Warren Buffett speak to our group/company/association?
Each year Warren writes
his managers and asks them to decline all speech requests without
checking with him. Mr. Buffett does not accept speaking requests from me, either.
do I contact Warren Buffett?
Warren Buffett does
not have an email address. Please note that since he receives
250 - 300 letters per day, unsolicited investment proposals
go unanswered. Correspondence
regarding charitable gift requests also receive NO response and
are best sent to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Any communication to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation mentioning a referral from me is not read.
Why doesn't Warren name a successor?
Warren likes to tease that he plans to retire 5 years after his
death and then conduct regular séances with his board of directors.
Actually he is born to do what he is doing, does it for the smallest
salary [$100,000] of any of the Fortune 500 CEOs, without any
stock options or without ever selling a single share of his stock,
and has the type of job [allocating capital and finding, selecting
and keeping talented managers] that is actually done better with
a few gray hairs.
I have written a separate chapter in The Warren Buffett CEO titled Berkshire Post
Buffett detailing what selection criteria the board of directors
may consider when choosing Warren's successor(s). A possible
but not likely candidate is mentioned, along with the criteria
is the best source of information about Warren Buffett and
his investment and management philosophies?
Best to check his website for all things related to Warren
Buffett. Start by reading his annual letters to shareholders
and make a note to attend the mother of all annual meetings,
the first Saturday in May in the heartland of Capitalism, Omaha,
What happens after Warren
Warren's job will be divided into three. One person, most likely
a Buffett family member and his son Howard, will be named chairman
of the board to maintain the unique family style corporate
culture. Another, most likely someone like Lou Simpson of GEICO,
will be named CEO in charge of capital operations. And another
will be named CEO of operations. This CEO business model is
already successfully in place at GEICO Auto Insurance.
How are the Buffett CEOs
Each is paid a cash salary and additional compensation based
on the profits of their individual business. If the business
manager owned the business before selling to Berkshire, he
or she may continue to own as much as 20 percent of the business
and enjoy an annual earnings distribution. Stock options are
never used as management compensation and the measurement and
focus is on what is going on inside the business, particularly
earnings and changes in book value.
Why did Warren invest in
Q. I am perplexed in Buffett's investment in Level 3 because
it runs contrary to everything he has ever written and said
and there is not predictability to Level 3 in any way. Even
if you ask LVLT CEO James Crowe he will say that he does not
know what his business will look like one year out in the future
and thus there is no visibility. Why would Warren make an investment
in an enterprise where technology changes the business everyday?
I know he likes to bet on CEOs (thanks to your book) but this
business is really tough. If he were to make a technology investment
it would be Microsoft, which certainly has much more visibility.
What are your thoughts?
A. My take on Level 3 is Warren bought a convertible bond
paying an attractive rate of interest that has already doubled
in value. This is the same way he got into many other investments,
e.g. Gillette, US Air. The Buffett CEO in this case is Walter
Scott. Without him I doubt he would have done the deal. If
you remember Walter brought him the MidAmerican deal which
is now one the largest and most profitable divisions of Berkshire.
MidAmerican, in two short years, has revenue of $6 billion
and earnings of $300 million. It is already larger than the
flight services division. Energy, at the right price, may become
the second largest component of BRK. He bought LVLT at the
maximum point of pessimism and at $100 million it only represents
the equivalent of one week's cash flow for BRK. Remember this
is a high yield bond not an equity investment, although at
Warren's option it may become one. What is amazing is that
for about the same amount of money he bought the largest furniture
store chain in Texas and no one ever talks about that purchase.
LVLT fascinates most people because of the Walter Scott connection,
technology relationship, the apparent contradiction to Warren’s
investment principles and the fact that so many Omaha and Berkshire
shareholders have lost 90 cents of every dollar invested in
Is Berkshire Hathaway
a stock mutual fund?
No, Berkshire Hathaway is a conglomerate made up of over 100
wholly owned subsidiaries as well as a handful of partly owned
common stocks. It has significant property and casualty insurance
businesses, cash and fixed income investments.
Can I purchase Berkshire
Hathaway Stock direct from the company?
No. Berkshire Hathaway is listed on the New York Stock Exchange
under symbol brka and brkb. The B shares trade and are worth
1/1500th the economic value of the A shares. As an example,
if the A shares trade for $150,000 then the B shares will trade
for $100. You must purchase and sell your shares through a
NYSE licensed online, discount or full service stockbroker.
How Does Warren Buffett make his charitable donations?
Warren Buffett is in the process of donating the bulk of his
estate to the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation. The majority of his Berkshire
stock (5 percent of his wealth each year over the next 20 years)
is being transferred to the Gates Foundation. The Susan
Thompson Buffett Foundation sponsors an outstanding Omaha
public teacher (K - 12) awards each year as well as a scholarship
program for Nebraska college students. Each of Warren's three
children also have their own foundations. Eldest daughter Susan
A. Buffett's charity is called The Sherwood
Foundation and is focused on children and family welfare
in low income neighborhoods in Omaha. Howard G. Buffett Foundation
is targeting global environmental and conservation needs. Peter
Buffett with his NoVo Foundation is
currently evaluating how they will distribute their funds to
change, alter and invent. Warren's sister Doris also has her
Lady Foundation which focuses on solving domestic violence.
