All of that said, Charlie and I would be less than human if we did not feel a special kinship with our fifth bucket: the million-plus individual investors who simply trust us to represent their interests, whatever the future may bring. They have joined us with no intent to leave, adopting a mindset similar to that held by our original partners. Indeed, many investors from our partnership years, and/or their descendants, remain substantial owners of Berkshire.

A prototype of those veterans is Stan Truhlsen, a cheerful and generous Omaha ophthalmologist as well as personal friend, who turned 100 on November 13, 2020. In 1959, Stan, along with 10 other young Omaha doctors, formed a partnership with me. The docs creatively labeled their venture Emdee, Ltd. Annually, they joined my wife and me for a celebratory dinner at our home.

When our partnership distributed its Berkshire shares in 1969, all of the doctors kept the stock they received. They may not have known the ins and outs of investing or accounting, but they did know that at Berkshire they would be treated as partners.

Two of Stan’s comrades from Emdee are now in their high-90s and continue to hold Berkshire shares. This group’s startling durability - along with the fact that Charlie and I are 97 and 90, respectively - serves up an interesting question: Could it be that Berkshire ownership fosters longevity?

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