My name is Peter Bevelin from Sweden. You have said that you like franchise companies, companies that have — that are castles surrounded by moats, companies that are possible to — you can have some prediction five, 10 years down the road. But aren’t businesses like See’s Candy, the furniture business, the jewelry business, the shoe business, businesses that are hard to predict the future, five, 10 years down the road? WARREN BUFFETT
What was that on the last part of that? CHARLIE MUNGER
Aren’t these businesses hard to predict five or 10 years down the road? WARREN BUFFETT
Yeah, I think — CHARLIE MUNGER
Things like shoe business and — WARREN BUFFETT
I think they’re far easier to predict than most businesses. I think I can come closer to telling you the future of virtually all of the businesses we have, and not just because we have them — I mean, if they belonged to somebody else — than if I took the Dow 30, excluding the ones we own, or you know, the first 100 companies alphabetically on the New York Stock Exchange.
I think ours are way easier to predict. There are fair — they tend to be fundamental things, fairly simple. Rate of change is not fast, so I feel pretty comfortable.
I think, when you look at Berkshire five years from now, the businesses we have now will be performing pretty much as we’ve anticipated at this time.
I hope there are some new ones, and I hope they’re big ones. But I don’t think that we’ll have had lots of surprises in the present ones.
My guess is we’ll have had one surprise. I don’t know what it’ll be. But I mean, you know, that happens in life. But there won’t be a series of them.
Whereas, if you — if we were to buy — if we owned a base metals business or many retailing businesses I can think of, or an auto business, I’m not sure I’d know where we would stand in the competitive pecking order five or 10 years from now.
I would not want to try and come in and displace See’s Candies, for example, in the business it does, or the Furniture Mart. It’s not an easy job.
So, I don’t think you’ll get lots of surprises with the present businesses of Berkshire, but the key is developing more of them.
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