Warren Buffett was in top form in his latest annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. The “Oracle of Omaha” railed against deficits and those politicians that slam stock buybacks for the sake of doing so. Buffett played up the need for people to save money and invest for the long-term, two classic Buffett approaches to life. And also in classic Buffett form, the billionaire investor added a dose of life wisdom: “Find a very smart high-grade partner – preferably slightly older than you – and then listen very carefully to what he says,” Buffett said, in a shout to long-time friend and business partner Charlie Munger. What Buffett didn’t mention: (1) Succession; (2) Views on the current stock market’s levels or valuations; (3) FTX’s blowup.
BRIAN SOZZI: Warren Buffett’s annual shareholder letter is out. Here are three top takeaways from the Yahoo Finance team. First up, a call to action to all humans start saving money– Buffett says this. It is those dedicated savers that are forefront in my mind as I write this letter.
He adds, Charlie and I are not stock pickers. We are business pickers, telling people to save money. And maybe they’re listening. The US savings rate is now at a one year high, at about 4.7%. I think Buffett wants to see it even higher.
Takeaway number two, investing school is in [? no ?] session again– no surprise here in the Warren Buffett annual shareholder letter, Buffett noting this, saying, quote, “the lesson for investors, the weeds wither away in significance as the flowers bloom over time. It takes just a few winners to work wonders.” And yes, it helps to start early and live into your 90s, as well, Warren Buffett 92 years old, his longtime partner Charlie Munger 99 years old; Warren Buffett saying, if you want to be a successful investor, invest for the long term– no surprise. That’s typical Warren Buffett being Warren Buffett.
Takeaway number three here, a message or messages to all politicians here, Warren Buffett taking some jabs at folks in DC, noting this. Berkshire also offers some modest protection from runaway inflation. But this attribute is far from perfect. Huge and entrenched fiscal deficits have consequences– interesting take there from Buffett.
Buffett also says– really tries to, I think, champion stock repurchases, saying repurchases, those that tell people that repurchases are harmful to shareholders or to the country are particularly beneficial to CEOs, you’re listening to either an economic illiterate or a silver-tongued demagogue– so Warren Buffett taking some swings at politicians. What we did not hear in this letter, no succession plan. Warren Buffett and Charlie Martin will be at that May 5th to May 6th annual shareholder meeting in Omaha– Brian Sozzi, out.