have never met, who would it be and why?
    12. How do you stay so down to earth and humble? Are there specific people or lessons you have learned throughout your life that enable you to maintain this outlook?
    13. What are some of your biggest mistakes or regrets?
    14. How do you think differently today than you did twenty years ago? Where do you expect to see the greatest differences in 2030?
    15. Why are you frugal?
    16. What would you do to live a happier life if you could live over again?
    17. What keeps you up at night?
    18. What do you think were the major qualities that you have that distinguish you from the majority?
    19. What was your reasoning behind your huge contribution to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation?
    20. If you could come back again, would you want to be Warren Buffett?
    21. What's your view of inheritances?
    22. What feedback mechanisms do you have in place
    23. Your friendship with Charlie?
    24. Why don't you charge a percentage management fee to Berkshire, given that you earned 25% of the profits above 6% each year when he ran the Buffett Partnership. Is it because you believes, as you've said before, that "it's better to give them to receive"?
    25. Who are your current role models?
    26. What's the motivation behind giving your fortune away? your philanthropy?
    27. Would you rather have dinner with John Adams or Ben Franklin?
    28. Why do you support Planned Parenthood?
    29. What is the best question you've ever been asked?
    30. Has there been any question that you haven’t been able to get a comfortable answer to that also can’t go in the “too difficult” pile?
    31. How do you maintain your good mental and physical health?
    32. Your comments on Phil Fisher?
    33. What do you think and know about Carlos Slim?
    34. Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
    35. Is it fun inventing something that inspires young kids?
    36. I know you like baseball. My favorite team is the Chicago Cubs. Would you like to buy the Chicago Cubs from Sam Zell? Is it a good investment?
    37. Will you share what or who had the biggest influences on you?
    38. You have said that your assistant pays a higher tax rate than you does and that to be equitable the tax rate should be higher on you than on others. In reality, the bulk of estate will not be taxed due to your charitable donations. How do you change the system so people like you pay more tax?
    39. Could you please share your views on why legislators should not change the inheritance tax law?
    40. Is all your media exposure the best use of your time?


    1. I worked in the paper and packaging business this past summer and really enjoyed my experience. None of my classmates are interested in the paper business and the company I worked for has not had MBA interns in years. Clearly the paper business has its challenges, but do you see this as an opportunity or a roadblock?
    2. What is the value of good leadership skills and ethics in business?
    3. What advice would you give students who are preparing for a business career?
    4. What advice would you give students who are just starting out in a business career?
    5. At the Wesco annual meeting last year, Charlie said, "The best way to get success is to deserve success". Do you recall anything from your experience which best demonstrates how you were able to position yourself to deserve success, and do you have any advice for students on how they can position themselves to deserve success as well?
    6. What advice would you give the average person in the U.S.?
    7. What general advice would you give?
    8. What graduate school would you recommend and whom would you recommend to study with in the area of investments?
    9. What's the best way to prepare for the future?
    10. Importance of maths? Why does math reflect reality?
    11. Are there any up-and-coming role models we should study?
    12. Can you comment on the student visits to Berkshire? and more widely on investment education?
    13. What should I do with my life?
    14. What advice would you give to the quieter, introverted population, in order to raise their visibility and gain the recognition they deserve?
    15. I’m 12 years old. There are a lot of things they don’t teach you in school. What things should I be looking into?
    16. I have four children. Can you give them advice about keeping up with the Joneses?
    17. What exactly does it mean to be financially successful? How can one properly prepare themselves for the economic future?
    18. I started babysitting and I am really happy to get the money and put it in my saving's account but I want a raise. How should I ask?
    19. How can I figure out what to be in life if there are so many choices?
    20. My mom says I should save my money, but I want to buy a video game. What do you think?
    21. I teach at a community college in Florida, teaching students to invest in themselves. Financial independence and freedom. Slow and steady wins the race. Law of reciprocity. Etc, etc, etc. What else should I be doing?
    22. What advice do you give to young entrepreneurs? I am starting a business, and I want it to be successful. Aristotle, when asked definition of wealth, said it is he who spends less than he earns.
    23. What's a good thing to buy and than sell for a profit? For example candy or something in that nature?
    24. I want to start my own business, what should I do? A car wash?
    25. What are the best ways for a 10-year-old to earn money?
    26. Partly because of marrying well, I am able to manage the money of my husband and myself full time. I wanted to ask a diversification question. Each of us has a traditional and a Roth IRA. Should the assets in those accounts be separated, or managed as a single entity?
    27. Imagine you are investing with small sums of money at 30 years old, with your first $1 million. Your savings can cover expenses for 18 months. You are not a full-time investor. What advice do you have, please be as specific as possible. What asset classes and what percents?

