Buffett: Berkshire bought 'more Apple than anything else' over previous year

02 March, 2018, 05:11 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • Unlike many multinational conglomerates Berkshire Hathaway's annual meet allows guests to bring along their children. In fact the company makes arrangements such as bringing in cartoon characters and shopping stalls

In that case, he said, the industry's total insured losses might well have been an additional $100 billion.

"My main takeaways are the underlying businesses continue to do extremely well, the cash continues to pile up, an additional $30 billion in the a year ago alone" to a total of $116 billion, said Whitney Tilson, a Berkshire shareholder for more than two decades and a close follower of Buffett, 87, and his longtime business partner and sidekick, Charlie Munger, 94. Buffett appeared on the show with interviewer Becky Quick.

Over the weekend, everyone was forced to spend their Saturday perusing grandpa Warren's annual letter which was mercifully shorter than usual.

Buffett said that the company's search for new stand-alone businesses continues.

"I think what the kids are doing is very, very admirable", he said, referring to students talking about gun laws after the recent Florida school shooting. Careful decisions and an aversion to debt and speculation has gotten the firm this far - and that's the course it'll stay on, he said.

Instead of letting baseballs fly past him, Buffett is rejecting potential acquisitions that are too expensive, too small or not for sale or for some other reason just don't fit with Berkshire. They hope their companies' sheer sizes will help bring the necessary scale and resources to tackle the health-care system's most pressing issues. Deploying those funds into new, large acquisitions is key to Buffett's strategy to increase the earnings of his company over time.

He said much of that gain was due to the tax-reform bill. "Fees never falter." Buffett simply bought the low cost index.

Buffett did say something notable about bonds and their "proper" place in a portfolio in this year's edition, but it was only notable because of the prevailing market environment.

The country should be generally pro-trade, Buffett said, with as close to a balance of imports and exports as possible.

"In the meantime, we will stick with our simple guideline", he said.

Buffett is confident about Berkshire's ability to withstand even worse catastrophes than those 2017 brought.

Buffett's letter is always well-read in the business world because of his remarkable track record over more than five decades and his talent for explaining complicated subjects in plain language. Private business owners don't buy in and out of their family's company every other week, the same attitude should be taken about our own portfolio's investments. Buffett maintains that he feels no pressure to buy something just because Berkshire has the money.

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Buffett said Berkshire functions like a savings account, so it doesn't pay dividends.

Buffett has written and spoken about the bet extensively but he shared three more takeaways in this year's letter. "We concluded that Apple would come out with something and calm the market, and make investors look to the future".

Buffett said he believes Wells Fargo will get through its problems with misconduct and government penalties.

Berkshire holds a 9.3 percent stake in Wells Fargo. Book value per share, measuring assets minus liabilities, rose 23 percent in 2017. That compares with $548 million gain the previous year.

Still you could have used that argument to bet against Mr Buffett and have gone for hedge funds in 2007 and yet even then he would have won posthumously, as presumably he intended.


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