It’s time for the annual pilgrimage to Nebraska. About a day after you read this, my wife and I will be on the way to Omaha, which is a nice place to be for a weekend, or even longer. We’ll visit friends who live there. And we’ll spend time at various Berkshire Hathaway events, including the annual meeting, the Sunday brunch and a visit to the Nebraska Furniture Mart. I’ll eat my usual ration of Dilly Bars ($1 of the proceeds goes to charity) while we’re on the exhibit floor, and we’ll probably indulge in some See’s Candies.
During the Q & A, we’ll watch Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger drink prodigious amounts of Diet Coke and nibble on See’s Candies, while they field questions from any and all comers. Of the 30,000-plus attendees, the folks who wish to ask questions simply wait in lines at various microphones, stationed around the auditorium half of the Qwest Center. (Qwest is essentially divided in two, with a huge exhibit hall that is flanked by an auditorium/event center that can seat, seemingly, about that number of people. There are also overflow rooms with big-screen TVs). Insofar as I can tell, practically everyone who has a question is able to ask it and get a polite and thoughtful answer.
Shareholders are given big discounts at Nebraska Furniture Mart (already a discount place). Borsheim’s Jewelers hosts a buffet and reception Friday night and a brunch Sunday morning. Each is kind of a Buffett buffet if you will, even offering WB’s favorite cocktail. The whole weekend is fun, educational and a chance to see (and buy) a significant number of the products made by Berkshire’s subsidiaries. One may even take the controls of a BNSF train. Although the trains are in model layouts, the controls are pretty realistic.
Aside from that, Omaha is a fun place. The Old Market area is teeming with good restaurants and interesting shops and galleries. We always look forward to our visit. Viva Omaha!
This will likely be a two-week blog. Why? Because I won’t be back in time to make the next blog’s deadline and/or will be too zoned-out from the trip to write. You may take your pick of the two choices.
Have a great two weeks and take good care of your family and your clients, okay?
For more from Richard Hoe, see: