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Nobody wants to think about the death of Warren Buffett.But prudent investors must consider the deaths of key executives, especially when those managers are integral to operations.
And few companies go hand-in-hand with a company quite like Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway.
In a new presentation addressing his investment in Berkshire Hathaway, Whitney Tilson visits the dark topic.
While Buffett’s unexpected death would be tragic and negative for the stock, there is at least one risk to shares that Tilson believes could be even worse.
A far greater risk to Berkshire shareholders is that Buffett begins to lose it mentally and starts making bad investment decisions, but doesn’t recognise it (or refuses to acknowledge it because he loves his work so much) and the board won’t “take away the keys”, perhaps rationalizing that a diminished Buffett is still better than anyone else.
Fortunately, Buffett is smart enough that he considered this. From Tilson:
Buffett is aware of this risk and has instructed Berkshire’s board members, both publicly and privately, that their most important job is to “take away the keys” if they see him losing it.
Tilson’s largest long position continues to be Berkshire Hathaway.