- Warren Buffett embraced the Christmas spirit when he turned up to his friend’s dinner party carrying toys for her children, and feasted on cookies for dessert.
- “He arrived with almost FAO Schwarz-sized teddy bears in both arms,” Trey Lockerbie, a value investor and podcast host, said on “The Good Life” podcast. “He walked in very much like Santa Claus.”
- The billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO declined to break his fast-food diet during the meal.
- “Everyone else had this really lovely Italian dinner,” Lockerbie said. “He had his hamburger and Coca-Cola and I think Oreos at the end.”
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Warren Buffett might have been mistaken for Santa Claus when everyone at a friend’s dinner party was anxiously awaiting his arrival, and he turned up bearing gifts for the children, then later munched on cookies for dessert.
Trey Lockerbie, a co-host of the “We Study Billionaires” podcast, shared the colorful story of his first meeting with the famed investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO during a December 2020 episode of “The Good Life” podcast.
Lockerbie wrangled an invite to the dinner from his cousin, who was hosting it. Initially, he and the other guests feared Buffett wouldn’t be able to make the trip from Omaha to New York. “What airline is he flying?” one person asked.
“Well, he’s flying NetJets, but he owns NetJets so I’m sure he’ll work something out,” Lockerbie’s cousin replied.
Buffett eventually found a solution and made it on time. The billionaire’s entrance has stuck with Lockerbie ever since, he told “The Good Life” host Sean Murray.
“He arrived with almost FAO Schwarz-sized teddy bears in both arms,” Lockerbie said. “He walked in very much like Santa Claus, just very joyous and within minutes, he was on his hands and knees talking and playing with these kids.”
“An 80-something-year-old man instantly plopped down, being really warm and interactive with these small kids,” he added. “That just left a really huge impression on me.”
Lockerbie, who is also a value investor and the CEO of a kombucha startup named Better Booch, recalled that his cousin ordered a hamburger especially for Buffett “because that’s all he eats.”
Indeed, one of the world’s wealthiest men enjoys McDonald’s for breakfast, guzzles several cans of soda daily, and loves sweet treats. Buffett’s company also holds a roughly 10% stake in Coca-Cola and owns See’s Candies and Dairy Queen.
“Everyone else had this really lovely Italian dinner,” Lockerbie said. “He had his hamburger and Coca-Cola and I think Oreos at the end.”
During the meal, Lockerbie noticed that Buffett reeled off a date almost every time he spoke, underscoring the Berkshire chief’s affinity for numbers and exceptional memory.
Lockerbie was deeply immersed in options trading at the time, and firmly believed that markets were efficient. Therefore, he asked Buffett whether the internet and other technologies posed challenges to traditional value-investing strategies, which aim to identify underpriced assets.
“I’ll never forget the look on his face when I asked him that,” Lockerbie told Murray. “As Santa Claus-y, bright and warm as his demeanor was, he would sometimes make this Cheshire Cat grin.”
“I felt that I glimpsed the hardcore businessman in him,” he continued. “It was like he knows so much more than you and almost had pity on you.”
Buffett replied that if markets didn’t make mistakes, he couldn’t have made a fortune by finding bargains. The investor added that he considers markets to be mostly efficient, but inefficiencies occasionally emerge when people’s psychology usurps their rationality.
Cookies and soda for breakfast
Lockerbie has visited Buffett a couple of times since, and bore witness to the billionaire’s sweet tooth on another occasion.
“I sat in on his 6 a.m. CNBC interviews the day after Berkshire’s annual meeting,” he said. “They gave him a bowl of Oreos and a Coca-Cola and that was his breakfast.”
Lockerbie also told Buffett about his kombucha business during one conversation. “He was interested in that, he’d never heard of kombucha and he said, ‘Well, call me when it starts competing with Coca-Cola.'”
“I wanna make that call, that’s my mission,” Lockerbie said.
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