Austin: Morgan, I was looking through your holdings the other day and I noticed you are a fellow Berkshire shareholder. We both got a bit of good news recently. It looks like Buffett's going to repurchase some shares.
Austin: What was the news?
Morgan: The news was Berkshire Hathaway is repurchasing $1 billion of its own stock from a longtime shareholder. He's also upping the amount that they can repurchase to 1.2 times book value, as the limit that Buffett will repurchase shares at.
Why is this good news for shareholders? It's obviously good news that Buffett, one of the best investors of all time, is bullish on his own company.
Morgan: That's a big vote of confidence there. One other thing I think about with Berkshire, too... one of the reasons I own it, the biggest risk that people talk about with Berkshire is that Buffett is an aging man, he's not going to be around forever, and what happens when Buffett passes, at Berkshire after that?
Morgan: I think what's really important there is that Buffett's legacy will live on far after he leaves. The companies that he has purchased over the last 40 years will stick around long after he's gone. When Buffett is gone, Coke is still going to be selling Coke. Geico's still going to be selling insurance.
Those don't change at all after Buffett, so really Berkshire is as strong a company as I think it's ever been, and it will remain strong long after Buffett.
Austin: Yeah. I think one of the interesting things, and one of the reasons I'm a fellow Berkshire shareholder with you, is that a lot of people talk about the "Buffett premium" on a stock, but in the case of Berkshire it looks like you're actually getting a bit of a "Buffett discount" because people seem reluctant to bid this company up to its fair value because Buffett isn't going to be there forever.
But, like you mentioned, the companies he holds are still tremendous assets, and stand on their own. We know powerful leaders make companies. Look at Steve Jobs over at Apple and Bezos over at Amazon.
You can't understate the role of a powerful leader in a company's development, but Apple has continued to thrive in the post-Steve Jobs era, so at some point these great leaders have built something bigger than themselves.
I think we're getting a "Buffett discount" today instead of a "Buffett premium," and I love it. Frankly, I love the share repurchase, and I'm happy that Berkshire is my largest personal holding.
Austin: All right, cool. Well, I guess it looks like we'll be sticking with our shares for a little while.
Morgan: That's right.
Austin Smith owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Apple. Fool contributor Morgan Housel has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Amazon.com, and Berkshire Hathaway. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple, Amazon.com, and Berkshire Hathaway. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.