Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Tributes to both Buffetts; U.S. Open

By Whitney Tilson

1) It was Warren Buffett's 93rd birthday last Wednesday!

It's truly amazing that he's still going strong, both mentally and physically, at such an advanced age.

To celebrate it, I've been collecting a number of Buffett-/Berkshire-related things...

Here's a tweet with 93 of his greatest quotes, with a 73-minute video at the end of one of his most famous lectures from long ago. Below are the first 12:

2) This cool 2:20 video shows Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK-B) top 25 stock holdings over the past 20 years:

For the first decade, the largest positions were Coca-Cola (KO), Wells Fargo (WFC), and American Express (AXP). Then Kraft Heinz (KHC) was the largest for a while.

Then Buffett started buying Apple (AAPL) in the first quarter of 2016, initially buying only $1 billion. But, as you can see in the video, the combination of Buffett steadily buying more and the price appreciation from $25 per share back then to Friday's close of $189.46 per share – a gain of more than 650%! – resulted in Apple today being a $173 billion position, equal to nearly half (48%) of Berkshire's $365 billion stock portfolio (which in turn is equal to nearly half (46%) of Berkshire's $791 billion market cap). (CNBC has a real-time tracker of Berkshire's portfolio here.) This is undoubtedly the greatest investment of all time in terms of dollars of profit...

3) Here are two fun facts:

4) This is a smart comment of Buffett's:

5) Lastly, to understand what an outlier Buffett is to live to 93, consider this chart, which shows that life expectancy in the U.S. failed to keep up with peer countries for the past two decades, even before the plunge due to COVID:

6) I was sad to hear of the passing of another Buffett: Jimmy Buffett, Roguish Bard of Island Escapism, Is Dead at 76. Excerpt:

With songs like "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise," he became a folk hero to fans known as Parrot Heads. He also became a millionaire hundreds of times over.

He and Warren weren't related, but many people thought so because Warren jokingly called him "Cousin Jimmy."

It's truly remarkable that Jimmy was able to basically take one song and, with very clever marketing and business savvy, convert it into a billion-dollar fortune. To understand how, see these two videos:

7) Ever since I got back late Tuesday night from my climbing in the Cascades, I've been going to the U.S. Open tennis tournament every day with my cousin (upper left with Coco Gauff in the background), his cousin (upper right with Novak Djokovic behind us), various friends, and my parents (lower right).

A funny moment: on Saturday night, I was in the second row of the Taylor Fritz match, and he had just broken Dominic Stricker to go up 5-4 in the third set and set himself up to serve for the match. I leaped to my feet, cupped my mouth, and gave him a huge Navy SEAL "Hoo-yah" cheer – and as I sat down, my phone exploded with texts and e-mails from friends who had just seen me on national television (ESPN) for about three seconds – see photo in the lower right and the video clip here:

Best regards,


P.S. I welcome your feedback at [email protected].