Berkshire Is Bigger than Cancer
Kyle is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
“You have to realize that someday you will die, until you know that, you are useless!” –Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
Not too long ago, I had a decent quantity of dollar bills stashed in my brokerage account, which is uncommon for me, since I would rather have it “working” for me, at the very least in a high-yielding dividend stock. I was liquid. I was amassing a healthy pile for reasons which may seem somewhat morbid to some people, and even a few regular investing-type folks (not to any analysts, though). There was an Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), shareholder meeting where CEO, Steve Jobs was described as looking “emaciated”, “ghastly”, “unhealthy”, and several other adjectives used to describe a person as if they had any say in how they looked, courtesy of a potentially fatal condition. Appearance is everything to some (for anyone that has seen me on a day-to-day basis, you would clearly ascertain I really couldn’t care less), and if that’s how you size up an individual, trust me, you are truly missing out. I was told there were several shareholders that had declared intentions to exit their positions in Apple simply based on how they perceived the legendary CEO, regardless of his condition during his battle with pancreatic cancer and the condition of the company. Some people think that is a smart way to go about their business, I happen to think it’s completely irresponsible and irrational, and the stock price seems to be in that same camp with me, roasting marshmallows with solid gold skewers.
Now I happen to think that this is a very common line of thinking with the shallowness of some people working in and around the stock market, who seem to look at equities much in the same way Tiger Woods looked at women, even though he happened to be in some semblance of a marriage. After hearing such shareholder nonsense, I was described as being rather morbid myself, by simply recommending Apple stock, specifically if it hit a share price of $75. Now pancreatic cancer is nothing to monkey around with, and although I was fairly certain that dreadful disease would best its competitor, Mr. Jobs wasn’t going down without a fight. The stock never hit my strike price, I went somewhere else with my money, and eventually I started a long position with Apple at $193 a while back, where I currently sit, still not taking profits, as this one is far from over.
When I read the announcement that Warren Buffett had been diagnosed with stage 1 prostate cancer, it jarred some of those memories for me, and watching the share price for Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B), it appears as though there are still people refusing to learn anything that history teaches us every single day. I sincerely wish the absolute best for Mr. Buffett, but I could have told anyone that would care to listen (the number has grown to 23), this type of obnoxious behavior would happen to the share price, and there are even some annoying analysts that openly express their “concerns” for the stock, as if Armageddon is approaching. I find this repulsive and parasitic, as these people know the company well, and I would not be at all surprised if they cast storm clouds over Omaha to watch the stock price decline so they could scoop up shares for themselves at a discount. Learn from this situation, don’t simply react. The price will go lower, do your homework and act accordingly.
Warren Buffett doesn’t seem like the kind of person that goes through this beautiful gift of life by simply making it to the next set of birthday candles. The Oracle is still very much a part of day-to-day business in the lovely city of Omaha, and he is not only one of the market’s great long-term investors, he has a following the magnitude of which we could bestow the title of Stock Pope (I am designing his hat after I finish typing). His status is legendary, much like Jobs, and like the man that made black turtlenecks cool again, Mr. Buffett still seems hungry and passionate in building a legacy that transcends him.
It’s perfectly normal to listen to the vultures squawking overhead, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should run for cover, especially with a well-run company. I am no doctor (nor do I play one on TV), but prostate cancer tends to move slower than a Walmart rascal, and I would rather bet with Buffett, than against him.
Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple, and Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, and Berkshire Hathaway. kmet312 owns shares of Apple. 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.