Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Final Chapters

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Berkshire Beyond Buffett: Final Chapters by Steven Towns

This is the final post of my live-tweeting and highlighting of professor Larry Cunningham’s book, Berkshire Beyond Buffett. I’ve practically run out of superlatives…. ValueWalk (dot-com) reported Berkshire Beyond Buffett was among the top-10 books purchased in 2014 by its readers. I suspect the momentum will continue this year. If you’ve missed any of the tweets or posts, see them in order here: IIIIII, and IV (and follow on Twitter: @ActiveInvesting).

I plowed through chapters 10 to 12. Here’s my lone tweet on these:

Ch. 10 enjoyed stories abt BNSF and Shaw Industries. Ch. 11 abt Brooks, Forest River and Oriental Trading. Ch. 12: Marmon Group.

Don’t infer anything negative from the lack of tweets. Quite the contrary. Chapter 12 on Marmon was among my favorites of the entire book.

Here are my tweets from Chapter 13:

Ch. 13: Today 80% of $BRK.B consists of subs and only 20% investees (minority common stock interests), inverse of early 1980s. $BRK.A

Ch. 13 abt $BRK.B’s minority equity portfolio. Incl. 12x return on $KO. @CunninghamProf, u seen any mention of KO dividends recv’d to-date?

$BRK.B intangible commitments of autonomy and permanence bring attractive investment opps. 2008: $BAC $GE $GS. $TIF and $HOG too.

$USG mentioned briefly in Ch 13 of Berkshire Beyond Buffett by @CunninghamProf as prime candidate for full acq by $BRK.B.

Chapter 14 (“Succession”) is the first of Part III (final part) of Berkshire Beyond Buffett. Says Larry Cunningham:

You can take Buffett out of Berkshire, but you can’t take Berkshire out of the subsidiaries.

I love that. I’m sure his readers will also love the shareowner tables (class A and B shares) that include highlights of those owners that have concentrated more than 5% of their portfolio in Berkshire stock.

Chapter 15 (“Challenges”) includes mention of Buffett’s M&A strategy for Berkshire, which I tweeted as follows:

Buffett on $BRK.B M&A strat: haphazard, serendipitous; neither carefully crafted nor sophisticated. Hard/imposs to replicate for successor?

M&A, Buffett considers the lack of having a plan a strong plus. Plans constrain judgement and discretion according to the oracle. $BRK.B

And here’s one more from Chapter 15:

h/t @CunninghamProf: With Singleton’s centralization at Teledyne, he was essential; with Berkshire’s decentralization, Buffett isn’t. $BRK.B

Chapter 16 is entitled with the B.E.R.K.S.H.I.R.E acrostic that first appeared in Chapter 3. This is the last chapter and is a solid closing to the book. I don’t want to summarize here because it would give away too much. I will instead share two quotes from the chapter.

Working hard is good. But please, if you have children, attend all their events. You can have thirty or even fifty years with a company, but your kids only go through first grade once. –Randy Watson, CEO, Justin Brands

Buffett’s legacy is not ultimately measured in money but in Berkshire, its values, its people, and its businesses. –Larry Cunningham, Berkshire Beyond Buffett

You might also enjoy another recent post (click the first hyperlink below).

Susan Decker on the Magic of Berkshire Hathaway’s Returns $BRK.A$BRK.B$L$LUK$CNA#valueinvesting

Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values by Lawrence A. Cunningham

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