We're coming to you live from the 2014 Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-B) (NYSE:BRK-A) annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. We are transcribing the famous Buffett and Munger Q&A and live chatting with Fools around the globe! Click HERE to access this free live chat!
Warren Buffett is filthy rich. But if you saw him on the street, walked past his house, or sat in his office, you wouldn't know it.
In other words, Buffett is a unique individual. He doesn't think or act like the rest of us. For this reason, there's not a single company out there that strikes fear into the heart of The Oracle.
During the famous day-long Q&A session with Berkshire shareholders, a questioner asked Buffett if he could get rid of one competitor, which would it be? Buffett couldn't come up with an answer.
How is that no one has been able to successfully copycat Buffett and Berkshire's model and build an empire that rivals the Omaha powerhouse?
Buffett thinks he knows why:
"I think slowness turns off more people than anything else"
Few question the brilliance of Berkshire's business model. Its large insurance operations give Buffett and team billions of low-cost capital to buy-and-hold attractively priced equities, capital-intensive businesses, or buy back its own shares.
The reason more people haven't replicated Berkshire's success is because all of these things are boring and slow.
It's human nature to be more concerned about the present than the future. Most of our needs are immediate, so that's where our focus is.
The idea of locking up money for 30 years is unsettling, but the reason Buffett and Munger have have been so successful is they've been able to think in generational terms when it comes to Berkshire's capital. Neither Buffett nor Munger will be around 30 years, but both are still positioning the company to thrive in the 2044 economy.
Before the next question was posed, Munger added his two-cent on Berkshire's lack of competition.
"It's slow. The difficulty of being slow is that you're dead before it's finished."
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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool recommends Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool owns shares of 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.
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