Berkshire Hathaway
WEB Repays Good Deeds

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By stilson
June 29, 2009

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I was. In 1998 and 1999, I bought the second and third lunches ever offered by WEB for a donation to Glide Memorial. My friend, Jim Halperin and I, paid a total of $20,000 the first year and $25,000 the next year to have lunch with Warren.

At the time, people thought we were absolutely NUTS to pay so much, just for a lunch. The first lunch took place at Warren's country club in Omaha, and the second took place at the Plaza hotel in New York. When Warren found out we won again the second year, he wanted to make it more interesting for us and offered to have his friend Carol Loomis attend as well. We politely declined, we wanted the pure, unfiltered time with the Oracle.

We never dreamed that the price for these lunched would multiply by 100 times. The next year, the lunch was put on EBAY for the first time and brought well into six figures. During the auction, I wrote Warren a letter and told him that we would have loved to make it three in a row, but as true value investors we thought the opportunity was now Over Valued!!!

One thing I can tell you is that Warren went out of his way "to give us our money's worth". I think he he felt a little sorry for us at the time like were poor suckers that were had. He invited us to two private parties in Omaha where we were clearly the poorest people in the room. We met Gates, Shelby Davis, Tony Nicely, Bill Childs from R.C. Willey, Charlie and many, many others.

Each of these parties was also worth the original price paid. My point is, that these people that paid the major bucks, who are managing billions, can easily make the money back with one tip, delivered with subtlety. I'm not saying that this happens, or that this is their motive in any way, because I truly believe that is 100% not the case.(In our case, and I'm sure in everyone else that bids, it is simply the opportunity of a lifetime).

I'm just saying that Warren, being the man he is, always makes sure that good deeds directed his way are properly repaid. At least that was my experience on multiple occasions.