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Berkshire A class
Old 07-15-2017, 05:28 PM   #1
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Berkshire A class

Just wondering if a lot of people here bought themselves any of those high end brk A share for a cool 1/4 mill. If you did, do you have 1 for fun or more?

Will you keep it after Buffet dies?
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:06 PM   #2
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I've got $118K in B shares (bought years before the split).

I absolutely intend to keep them after Buffet dies- it sounds like he has a succession plan set up and I agree with his contention that it would be useless to bring them to HQ right now and put them in adjoining offices because right now they're running Berkshire companies. Heck, he could outlive them! I heard from my advisor that once when rumors circulated that Buffet was near death the stock dropped 10%, which isn't a catastrophe.
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:16 PM   #3
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In 2009, as the market crashed and recovered, I thought about buying BRK, never owning it before. Thought about the A share, which was about $90K each then, but then decided against it.

I am not rich, and if I want to rebalance my AA, that's too big a percentage with each share. It may be good for bragging rights, but who do I brag to? And I do not care about the privilege of the A shares, like going to the annual shareholder meeting, for example.

So, I bought the B shares instead. If they did not have the B shares, I might have held my nose to buy the A's. Or I might not have.

By the way, I will keep the B shares after Buffett croaks. It's a good diversified conglomerate, so why not?
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:23 PM   #4
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If you don't want dividends, both the A and B shares are a great way to get cap gains instead.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:40 AM   #5
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And I do not care about the privilege of the A shares, like going to the annual shareholder meeting, for example.
B share owners may attend the annual meeting. It's 3 hours away from where I live and DH and I attended many times.
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:32 AM   #6
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I actually bought one A share back when it was nearly 80,000. Made a little money as it went up but it made me so nervous I sold it. Shouldn't have, but it's the old story of you have to do what lets you sleep at night.
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dallas27 View Post
Just wondering if a lot of people here bought themselves any of those high end brk A share for a cool 1/4 mill. If you did, do you have 1 for fun or more?s?

I do confess to occasionally holding some investments "for fun". For example, I used to own one share of WmWrigleyCo (before it went private), because they would send a box of chewing gum to each shareholder as a Christmas present). However, 250k, for me, is pretty serious- way past fun
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:35 AM   #8
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We hold B shares, as in our world, selling a single A share would be a large capital gain, not enough granularity with the A shares.

It's just easier to manage our allocations.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:03 AM   #9
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B share owners may attend the annual meeting. It's 3 hours away from where I live and DH and I attended many times.
Thanks for the correction. I recall reading the contrary years ago, when the B shares came out. Either my memory was faulty, or I got the wrong info.
Anyway, it is not likely that I will attend any shareholder meeting.

About holding BRK, I feel safe because it is so diversified. Comparing BRK to the S&P, it is easy to see when it leads or lags the latter. BRK did significantly better in the Great Recession because it had no shenanigan financial components, but did not go up as much when the tech sector led.

I buy hi-tech sectors like biotech and semiconductor myself, so that complement BRK. I never pay much attention to BRK in day-to-day portfolio monitoring and just leave it alone.
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:11 PM   #10
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Woohoo! I owned Berkshire A. It made up less than 0.15% of my portfolio. Now, now, don't start thinking I am part of the 1%. This thread prompted me to check my "diversification" spreadsheet. I found out I sold it because it was held in the Fidelity Contrafund. One of my rebalance triggers had me sell the Contrafund and purchase a total bond fund on Friday.
I still own some Berkshire B. It is a small part of the Vanguard Total Stock Market fund and makes up less than 0.45% of my total portfolio. I will continue to own VTSAX after Buffet's passing.
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:14 PM   #11
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no A, diversification, I'm not in the USD two comma club Do have a few B-shares.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:17 PM   #12
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We have an "A" share and several "Bs". I bought the "A" years ago when it was around 60,000 or 80,000 for my wife as a birthday present. We have both been fans and also traveled across the country about 4 years ago to participate in the shareholders meeting. I think we were in our 30s when I bought the "A" share so it was a stretch.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:34 PM   #13
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I bought a A share in 2005 for 85K and 1200 more Bs at various times right after the great recession.

I was also pushing people to buy the stock starting in Dec 2008 and right before the bottom in March 2009.

I don't think its a great bargain right now, but it is still safer than most stocks.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:16 PM   #14
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I think Berkshire has lost a lot of its luster. Its performance over 1, 3 and 5 years is only slightly better than VTSAX.... for 10 years it is a little better... of course for longer periods BRK.A is the clear winner but its recent history has been just ok.

VTSAX Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares Fund VTSAX chart
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:56 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=pb4uski;1910793]I think Berkshire has lost a lot of its luster. Its performance over 1, 3 and 5 years is only slightly better than VTSAX.... for 10 years it is a little better... of course for longer periods BRK.A is the clear winner but its recent history has been just ok.

I agree and that's likely to continue for a while. However, Berkshire's volatility is below average with a Beta of .87 so on risk adjusted basis just keeping up with the market is a win.

Berkshire is the ultimate defensive stock. As I talked about during my post about it during the recession, it has a bunch of very stable business offering everything from auto insurances, to rail transportation, too fast food, and bricks and paint. They are likely to suffer less in in recession (which is what happened).

Meanwhile, Warren's reputation gave him access to some incredible deals, his investments in GE, Goldman Sachs, and BofA were all amazing deals. First, because Berkshire was one of the few companies that had $5 and $10 billion in cash and second because investment by Warren Buffett means something. Meaning that if I had spare $10 billion lying around BofA was willing to give Buffett better terms on his investment than I'd would have gotten.

There are plenty of better stocks (or just the total market index fund) that are likely to do better than Berkshire in a bull market, few better in a bear.
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