Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Warren Buffett Turns 87 Today
by Steve Haberstroh, Managing Director
The Oracle of Omaha turns 87 today—an impressive accomplishment for anyone. But all the more impressive that he still runs a “Fortune 5” (yes, that’s a five) company and does so with the energy and wit of a person half his age.
He will be on both CNBC and Fox Business today for interviews. Here is what you can expect:
- Mr. Buffett will be bullish on the United States of America. Can you blame him? In his 87 years on this planet, he has witnessed the Great Depression, the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement, World War II, the assassination of a US President (Kennedy), the attempt on another (Reagan), the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the stock market Crash of 1987, the Savings and Loans crisis, the Gulf War, the tech bubble bursting, 9/11 and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Katrina Flood, the Financial Crisis in 2008, and Brexit. Today, he is living through a toxic political climate in D.C., the rising tensions in North Korea and the Houston floods. Through all of this, he has seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average bottom out at $41.22 in 1932 only to rise to today’s level approaching $22,000!
- While bullish, he won’t rule out a correction in the near term. He’s seen literally hundreds. He may even admit he is secretly hoping for one. After all, as of the last quarter’s reporting, Berkshire Hathaway is sitting on nearly $100 billion in cash. A correction allows him to buy high-quality companies at cheaper prices—something every long term investor should strive to do.
- Mr. Buffett will explain (yet again), that despite the human tragedy, natural disasters are good for well-run insurance company profits in the long-run. It allows these companies to increase the premiums they charge to their customers.
- He will likely compliment his Co-Chairman Charlie Munger and poke fun at his age (93).
- He will not name a successor to run Berkshire Hathaway once he passes or moves on from the role.
I have written extensively about Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. Some say I’m a bit obsessed (I keep a talking Warren Buffett doll on my office desk). But those who care about investing and business should take a moment to celebrate the Oracle of Omaha’s birthday today and marvel at how lucky we are to witness him do his thing—decade after decade.
Note: I personally own Berkshire Hathaway stock as do many of our clients.