Skip to main content

It’s hard to say this after two years away, and with the ever-present possibility that it could be the last, but: Buffettstock was a bit of a bummer this year. Berkshire Hathaway took a bath in the stock market, leading to a 50% drop in profit. The closest thing to a classic Warren Buffett bon mot was a bit of self-deprecation that might well have fallen flat amidst all the bad news.

"It's not because we're smart. It's because we're sane," Buffett said during the meeting of Berkshire investors…. "We have never timed anything," Buffett said, adding that the success of the company's long-term "buy and hold" investment strategy is "simple."

Still, the boys—Buffett and his 98-year-old lieutenant, Charlie Munger—know their audience. And they came ready to play the “old men shout at clouds” greatest hits.

Both Buffett and Berkshire vice chairman Charlie Munger lamented how speculators have seemingly taken over Wall Street. Munger described the casino-like atmosphere and Buffett called the market a "gambling parlor."

And there’s one particular gambling parlor they don’t like at all.

“All the short-term gambling and big commissions and hidden kickbacks and so and so on. It was disgusting,” Mr. Munger said…. “And now [Robinhood is] unraveling. God is getting just,” Mr. Munger said.

Alas, not in time to let Buffett load up on as much of his favoritest stock in the whole world, Apple, as he’d have liked.

Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman and CEO told CNBC’s Becky Quick that he scooped up $600 million worth of Apple shares following a three-day decline in the stock last quarter…. “Unfortunately the stock went back up, so I stopped. Otherwise who knows how much we would have bought?” the 91-year-old investor told Quick on Sunday after Berkshire’s annual shareholders meeting.

And, speaking of greatest hits, there’s one dip he and Munger don’t at all regret not taking advantage of

Buffett [said] that if all the attendees in the room owned “all the farmland in the United States” or “all the apartments in the country” and they offered him a 1% stake for $25 billion, he would write them a check on the spot. But he wouldn’t do the same for bitcoin and its over-$700 billion market cap.

“If you ... owned all of the bitcoin in the world and you offered it to me for $25, I wouldn’t take it,” Buffett said. “Because what would I do with it? I’ll have to sell it back to you one way or another. It isn’t going to do anything….”

“Whether it goes up or down in the next year or five years or 10 years, I don’t know. But one thing I’m sure of is that it doesn’t multiply, it doesn’t produce anything,” he said. “It’s got a magic to it, and people have attached magic to lots of things.”

Berkshire Hathaway Reports Drop in Earnings, Driven by Investment Losses [DealBook]
Buffett says Berkshire's success is more about being 'sane' than 'smart' [CNN]
Warren Buffett wouldn’t buy ‘all of the bitcoin in the world’ for $25: ‘It doesn’t produce anything’ [CNBC]
Berkshire Hathaway’s Charlie Munger Takes Another Swipe at Robinhood [WSJ]
Buffett bought more Apple last quarter and says he would have added more if the stock didn’t rebound [CNBC]

For more of the latest in litigation, regulation, deals and financial services trends, sign up for Finance Docket, a partnership between Breaking Media publications Above the Law and Dealbreaker.

Related

Getty Images

Brace Yourself For Buffettcoins

Berkshire Hathaway’s brain trust has said a lot of terrible things about cryptocurrencies and gold, and they just invested half a billion dollars in gold.

Getty Images

Warren Buffett: Something Will Save The U.S. Economy, But It Won’t Be Him

In fact, it’s going to take some magic and a miracle. And probably a decade or two.

buffettmunger

Charlie Munger’s One Stupid Trick For A Long And Happy Life

There’s more to it than getting in early on Berkshire Hathaway, apparently.

omaha

Omicron Can’t Stop Omaha’s Biggest Party This Year

Unless, you know, it can. But for now, book those flights and hotels to one of the Midwest’s, uh, cities.

Getty Images

You’ll Have To Find Another Time To Enjoy Omaha’s Charms

Buffettstock, like everything else, is cancelled.