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2022 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Meeting Video, Transcript, and Notes

Here are my notes on the 2022 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Meeting. This year, CNBC has the rights to record and host the full video and transcripts (morning session, afternoon session) and they did a nice job with syncing the text and sound. I enjoyed listening to it like a podcast first and then reading through the text a second time around. There are many financial media articles with highlights, but here are my personal takeaways and notes.

Berkshire Hathaway is their life’s work and legacy. It’s fascinating to see how they have tried their best to build it to last forever. I recently listened to an outdoor podcast called Dirtbag Diaries where a 78-year-old man suffering from late-stage Parkinson’s disease still completed a 10-day whitewater rafting trip in the Canadian wilderness. Some folks just have more life energy than life time left, and wring out every last bit. Inspiring.

Warren Buffett is 91 and Charlie Munger is 98. These guys could be relaxing. They know the end is near, but they still have energy and are doing what they love. They built Berkshire bit by bit and the shareholders that they will leave behind are close family and friends that trust them. BRK is their legacy, and they have carefully crafted it to keep growing for those shareholders long past their lifetimes.

But most — a great many of them just say, you know, “We’ve saved this money. And we trust you and Charlie.” And that’s a great motivator, this trust.

“And, you know, take care of it and I’m not going to learn accounting and try to read all those statements or anything of the sort.”

You know, if I went broke, it wouldn’t really make any difference. It’d keep doing what I do. I’d figure out a way to read a paper and watch a little TV (Laughter) and think about things and talk to Charlie.

But the idea of losing, permanently, other people’s money — people who trust us — really, really — that’s just a future I don’t want to have.

So, the one thing I can tell you about Berkshire — although I can’t predict what our earnings will be, and I can’t predict what the stock will do, and I can’t — we don’t know. We don’t know what the economy will do and all of that sort of thing.

But we do know that we wake up every morning and we want to be safer, in terms of your eventual investment.

Now, whether you make the most money or anything, we do not want you to get a terrible result because you’ve decided to become our partner. And that’s a pledge you can live by.

They aren’t done yet, either. As long as they are able, they will keep adding pieces. They spent $40 billion is just three weeks, and are probably still buying stuff as I type this. The media usually only focuses their attention on certain purchases, but you can track their 13F filings to see exactly they bought and sold (with a time delay).

Berkshire Hathaway share repurchase timing gives some hints. They also bought back a few more BRK shares in January to March 2022 ($3 billion), but none in April 2022 once the price rose. This should give you a hint as to what Buffett thinks is a “good deal” on BRK shares. He wouldn’t buy back shares unless they were safely below his estimate of intrinsic value. You may see those 2021 and early 2022 prices again…

Cash is like oxygen. We should all keep adequate cash reserves in 100% liquid and safe places. Home equity lines of credit can (and have been) frozen quickly. Credit card limits can be reduced. We should know by now that crazy stuff happens quickly.

When 2008 and 2009 — the national panic came along — we didn’t own anybody’s commercial paper. You know, we didn’t have money market funds. We have Treasury bills. And, as I may get into it a little later, I’ll explain to you why.

We would — we believe in having cash.

And there have been a few times in history, and there will be more times in history, where if you don’t have it, you know, you don’t get to play the next day. I mean, it’s just —

It’s like oxygen, you know? It’s there all the time. But if it disappears for a few minutes, it’s all over.

Gambling and investing are getting mixed up yet again. Sports gambling is growing. Short-dated options trading is growing. Crypto has many shady pockets. Remember that casino owners make reliable profits while feeding the gamblers with hope. Which side do you want to be on? Buffett noticed this as a 21-year-old newlywed visitor to Las Vegas:

They’d gone to great lengths to come out to do something that was mathematically unintelligent, and they knew it was unintelligent.

And, I mean, they couldn’t do it fast enough, in terms of rolling the dice, you know, and trying to determine whether they were hot or whatever they may be.

And I looked around at that group. And everybody there knew that they were doing something that was mathematically dumb, and they’d come thousands of miles to do it, and they were —

And I said to my wife, I said, you know, I’m going to get rich.

How to beat inflation? Invest in your own human capital.

But the best thing you can do is to be exceptionally good at something. If you’re the best doctor in town, if you’re the best lawyer in town, if you’re the best whatever it may be, no matter whether people are paying you with a zillion dollars or paying with — they’re going to give you some of what they produce in exchange for what you deliver.

And if you’re the one they pick out to do any particular activity, sing, or play baseball, or be their lawyer, whatever it may be, whatever abilities you have can’t be taken away from you, they can’t actually be inflated away from you.

Somebody else will give you some of the wheat they produce, or the cotton, or whatever it may be, and they will trade you for the skill you have.

So, the best investment by far is anything that develops yourself. And, again, it’s not taxed. (Applause) So that’s what I would do.

Find the intersection of something that interests you, something you have a talent for, and something that pays the bills.

CHARLIE MUNGER: Well — if you stop to think about it, there are two things that neither one of us has ever succeeded at: One, we’ve never succeeded at anything that didn’t interest us, right?

WARREN BUFFETT: Right.

CHARLIE MUNGER: And we’ve never succeeded at anything that was really hard where we didn’t have much aptitude for it.

WARREN BUFFETT: Yeah. And we’ve been doing whatever we pleased for 60 years.

