- Warren Buffett will answer questions at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting on Saturday.
- The famed investor is expected to discuss stocks, deals, the pandemic, and the economy.
- Here are 18 questions he might answer on the day.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Warren Buffett will be quizzed for several hours at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting on Saturday.
The billionaire investor and Berkshire CEO has kept an extremely low profile over the past year. Investors, commentators, and other market-watchers will be especially eager to hear from him as a result.
Buffett will be joined by Charlie Munger – Berkshire’s vice-chairman and his right-hand man – as well as Ajit Jain and Greg Abel, who head up the conglomerate’s insurance and non-insurance divisions respectively. Insider will be liveblogging the meeting from 1:30 p.m. ET.
Here are 18 questions Buffett might answer:
1. Is he still bearish on the airline industry? Berkshire exited its positions in the “big four” US carriers in April 2020, as Buffett was concerned about fewer passengers, debt repayments, buyback restrictions, and other issues.
2. What does he think about the US government modeling its airline bailouts on his financial-crisis deals? Sen. Jack Reed told Insider he got the idea to demand stock warrants from Buffett’s Goldman Sachs rescue.
3. Does he regret being so cautious when markets crashed last year? Buffett was widely expected to deploy a chunk of Berkshire’s cash reserves, but instead he focused on protecting his shareholders’ money.
4. Has Berkshire closed any of its businesses? Buffett’s right-hand man, Charlie Munger, said last year Berkshire has a “a few bad businesses” that “won’t reopen when this is over.”
5. Is he worried about the boom in day trading, meme stocks, SPACs, and cryptocurrencies? Buffett has warned against speculation and derided crypto in the past, and flagged the dangers of promoters in his latest annual letter. Munger has slammed Robinhood and bemoaned the “speculative frenzy” in markets.
6. What does he think about President Biden’s tax and infrastructure plans? Buffett and Biden, who spoke before the election last year, have both called for higher taxes on the wealthy, criticized short-termism in corporate America, and trumpeted the nation’s bright future.
7. Does he think Apple is overvalued? Berkshire’s Apple stake has tripled in value since 2018 and now accounts for over 40% of its US stock portfolio.
9. Why is he so bullish on Bank of America? Buffett plowed $2.1 billion into the stock over 12 days last year.
10. What was Berkshire’s reason for selling its Costco stake? The big-box retailer had been Munger’s favorite company for years.
11. Does he still see value in BYD? Shares in the Chinese electric-vehicle company have skyrocketed since Berkshire invested in 2008.
12. Were his pharmaceutical investments spurred by the pandemic? Berkshire added AbbVie, Bristol Myers Squibb, Pfizer, and Merck to its portfolio in the third quarter of 2020.
13. What does he think about Berkshire betting on Barrick Gold and Snowflake? The uncharacteristic investments in a gold miner and a loss-making technology startup’s IPO, ostensibly by one of Buffett’s deputies, surprised many Berkshire watchers last year.
14. What appeals to him about Chevron and Verizon? Berkshire built multibillion-dollar stakes in the energy group and telecommunications company in the fourth quarter of 2020.
15. Is he still a fan of the Buffett indicator? The investor’s namesake market gauge, which he lauded two decades ago, has surged to record highs in recent months.
16. Why is he betting big on natural gas? Berkshire struck a $10 billion deal to buy Dominion Energy’s natural-gas assets last summer, and has proposed an $8 billion plan to build reserve power plants in Texas to prevent another power crisis.
17. Does he have any international partnerships in the works? Buffett invested in five Japanese trading companies last year, and cited potential tie-ups as one reason for his interest.
18. Why did he decide Whole Foods wasn’t a good fit for Berkshire? Buffett turned down the chance to buy the premium grocer in 2017, its CEO revealed last year.