Buffett's Giveaway Will Work.
How does Warren Buffett live on $100,000 salary
without ever selling a single share of Berkshire stock? How
does he afford to travel by corporate jet?
From 1956 to 1969 Warren Buffett managed the Buffett partnership
which gave him 25% of the profits after a 6% guaranteed return
to his partners. With that arrangement Warren was able to generate
$25 million in net worth, most of which was invested in Berkshire
Hathaway. However Mr. Buffett kept 1% of his money outside
of Berkshire. That portfolio estimated at $400 million generates
over $40 million per year in annual income. Which is how he
and his family affords to fly as many as 300 hours per year
on wholly owned subsidiary NetJets planes.
As a side note, Warren personally pays for the use of the jet.
I have an idea for Warren Buffet
and plan to write him a letter. Would you have any interest,
via mail, email, or phone to review my idea and point me in
the right direction?
Sorry I do not handle any correspondence for Mr. Buffett. Do not write or request from Warren Buffett “any proposal to speak, make contributions, intercede with the Gates Foundation, etc.”, or any other business transactions under my name. Mr. Buffett does not accept any correspondence, calls, emails, text messages or any other forms of communication under the guise of a referral from me. Please do not feel “It can’t hurt to ask.” Your request will not be read.
the expert on all things Warren Buffett, I am hoping for
some direction regarding whether it is possible, or even
worth trying to contact Warren Buffett about a breakthrough
Sorry I do not handle any correspondence for Mr. Buffett nor does Mr. Buffett accept any “proposals for me[him] to speak, make contributions, intercede with the Gates Foundation, etc.” that state Robert P. Miles as a referral. Mr. Buffett relies on his managers and staff for all matters relating to the above type communications.
are Berkshire Hathaway's Acquisition Criteria?
They are listed in
every BH annual report immediately following Warren Buffett's
Annual Letter to Shareholders:
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC. ACQUISITION
CRITERIA. We are eager to hear from principals or their
representatives about businesses that meet all of the following
criteria: (1) Large purchases (at least $75 million of pre-tax
earnings unless the business will fit into one of our existing
units), (2) Demonstrated consistent earning power (future
projections are of no interest to us, nor are “turnaround”
situations), (3) Businesses earning good returns on equity
while employing little or no debt, (4) Management in place
(we can’t supply it), (5) Simple businesses (if there’s lots
of technology, we won’t understand it), (6) An offering price
(we don’t want to waste our time or that of the seller by
talking, even preliminarily, about a transaction when price
The larger the company, the greater will be our
interest: We would like to make an acquisition in the $5-20
We are not interested, however, in receiving
suggestions about purchases we might make in the general stock
We will not engage in unfriendly takeovers.
promise complete confidentiality and a very fast answer –
customarily within five minutes – as to whether we’re interested.
We prefer to buy for cash, but will consider issuing stock
when we receive as much in intrinsic business value as we
We don’t participate in auctions.
Charlie and I frequently
get approached about acquisitions that don’t come close to
meeting our tests: We’ve found that if you advertise an interest
in buying collies, a lot of people will call hoping to sell
you their cocker spaniels. A line from a country song expresses
our feeling about new ventures, turnarounds, or auction-like
sales: “When the phone don’t ring, you’ll know it’s me.”
Whom would I contact to find out if Mr Buffett gives individual donation?
To my knowledge Mr. Buffett does not make individual donations. Instead he makes annual contributions to five designated foundations (Bill and Melinda Gates, his late wife and his three children) and then each of them makes grants according to their stated mission. He does not read requests that use my name as a referral.
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling: "I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election."
Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
Yes Mr. Buffett did say the above quote on solving the deficit.[Video] He did NOT say everything else contained in the chain email. Nor would he ask anyone to forward this email. Its one of the reasons Mr. Buffett does video interviews so that he cannot be misquoted. One tip off that the email wasn't from him is 'Buffet' is mispelled.
Mr. Buffett also supports Simpson-Bowles, which is a bi-partisan proposal to raise revenue and lower spending.[Video resource]
Q. What is the best way to meet Warren Buffett?
A. The best way is to enroll into a MBA program. Mr. Buffett welcomes to his office in Omaha, Nebraska, graduate business students from 45 universities six times throughout the year. He answers questions for 90 minutes and then treats the visiting students to lunch. Tours are arranged to visit local wholly owned businesses including Nebraska Furniture Mart and Borsheims Jewelry. Each college is permitted to send 20 students, however 30 percent or more must be women. Best to contact his office for more details.
Another way to see Mr. Buffett, although it is unlikely that you will meet him, is to attend his annual meeting, usually held on the first Saturday in May. More details can be found at www.berkshirehathaway.com
Q. If I write to Warren Buffett asking to hire me (even work for FREE!), would he even give a thought to it?
A. With 24 people at the home office in Omaha, job opportunities and openings are not likely. Suggest applying to one of the many subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway: http://berkshirehathaway.com/subs/sublinks.html Additionally, Mr. Buffett does not accept job referrals or requests that use my name.
Q.I am writing to you today in regards to your relationship with Warren Buffett and your success in your field. I have been interested in entering the business world and becoming a CEO and recently the stock market and investments have been my focus and are quickly becoming my passion. I am trying to learn from the best and most successful professionals in this nation and my research has led me to you. I would hope we can discuss either investment strategies, resources or perhaps, should your schedule allow it, a meeting with Mr. Buffett. ?
A. The best way to learn more about the investment strategies of Warren Buffett is to read The Intelligent Investor, a book written by his college professor, Benjamin Graham. Also reading Mr. Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders found on his company’s website berkshirehathaway.com will help you understand his investment and management philosophies. Sorry I do not provide private introductions to Mr. Buffett. Good luck with your investments and business career.
Q. I received an email that said I was receiving a donation from Warren Buffett. I would like to know if this is legitimate.
Q. How does a group of MBA students apply to attend a 90 minute Q & A session with Warren Buffett?
A. Best to write a letter to Mr. Warren Buffett (remember it is spelled with two t's) and request to be included in one of his monthly college Q & A sessions. Recommend using your University letterhead. Mr. Buffett’s office mailing address is found here http://berkshirehathaway.com/
Include your email address for a response.
He requires a maximum of 20 graduate students per university and requires 1/3 or 7 female students to be included. If invited, your group will be permitted 2 questions and will have the opportunity to tour a few of his Omaha based businesses.
Q. In his letter to shareholders Mr. Buffett gives an invitation for people to write in and offer
their companies for sale along with his criteria for doing so. Can you detail his acquisition
We are eager to hear from principals or their representatives about businesses that meet all of the
(1) Large purchases (at least $75 million of pre-tax earnings unless the business will fit into one
of our existing units),
(2) Demonstrated consistent earning power (future projections are of no interest to us, nor are
(3) Businesses earning good returns on equity while employing little or no debt,
(4) Management in place (we can’t supply it),
(5) Simple businesses (if there’s lots of technology, we won’t understand it),
(6) An offering price (we don’t want to waste our time or that of the seller by talking, even
preliminarily, about a transaction when price is unknown).
The larger the company, the greater will be our interest: We would like to make an acquisition in
the $5-20 billion range. We are not interested, however, in receiving suggestions about
purchases we might make in the general stock market.
We will not engage in unfriendly takeovers. We can promise complete confidentiality and a very
fast answer – customarily within five minutes – as to whether we’re interested. We prefer to buy
for cash, but will consider issuing stock when we receive as much in intrinsic business value as
we give. We don’t participate in auctions.
Charlie and I frequently get approached about acquisitions that don’t come close to meeting our
tests: We’ve found that if you advertise an interest in buying collies, a lot of people will call
hoping to sell you their cocker spaniels. A line from a country song expresses our feeling about
new ventures, turnarounds, or auction-like sales: 'When the phone don’t ring, you’ll know it’s
Do you sponsor, invest or donate to new business ventures or charitable causes?
A. Sorry I do not sponsor or invest in new or existing business ideas, nor do I donate or respond to charitable requests.
Q. My Father recently passed away and owns some Berkshire Hathaway stock. I need to speak to someone about selling or transferring his shares. Who would I call?
A. Suggest visiting your local brokerage office (like Fidelity, Schwab, TD Ameritrade). They are licensed and trained to help beneficiaries sell or transfer stock.
Alternatively you can call Berkshire stock transfer agent: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., P. O. Box 64854, St. Paul, MN 55164-0854 serves as Transfer Agent and Registrar for the Company’s common stock. Correspondence may be directed to Wells Fargo at the address indicated or at wellsfargo.com/shareownerservices. Telephone inquiries should be directed to the Shareowner Relations Department at 1-877-602-7411 between 7:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M. Central Time. Certificates for re-issue or transfer should be directed to the Transfer Department at the address indicated.
I am visiting Omaha and Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting (Woodstock of Capitalism) for the first time. Can you suggest what I should do while in Omaha, places I should visit and where I might have the best chance to actually see Warren Buffett?
A. You'll enjoy Omaha during the Berkshire weekend, usually the first Saturday in May. Best place to find Warren Buffett is during the official Berkshire related events, beginning Friday night at Borsheims, Saturday at the annual meeting and Nebraska Furniture Mart's BBQ dinner and Sunday playing bridge (often with Bill Gates) at Borsheims. Remember to bring your meeting credentials and enjoy discounts from assorted Berkshire subsidiaries.
Here's a link to a recent shareholders guide that will likely be very similar agenda each year http://berkshirehathaway.com/meet01/VisGuide2014.pdf