Berkshire Hathaway 2018 Annual Meeting Audience Question # 30

Why Berkshire never invested in Microsoft

Warren Buffett:

Station 10?

Audience Member:

Hi, I’m Theresa Lukasinski. I’m from Omaha, Nebraska. And I have a question about Microsoft.

You have gotten into the tech world with buying Apple. You have Mr. Gates there. I’m just wondering why you’ve never bought Microsoft.

Warren Buffett:

Well… in the earlier years, it’s very clear it’s… the answer’s stupidity. But the…

Since Bill has… particularly since Bill has joined the board, but even earlier than that because of our friendship, it would be… it just would be a mistake for Berkshire to buy Microsoft.

Because if something happened a week later, a month later, in terms of them having better earnings than expected, or making an acquisition… anything… both Bill and I would… incorrectly, but… would be a target of suggestions and accusations, perhaps even, that somehow he had told me something or vice versa.

I stay away from… I try to stay away from a few things just totally because the inference would be drawn that we might have talked… that I might have talked to somebody about something.

So I’ve told the fellows, Ted and Todd for example, that there are just a few things that are off the list because there would be a lot of people who wouldn’t believe us if something good immediately happened after we bought it.

And of course, we… to buy a lot of stock, it can take six months to buy it or something of the sort. We just don’t need it.

But both that and my stupidity have cost us a lot of money.

It’s a very… it’s a good question, and I think the answer makes sense.


Charlie Munger:

Well, it’s part of theology that a late conversion is better than never… and you’ve greatly improved yourself.

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