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Here's What Buffett's Saying at the Berkshire Annual Meeting

By Matt Koppenheffer – May 4, 2013 at 11:54AM

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Shareholders from all over the world flock to Omaha annual to hear what Warren Buffett has to say.

Before Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger even sat down at Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A 1.68%) (BRK.B 2.17%) annual meeting, the annual "Berkshire video" showed a cartoon version of Buffett and Munger dancing to "Gangnam Style." With that under your belt, it's hard to feel that your day didn't start off right.

But that was just the warm-up for the much-awaited Q&A session with Buffett and Munger. Here is a look at some of what Buffett and Munger have been saying so far.

On first quarter earnings. Buffett noted that closures and persistentcy in GEICO policies. He called this trend "solid gold."

On challenging Ariel Hsing in ping-pong at Borsheims. Buffett: "If you're courageous you'll show up with your paddle and you'll look like an idiot."

On trailing the market. Buffett conceded that if the market continues on the trajectory it's on so far in 2013, Berkshire could trail the S&P 500 (^GSPC 2.59%) for a five-year period for the first time. Buffett said that it "won't be a happy day, but won't totally discourage us." Munger chimed in with: "We're slowing down, but it'll still be very pleasant."

On selling things to Berkshire shareholders. A shareholder asking a question thanked Buffett for letting everyone in early (it was cold and raining in Omaha this morning). Buffett quipped: "If we had a company that sold coats we would have left you out there."

On selling Berkshire shares. To head off any rash moves by family members, Munger warned: "I want to say to the many Mungers in the audience, don't be so stupid as to sell these shares." Buffett quickly followed up with: "That goes to the Buffetts too."

On negative implications of the H.J. Heinz (HNZ) deal. A questioner wondered whether Berkshire's preferred position in the Heinz deal and the high price paid suggested that Buffett isn't optimistic about the returns available in the market. Buffett responded simply that that was "totally inaccurate." Munger later added on: "As you said, the report was totally wrong."

On hiring executives from AIG (AIG 3.58%). Buffett pointed out that "these are people that reached out to Berkshire, in the case at least one of them had reached out numerous times in the past" and added that "we've had a number of people reach out since the announcement was made." That's a big positive for Berkshire since it's looking to aggressively build out its commercial insurance capabilities.

Stay tuned to Fool.com for more updates from the Berkshire meeting and, in the meantime, you can join in on our live chat from the meeting!

Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American International Group. The Motley Fool recommends American International Group, Berkshire Hathaway, and H.J. Heinz Company. The Motley Fool owns shares of American International Group and Berkshire Hathaway and has the following options: Long Jan 2014 $25 Calls on American International Group. 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.

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Stocks Mentioned

S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
^GSPC
$3,678.43 (2.59%) $92.81
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Stock Quote
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
BRK.A
$413,300.00 (1.68%) $6,830.00
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Stock Quote
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
BRK.B
$272.80 (2.17%) $5.78
American International Group, Inc. Stock Quote
American International Group, Inc.
AIG
$49.18 (3.58%) $1.70
Kraft Heinz Intermediate Corporation II Stock Quote
Kraft Heinz Intermediate Corporation II
HNZ

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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