      The Big Picture

    1. What do you believe are the greatest successes of capitalism?
    2. What do you see as the shortcomings of capitalism?
    3. How should we take care of those who are harmed by the system, like your former textile mill workers?
    4. With the recent changes in the global political economy and surges in terrorist activity, some would argue that uncertainty is increasing for all types of global markets. Where do you think things are heading and how should we deal with this heightened uncertainty?
    5. What kind of impact will the demographic shift (i.e. baby boomers) have on the United States?
    6. Do you believe that the Federal Reserve is fostering moral hazard thereby leading to the misallocation of capital and subsequent asset bubbles? If so, what are the long term risks?
    7. Could you comment on the current rise of sovereign wealth funds from theMiddle East and Asia and how they are playing an increasing role in how corporations raise capital. Is competition from these sources for the cash flows of corporations affecting your investment strategies or opportunities?
    8. It seems that the worldwide trend is towards lower corporate tax rates. Do you think that the US risks becoming less competitive if it maintains its current corporate tax rate?
    9. Do you feel that the might of America has changed?
    10. What are the biggest challenges that this country faces?
    11. What do you think about the U.S. trade deficit?
    12. What level of taxation on capital gains is most conducive to the long-term economic health of this society, and is that also the fair and just rate?
    13. What's your opinion of oil? peak oil?
    14. The current tenuous economic situation and interest rates? Where are we going?
    15. What was the impact of September 11th?
    16. Could you use your clout to advocate for tort reform?
    17. Views on growing income inequality?
    18. Thoughts about the odds of a nuclear attack?
    19. Opinion on immigration?
    20. Opinion on social security?
    21. Opinion on public education?
    22. Views on the U.S. Current Account Deficit?
    23. What do you think the likelihood is of a major credit contraction?
    24. The state of Florida getting into the insurance business?
    25. What's your opinion on global warming? climate change?
    26. What's your opinion on politics, elections, and the political system?
    27. Maybe there should be a Buffett/Munger Presidential ticket. Please name three difficult policy decisions and three perfect solutions to better the country.
    28. Can volunteering help the economy? If so, then why aren't people doing it? I stick to my motto if you see something that needs doing, do it.
    29. Should the U.S., and U.S. companies such as Coca-Cola, withdraw sponsorship of the Beijing Olympics because of humanitarian values?
    30. Why is it that Americans do not save, and what can we do?
    31. What is the future of mass transit?
    32. Is there a chance the CDS [Credit Default Swap] market may eclipse subprime?
    33. How do you envision a nationalized healthcare system, and how it would affect Berkshire’s portfolio?
    34. Would the government’s stimulus spending be better spent acquiring national infrastructure, as during the Great Depression, in order to put people to work?
    35. Will retail, manufacturing and service businesses still be below their 2007 levels three years from now, given how they have been affected by the recession?
    36. What problems do you see in the world economy?
    37. Financial reform, what are the good ideas, and what are the bad ideas?
    38. The leading cause of death among young people is car crashes. BRK insures many of these crashes. New technology is helping give people feedback on their driving. How are GEICO and the Gates Foundation positioned to help save lives and improve this technology?
    39. What is biggest challenge facing the US economy – what are implications of that for investing globally over next decade?
    40. We need hope and jobs. Can you help?
    41. Given that we are not out of the woods yet in terms of the economy and the financial system, how would you assess the current buying opportunity for stocks?
    42. Is there a way to create synergies between BRK companies to promote solar solutions?
    43. Rail business – does our country need high speed passenger rail? Private or public?
    44. What would be impact on portfolio of a Chilean size earthquake in LA or SFO?
    45. How do you hope to tackle administrative costs when it comes to Aids treatment in Africa?

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