Warren Buffett Jokes, But Not About Berkshire Paying a Dividend

The 86-year-old CEO and his 93-year-old partner have been leading the conglomerate for more than five decades, but the crowd is always listening for new nuggets of wisdom.

He said some of Berkshire's industrial units saw upticks in business this year, as have credit card companies such as Visa Inc V.N and American Express Co AXP.N , a longtime Berkshire investment.

Separately, on Amazon, he said, "I was too dumb to realise what was going to happen".

Currently, Buffett believes he can find a good use for Berkshire's cash, so the company doesn't pay dividends and rarely repurchases its stock.

Buffett said India is a huge and enormous market for anyone to ignore. With big slugs of Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio struggling, including Wells Fargo and IBM, returns are converging with the S&P 500.

Billionaire Warren Buffett says the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare would be a boon for the super-rich.

Even the world's most famous investor, also known as the Oracle of Omaha, has regrets. Of the bank's ousted chief executive, John Stumpf, Buffett said, "The moment the CEO heard about it, he had to act".

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Munger added: "You've got to remember railroads were a bad business for decades and decades and decades, and then they got good".

Berkshire vice-chairperson Charlie Munger, who was also answering shareholder questions during the annual meeting, agreed with the assessment.

To no one's surprise, Buffett did not mention who would take over for him as Berkshire's chief executive.

Buffett also called rising medical costs the "tapeworm of American economic competitiveness", claiming it has been health care expenses, as opposed to high corporate taxes, that are holding companies back.

At Berkshire's annual meeting Saturday, Buffett is the celebrity that everyone wants to get close to. "I did not think [CEO Jeff Bezos] could succeed on the scale he has", Buffett said, adding that he "really underestimated the brilliance of the execution".

Buffett's change of heart would be both a boon to his shareholders and somewhat ironic: The investor has publicly espoused the value of income-paying stocks, particularly for retirement savers, but may bring dividends to Berkshire just as he prepares to retire himself. The event offers Geico insurance quotes, See's Candy, Justin cowboy boots, recreational vehicles and homes manufactured by Clayton Homes.

Shareholder Jerry Meyer said the exhibits are a neat way to learn about Berkshire and boost investor enthusiasm. When Buffett toured the exhibit hall, he was surrounded by a pack of reporters, shareholders and security officers.

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