Warren Buffett sticks to business, avoids politics in letter

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett reiterated his rosy lengthy-term outlook for the U.S. economy and his distaste for higher Wall Street fees in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that always draws a big audience. The letter released Saturday...

Warren Buffett sticks to business, avoids politics in letter

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett reiterated his rosy lengthy-term outlook for the U.S. economy and his distaste for higher Wall Street fees in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that always draws a big audience.

The letter released Saturday also describes the functionality of the additional than 90 businesses that Berkshire owns. But aside from that, Buffett largely emphasized points he's produced in the past.

Buffett will most likely address other subjects through a 3-hour tv appearance Monday on CNBC, but he nevertheless might leave some people today wanting much more.

Right here are some highlights of what Berkshire's 86-year-old chairman and CEO did say, and some of the best things investors wish he had addressed:

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ROSY OUTLOOK

Even though reiterating his long-term outlook for a prosperous America, Buffett mainly steered clear of politics this year.

"I will repeat what I've both said in the previous and expect to say in future years: Babies born in America today are the luckiest crop in history," wrote Buffett, who has stated he thinks the economy will be OK beneath President Donald Trump. Buffett is a longtime Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton in last year's campaign.

With out mentioning Trump's immigration policies, Buffett did note that "a tide of talented and ambitious immigrants" played a considerable part in the country's prosperity.

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Charge FORTUNES

Buffett employed the letter to again clarify the benefits of low-expense index funds. He mentioned he estimates that wealthy investors who use higher-priced advisers have wasted a lot more than $100 billion more than the past decade.

"The bottom line: When trillions of dollars are managed by Wall Streeters charging high fees, it will generally be the managers who reap outsized income, not the clients," Buffett wrote. "Both big and compact investors must stick with low-price index funds."

And it can be incredibly challenging for investors to ascertain no matter if a cash manager has the uncommon capability to outperform the stock market place. So Buffett mentioned most investors are superior off not trying.

"The trouble basically is that the fantastic majority of managers who try to more than-carry out will fail. The probability is also quite high that the particular person soliciting your funds will not be the exception who does effectively," Buffett wrote.

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INVESTING INSIGHT:

Investment manager Cole Smead said he felt that Buffett spent also significantly of the letter extolling Berkshire's virtues as an alternative of talking about how he'll method investing the company's $86 billion money or what went wrong with the failed $143 billion bid for Unilever that Berkshire took part in with 3G Capital.

Smead mentioned Buffett and his investing partner, 93-year-old Charlie Munger, appear concerned about their legacies and how Berkshire is perceived.

"This letter was extra about Warren and Charlie's epitaph even a lot more so than prior letters," stated Smead, who is with Seattle-primarily based Smead Capital Management.

Smead said he wishes Buffett had devoted extra of the letter to discussing the present investment atmosphere. Even although Buffett won't go over what he may well purchase, Smead mentioned he could have talked a lot more about what he does not like in the market place these days.

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AVOIDING AIRLINES:

Buffett raised eyebrows final fall when he invested a lot more than $9 billion in airline stocks right after years of urging investors to keep away from the airline sector.

Berkshire is now a single of the biggest shareholders in American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Continental and Southwest, but he has supplied little explanation for his transform of heart other than to say airlines are superior firms soon after all the consolidation in the business.

But back in 2008, Buffett utilized his letter to label airlines as the worst type of business enterprise because they grow swiftly and demand significant investments to grow but earn tiny.

"Think airlines. Right here a sturdy competitive benefit has confirmed elusive ever given that the days of the Wright Brothers," Buffett wrote. "Certainly, if a farsighted capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk, he would have carried out his successors a large favor by shooting Orville down."

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Adhere to Josh Funk on Twitter at https://twitter.com/funkwrite

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Study Buffett's letter at: www.berkshirehathaway.com

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