On May 3, 2014 Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A -0.14%) (BRK.B -0.18%) will hold its annual meeting at the CenturyLink Center in lovely downtown Omaha. I can say it's lovely because I've been there. And while I'm sure Omaha is probably a bit more peaceful for the other 51 weeks out of the year, "Woodstock for Capitalists" continues to keep the city front and center on an annual basis as investors flock from around the world to hear what Warren and Charlie have to say about life, investing and Bekshire Hathaway.
This year, shareholders will vote on a proposal that will determine whether or not Berkshire Hathaway will pay a meaningful annual dividend going forward. The proposal reads as such:
"Whereas the corporation has more money than it needs and since the owners unlike Warren are not multi-billionaires, the board shall consider paying a meaningful annual dividend on the shares."
To be sure, Berkshire is not known for paying dividends. Warren and Charlie continue to stand by their philosophy that as long as they believe that there are better places for them to invest Berkshire's billions, then paying a dividend is the wrong move. And he said as much in last year's letter to shareholders:
"I have made plenty of mistakes in acquisitions and will make more. Overall, however, our record is satisfactory, which means that our shareholders are far wealthier today than they would be if the funds we used for acquisitions had instead been devoted to share repurchases or dividends."
So, this past weekend I took to Twitter to see if I could garner some responses as to how you Fools out there would vote on this proposal. I was thrilled to see how many responded so quickly, and I can't thank each and every one of you enough for taking the time to chime in. And if it's any indicator as to how the overall vote will play out, well, let's just say that if you're waiting for Berkshire Hathaway to pay a dividend, then you'd better bring a lunch, because you're going to be waiting for a while.
With this in mind, I offer you all of the responses below. Oh yeah, and just so we're clear, I'm voting no:
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