I went to the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting last weekend in Omaha, and as always, walked away with some good perspectives.
The question-and-answer session with Buffett and Charlie Munger is the best–6 hours of candid remarks without notes. They fielded numerous questions from journalists and attendees (and there were almost 40,000 in the Qwest Center). The very first question to Buffett asked about his concern on Berkshire’s investment in Goldman Sachs. He said he was comfortable with it, and it was returning $15 every second.
One investor asked if Buffett was scared to invest while the market is so volatile, to which he replied, “If you are fearful, you are a broker’s friend but you won’t make money. Think how rational you are if you are buying farmland rather than buying a stock. You don’t look at a quote this week or next week, and if it (farmland) goes up, you buy; no one says, ‘how liquid is my farm?’ do they? You can’t expect someone to tell yo when to buy.” Munger’s two cents: Fearful investors need to “get your feet wet with a little more failure.”
It just goes back to one of Buffett’s most famous phrases: Be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy.