After the stock market closed Friday afternoon Berkshire Hathaway had a big announcement just in time for this weekend's shareholders meeting. First-quarter profits jumped 51 percent, which should put shareholders in a good mood.
A single share of "A" stock closed at $162,904 Friday, up more than $2,000 for the day. A single share of Berkshire "B" stock closed at $108, up $1.34.
The Dow Jones industrial average crossed 15,000 for the first time and the S&P 500 broke through 1,600. It has plenty of people excited about Saturday’s shareholders’ meeting at the CenturyLink Center.
Friday though was more about sightseeing. Hundreds of photos were taken at 36th and Farnam at Kiewit Plaza, home of Warren Buffet's office. Getting a picture of Buffett's actual home also appears to be a requirement for a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder visiting Omaha in May.
“He's down to earth, he's such a rich guy and gives billions to charity,” said Arun Singh, visiting from New Jersey. “It's amazing he lives such a simple life." Singh was surprised there wasn't more security.
"I'm fascinated all weekend." This is the 12th time Bill Glaser and wife Cheryl will take part in the shareholder's weekend. They love taking in the flavor of the city and the Berkshire investments, like the Dairy Queen at 114th and Dodge.
“Warren playing the ukulele and sometimes he peeks into the exhibit hall and no one knows he's there,” said Cheryl Glaser. “I'll be waiting for him. People don't notice them."
“It's a buzz, it feels good and fun to shop,” said Jane McGowen, who drove up from Texas with her husband. “It's always good to hear Charlie and Warren talk on Saturday. It's always entertaining and interesting." The McGowens got some shopping out the way at Borsheims, buying gifts for themselves.
So as 35,000 people look to the “Oracle of Omaha” for advice on how to be like him, are people taking advantage of the knowledge and retiring early with a solid nest egg?
“We retired early, but not necessarily because of that,” said Ray McGowen. “Hey, I worked so I could retire early."
Has he helped Bill Glaser retire early? “As a matter of fact, yes he has." Bill will be at the CenturyLink bright and early at 5:30 a.m. Saturday to save seats to hear Warren and Charlie Munger talk at 9 a.m. The big event Friday night is the party at Borsheims.