A shareholder from the floor of the arena asks if Berkshire should have stuck to buying businesses that don't require a huge amount of capital to run them, instead of pivoting to businesses such as the railroad and utility unit.
Mr. Buffett says there's no question that such capital-light businesses are preferred, but that they're hard to find. "We'd love to" buy more of them, he says.
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Then he takes an unscheduled detour into a discussion of the major tech stocks that top the U.S. stock market's market-cap tables. He doesn't name them, but this group includes Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google's parent company, Alphabet. He marvels at how capital-light their operations are.
"That is a very different world. It used to be that growing and earning large amounts of money required investment" but "you literally don't need any money to run" these operations, he says with a bit of hyperbole.
"Andrew Mellon would be absolutely baffled but that is the world."
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 06, 2017 12:37 ET (16:37 GMT)