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Collection: Warren Buffett - #201 'Gold'



Good afternoon, Mr. Buffett, Mr. Munger. Kathleen Lane (PH) from New York.

I have a question out of left field for you. You say you like to be entertained? This question will entertain you. It’s also a serious question.

I know you don’t like to speculate about the future. You won’t do so. I appreciate that.

But some people do. For example, Edgar Cayce was one. He didn’t pick stocks or investments. But if he had, he would’ve probably gone for that farmland that you were talking about earlier this morning.

Because he had a dream that in the year 2158, Omaha would be located on the west coast of the United States. And you know how beachfront property goes. So it would be a good bet.


It will be good for our super catastrophe business, if that happens. (Laughter)


As you both said earlier, we’re living in an extraordinary time, financially especially.

You can’t help but to hear disaster scenarios concerning the impending collapse of worldwide financial markets, about major physical changes in the world as we know it, about a future when the world’s resources will be better measured by their prospects for ensuring our basic survival than their value as speculative commodities. That’s where that farmland would come in again.

Nobody does better what you two do. But even if your investment acumen wasn’t what it is, I would invest with you, because you’re honest.

In short, I came here to ask you, what would you tell a single mother to exchange her Berkshire share hold for gold coins? When, under what circumstances?


Well, I can’t imagine ever exchanging any of my shares for gold coins. But —

I would rather trust in the intrinsic value of a bunch of really fine businesses run by good managers selling products that people like to buy and have liked to buy for a long time, and then exchanging their future efforts, the money that comes from their wages, for See’s Candy or Coca-Cola or whatever, than take some piece of metal that people dig out of the ground in South Africa and then put back in the ground at Fort Knox, you know, after transporting it and insuring it and everything else. (Laughter)

I’ve never been able to get real excited about gold. Now, my dad was a huge enthusiast for a gold standard. So I grew up in a family where gold was revered, if not possessed. And I would — I gave it its full chance.

But I’ve never understood what the intrinsic value of gold is. And, you know, we’ll sell you some at Borsheims, but I would never exchange —

The idea of exchanging a producing asset for a nonproducing asset would be pretty foreign to me.


~ Please visit the site above for full video of Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.


[YAPSS Takeaway]

"The idea of exchanging a producing asset for a non-producing asset would be pretty foreign to me." ~Warren Buffett

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