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Investors Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger told Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that they probably should have recognized Google's brilliance and invested in it.
But the top two executives at Berkshire had long ruled out technology companies because they believe it's too hard to predict which ones will prevail.
So they missed out on Google even though they knew the business well because Berkshire's Geico insurance unit advertised with the search engine.
Munger says in retrospect, he thinks he and Buffett were smart enough to figure out Google's prospects early on, but they didn't.
In recent years, Buffett has ventured a bit into tech investing but with mixed results. He said Friday that Berkshire recently sold off one-third of its 81 million IBM shares because the investment hasn't performed as well as he expected.
Berkshire holds about 133 million Apple shares, but Buffett says he looks at that more as a consumer products company instead of a technology company.
Investor Warren Buffett says he believes it works better to hold his employees to a high standard and expect them to do the right thing instead of imposing extensive rules.
Buffett says he always urges Berkshire Hathaway employees to protect the company's reputation above all and avoid questionable behavior. Buffett made his comments during the company's annual meeting Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska.
He believes that will help Berkshire avoid scandals like the one that hurt Wells Fargo last year. Berkshire is Wells Fargo's biggest shareholder.
Berkshire is known for its decentralized structure with fewer than 30 people at headquarters that allows the more than 90 companies it owns to largely run themselves.
"We count very heavily on principles of behavior rather than loads of rules," Buffett said.
Buffett says Berkshire will occasionally have problems because it has 367,000 employees.
Billionaire Warren Buffett paid tribute to Vanguard founder Jack Bogle at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting Saturday.
Bogle attended Berkshire's meeting Saturday after Buffett praised him in his annual letter to shareholders this year.
Buffett has long recommended that most casual investors would be better off investing in index funds steadily over time instead of trying to pick individual stocks.
Buffett says Bogle played a major role in creating the index funds that are common today, and that has helped millions of investors earn more because the fees are so cheap.
Buffett, who is 86, said Bogle will celebrate his 88th birthday Monday. Buffett joked that if Bogle holds out for just a couple more years, he'll be old enough to qualify for an executive job at Berkshire. Buffett's Vice Chairman Charlie Munger is 93.
When billionaire Warren Buffett toured the exhibit hall where Berkshire Hathaway companies are selling their products outside Berkshire's annual meeting, he was again surrounded by a pack of reporters, shareholders and security officers.
At Berkshire's annual meeting Saturday, Buffett is the celebrity that everyone wants to get close to. While Buffett met Mr. Peanut at the Kraft Heinz booth, Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh wandered a few feet away without a crowd.
While he wandered through the hall, Buffett told reporters that he continues to believe the economy is growing steadily at about 2 percent a year. And he told a recent college graduate to try to find career that makes use of her skills and appeals to her passions.
Shareholder Elizabeth Varner said it was fun just listening to Buffett while walking near him in the crowd and trying to shoot pictures of the down-to-Earth billionaire.
Listening to Warren Buffett never gets old to the thousands of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders filling an arena to listen to the billionaire investor at the company's annual meeting.
The chance to hear Buffett and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger field questions for more than five hours is again expected to attract more than 30,000 people to Omaha, Nebraska, on Saturday.
Seventy-year-old Dave Mueller flew out from Denver, Colorado, for his fourth meeting because he loves hearing the 86-year-old Buffett and 93-year-old Munger talk.
Dozens of companies Berkshire owns set up booths in an adjoining 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall to sell their products and take questions about their businesses.
Shareholder Jerry Meyer said the exhibits are a neat way to learn about Berkshire and boost investor enthusiasm.
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Berkshire Hathaway Inc.: www.berkshirehathaway.com