I was looking forward to the tea break at the end of the first session as I was feeling hungry. To my utmost surprise, there were no refreshments provided. Not even any finger food! The organisers must be trying to get their full ‘value’ for money…
What they had, however, was a booth selling some of Robert Miles products. There was a bundle of 3 books and 2 audio sets selling for a discounted price $200.
I find it wierd that they were only selling the bundle and not the individual products. Surely, there were people who only wanted to get 1 or 2 of the items but not all?
Back to the seminar. In the second session, we were told the character or traits that we should look for in the managers of the companies that we were going to invest in. 6 pillars of character are trust, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and patriotism.
3 traits that Warren looks out for were integrity, intelligence and energy. And how does he do that? Simply by reading the annual reports of the company! By following the annual reports for many years, it is sometimes possible to tell whether what was stated in previous years have been acted upon.
This was followed by a presentation on the key managers of the various subsidiaries of Berkshire. This was quite a boring segment and I actually dozed off…
A common trait was that these people really had passion for their business. They were working even up to 80, 90 years old and retirement was simply not an option. If you liked what you were doing, why should you retire to sit at home doing something else?
In a nutshell, two quotes to always keep in mind:
Invest with people you like, admire and respect.
Sell when they are not managing the business for the benefits of shareholders.