Berkshire Was Too Cheap, Then Too Pricey – Bloomberg

Market orders are famously risky, because occasionally prices surprise you. So 99.99% of the time, what happens is that you see Amalgamated Widgets stock trading at $20 per share, and you say “I would like some of that,” and you put in an order to buy 100 shares of Amalgamated Widgets at whatever the market price is, and by the time you press the button on your order and it runs through your broker’s systems and gets to the trading venue and gets filled, the price is, like, $20.01, or $20.02, or $19.98 or whatever, and you get your shares at a slightly different price from the one that you saw on the screen, and you say “ah that’s fine” or “oh well, slippage,” and you understand that pressing the buttons on your retail brokerage’s website is not an exact science but it’s good enough.

And then 0.01% of the time, what happens is that you see Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class A shares trading at $185 per share, and you say “I would like some of that,” and you put in an order to buy 100 shares of BRK/A at whatever the market price is, and by the time the order gets filled, uh, 90 minutes later, the price is $741,971.39 per share, and you get a bill for $74 million instead of the $18,500 you expected….

Source: Berkshire Was Too Cheap, Then Too Pricey – Bloomberg