Billionaire Warren Buffett said rampant inflation is squeezing Americans everywhere — regardless of whether they’re taking steps to avoid it.
“Inflation swindles the bond investor… it swindles the person who keeps their cash under their mattress, it swindles almost everybody,” the legendary investor said at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting over the weekend.
“Inflation… it’s extraordinary how much we’ve seen,” Buffett added. “For two years the prices have kept coming in higher.”
US inflation is running at 8.5%, according to the most recent read from the feds, its highest level since 1981 and a threat to everyday Americans.
The advice from Buffett, who has noted that inflation is likewise giving fewer places for stock investors to hide, focused on how average Americans — not Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell — can address the issue.
“The best thing you can do is to be exceptionally good at something,” Buffett said.
“If you’re the best doctor in town, if you’re the best lawyer in town, if you’re the best whatever it may be… [people] are going to give you some of what they produce in exchange for what you deliver.”
“Whatever abilities you have can’t be taken away from you. They can’t actually be inflated away from you… So the best investment by far is anything that develops yourself, and it’s not taxed at all,” Buffett added.
It was the first time since 2019 that 91-year old Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Buffett and 98-year-old Vice Chairman Charlie Munger hosted the annual event in person.
While shareholders may have been glad to see the two men back at their perch, answering questions, and sharing guidance for the upcoming year — they may also have been disappointed by Berkshire’s miss this last quarter.
The conglomerate, which owns company’s ranging from insurance giants like Geico to confectioners like See’s Candies, reported a $1.58 billion loss in the first quarter of 2022. It was a dramatic shift from the same quarter a year earlier when Berkshire reported a nearly $5 billion gain.
Still, “Woodstock for capitalists” was as busy as ever — with the nearly 17,000 seat arena filled with fans who flocked to Nebraska to see the legendary men. This year’s attendees included Bill Gates, Tim Cook, Jamie Dimon, Bill Ackman and even Bill Murray and Glenn Close.
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