Mohnish Pabrai: Which Berkshire Businesses Will Be Around In 200 Years

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During this Q&A session with The London School of Economics, Mohnish Pabrai discussed which Berkshire Hathaway businesses will be around in 200 years. Here’s an excerpt from the session:

Pabrai: I was having a conversation with Charlie Munger a few weeks ago, and I told him Charlie the one thing that’s going to survive in the Berkshire portfolio for more than 200 years is going to be the railroad. So Berkshire owns Burlington Northern Railway.

Now 200 years from now the technology of rails may change maybe or freight it might be maglev or something else, but the point is that they own the rights of way and they own that land.

And they know they own the connection to the ports and all of that, and humans need some way to transport goods in large land masses.

So I think the Burlington Northern Railway is likely to be around and thriving 200 years from now.

And then Charlie said to me, he says I think our utilities will be there as well.

They have a big business with a lot of power companies that Berkshire owns and he’s probably right about that, but he didn’t mention to me that Coke would be there for example.

And I think Coke will be there. I think that’s a pretty decent shot but they may very well may not be, we don’t know. 200 years is a long time. Look at the world 200 years back.

So the difficulty with capitalism is that when we look at businesses that may look dominant today our job as investors is to project what these businesses may look like 5, 10, 20 years from now.

And that is a very difficult exercise because you have all these marauding intruders who want to take away your moat. Who want to take away those profits, and they’re continuously coming at you. That’s what makes this a fun and exciting endeavor from my point of view because trying to figure those things out is not that straightforward.

You can watch the entire discussion here:

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