The worlds most recognised investor, business magnate, and philanthropist, Warren Buffett has provided his opinion on the growing importance of social media and the significance of digital currency, Bitcoin.
Buffett, who has a net worth of $53.5 billion according to the most recent Forbes data, is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a diversified company with major interest in Geico, life insurance, annuity sales and sales of jewellery.
The 82 year old was speaking at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Omaha Nebraska on the weekend (4 May), where Berkshire Hathaway reported that first quarter revenue grew 15% to $43.9 billion, while profit jumped 51%.
Buffett logged on to Twitter for the first time last week (2 May), and has already amassed 389,723 followers.
On Saturday (4 May), some 35,000 people descended on Omaha’s CenturyLink Center to attend Berkshire Hathaway’s AGM.
Buffett was asked how social media has impacted Berkshire’s business.
“At a place like Geico it makes a difference and over time it will make a huge difference. We have to listen to our customers. I’ve been amazed at how the world has changed,” he said (transcribed by Reuters).
Another question posed to Buffett was around company’s being able to disclose financial material on Twitter.
In April, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a report that makes clear that companies can use social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to announce key information in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) so long as investors have been alerted about which social media will be used to disseminate such information.
“The key to disclosure is accuracy and simultaneity … I do not want it, if I am buying Wells Fargo, to keep hitting up their web page and hoping I’m not 10 seconds behind someone else for some important announcement,” Buffett said.
According to Wall Street Journal, a shareholder in the audience asked a question about Bitcoin.
Charles Munger, vice chairman at Berkshire Hathaway said: “I have no confidence whatsoever in Bitcoin being a universal currency.”
Buffett professed to know nothing about it. “I’ll put it this way, of our $49 billion, we haven’t moved any of it to Bitcoin,” he said.
When asked about his future, Buffett said: “There’s nothing more fun for me than to find something to add to Berkshire…I hope its true 10 years from now.”