CHARLIE MUNGER: Yeah, we did.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: 2X Miles on All Purchase + 75,000 Bonus Miles Offer

Offer increased to 75k. The Capital One Venture Rewards credit card is their premium travel rewards card with unlimited 2x miles per dollars on all purchases. 75,000 miles can be redeemed as a $750 credit towards any travel purchase made with the card (any airline, any hotel, AirBNB stays, Uber rides, no blackout dates). Here are the highlights:

  • One-time 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Flat 2X miles on ALL purchases.
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get our best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase-or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $95 annual fee.

(Capital One’s new “ultra-premium” card is the Venture X card, which has more perks including Priority Pass airport lounge access and a $300 annual travel credit through Capital One Travel, but also a higher $395 annual fee. This Venture cardis more directly competitive with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, while the Venture X competes more directly with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.)

Redemption details. Capital One “miles” can be redeemed directly for a cash statement credit on a 1 mile = $0.01 basis when offsetting any travel purchase made on the card within the past 90 days. In other words, 50,000 miles = $500 toward travel. That means you can fly on any airline or stay at any hotel, pay with this card, and then “erase” that purchase using your miles balance later. This even includes AirBnB vacation rentals, car rentals, and Uber rides.

This means that earning 2 miles on on every $1 in purchases essentially makes this a 2% back card when applied towards travel. You also have the option of booking travel through their travel portal, similar to Chase Ultimate Rewards, but you are not required to do so. You have the flexibility of booking through them or making the purchase directly through the airline, hotel, car rental counter, etc.

Miles transfer options. Capital One now allows you to transfer your “miles” into select airline miles programs as well. Here are the airline transfer partners:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air France/KLM
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Avianca Lifemiles
  • British Airways Avios
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad
  • EVA
  • Finnair
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines Krisflyer
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Virgin Red

Hotel partners

  • Accor Live Limitless
  • Choice Hotels

If you know how to leverage one of these international airline miles programs, this can be a very valuable option. Otherwise, it’s nice to know you can always get a certain level of value by redeeming against any travel purchase.

Bottom line. The Capital One Venture Rewards credit card earns 2x miles on all purchases, which you can either redeem against any travel purchase or transfer to one of their airline/hotel partners. Right now, there is an offer of 75,000 bonus miles, worth $750 towards travel.

Due to the $500+ first-year value, I will be adding this card to my list of Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers.

Peerstreet Update 2022: Interest Rate Spreads, Secondary Market, Pocket 3.5% APY

Another one of my Peerstreet loans was paid off recently, and I realized that it has been over a year since my last update on this experiment in real-estate debt. Here's my current view on this unique investment. Peerstreet in a nutshell. … [Read the rest]

Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests via US Postal Service (Third Round Available)

You can now order a third round of at-home COVID tests, this time 8 tests per household. Order your free at-home COVID tests at the US Postal Service website. Shipping is free. Unfortunately, we seem to be using these up at a regular pace to due … [Read the rest]

Top 10 Best Small Business Credit Card Bonus Offers – May 2022

Updated May 2022. Do you have small business income or work as an independent contractor? Freelance, Uber/Lyft, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Airbnb? A small business credit card separates your personal and business expenses and can build up your business … [Read the rest]

Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers – May 2022 (Updated)

Updated and checked May 2022. That space in your wallet or purse is valuable, and you should be the one to get that value. By being smart and picky, you can find offers worth $500+ for a single card, all to encourage you to apply and try it out. … [Read the rest]

Free Funded IRA Goal Progress 2022: $2,060 in Bonuses First Quarter

Each year, I have a side goal of earning the equivalent of the maximum annual IRA contribution limit of $6,000 using the profits from various promotions alone. In 2021, I reached $5,592 in bonuses and $2,500+ in extra interest. If you had put … [Read the rest]

Boost Mobile Annual Plans $8.33/mo for 1 GB, $25/mo for 35 GB “Unlimited” Data (AT&T MVNO)

Boost Mobile now uses the T-Mobile and AT&T 4G/5G networks after the T-Mobile/Sprint merger completed. Now owned by Dish Network, they have rolled out some aggressively-priced annual plans that are cheaper than the ones from Mint Mobile (which I … [Read the rest]

Best Interest Rates on Cash – May 2022 Update

Here's my monthly roundup of the best interest rates on cash as of May 2022, roughly sorted from shortest to longest maturities. We all need some safe assets for cash reserves or as a bond substitute, and there are often lesser-known opportunities … [Read the rest]

Warren Buffett’s Activision Merger Arbitrage “Bank/Credit Card Bonus” Deal

While listening to the 2022 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting Q&A session (full video and transcript at CNBC), I was amused to hear that Warren Buffett announced that he bought shares of Activision Blizzard stock as part of a "workout". The … [Read the rest]

Vanguard ETF & Mutual Fund Expense Ratio Drops (Updated May 2022)

Updated May 2022. Vanguard regularly announces expense ratio cuts to their mutual funds and ETFs. This post serves to keep track of these updates, as Vanguard usually removes the press releases after a certain amount of time. Most changes will … [Read the rest]

103 Bits of “Advice I Wish I Had Known” by Kevin Kelly

via GIPHY Kevin Kelly of Cool Tools and many other endeavors is now 70 years old and has 103 more bits of "Advice I Wish I Had Known" for 2022. Very high density of insightful wisdom per sentence, so I like to read a little bit each day and … [Read the rest]