Although our form is corporate, our attitude is partnership. Charlie Munger and I think of our shareholders as owners-partners, and ourselves as managing partners. . . . We do not view the company itself as the owner of our business assets but instead view the company as a conduit through which our shareholders own the assets.
CEOs must embrace stewardship as a way of life and treat their owners as partners not patsies. It's time for CEOs to walk the walk.
Charlie and I hope that you do not think of yourself as merely owning a piece of paper whose price wiggles around daily and that is a candidate for sale when some economic or political event makes you nervous. We hope you instead visualize yourself as a part owner of a business that you expect to stay with indefinitely, much as you might if you owned a farm or apartment house in partnership with members of your family. For our part, we do not view Berkshire shareholders as faceless members of an ever-shifting crowd, but rather as co-venturers who have entrusted their funds to us for what may well turn out to be the remainder of their lives.
The evidence suggests that most Berkshire shareholders have indeed embraced this long-term partnership concept. The annual percentage turnover in Berkshire's shares is a small fraction of that occurring in the stocks of other major American corporations, even when the shares I own are excluded from the calculation.
In effect, our shareholders ...
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