This Year, Buffett Honors Munger

Berkshire Hathaway chief tells investors not to expect difference-making acquisitions
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 24, 2024 12:10 PM CST
This Year, Buffett Credits His Sister and Charlie Munger
Warren Buffett, left, and Charlie Munger chat with reporters before Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholders meeting in 2019.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Warren Buffett credited his longtime investing partner—the late Charlie Munger—with being the architect of the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate he's received the credit for leading and warned shareholders in his annual letter Saturday not to listen to Wall Street pundits or financial advisors who urge them to trade often. Buffett said he always writes his letter with smart, long-term investors like his sister Bertie in mind and tries to tell them what he thinks they'd like to know about Berkshire, the AP reports. "She is sensible—very sensible—instinctively knowing that pundits should always be ignored," Buffett wrote.

He told investors that Berkshire is a safe place to park their cash as long as they don't expect the "eye-popping performance" of its past because there are no attractively priced acquisition targets out there big enough to make a meaningful difference in the Omaha, Nebraska-based company's results. But he said Berkshire will be ready to swoop in with its $167.6 billion whenever the stock market seizes up. Buffett has long urged investors to heed operating earnings that exclude investments as an indication of performance. By that measure, Berkshire reported a 28% jump in operating earnings to $8.48 billion, or $5,878.21 per Class A share. That's up from $6.63 billion, or $4,527.06 per Class A shares.

Munger died in November at age 99. He was a sounding board Buffett relied on as Berkshire acquired companies like See's Candy, Geico insurance, and BNSF railroad to reshape the failing textile mill they took over in the 1960s into the massive, eclectic conglomerate Berkshire is today. It was Munger, Buffett wrote, "who realized early on that it was better to buy wonderful businesses at fair prices." He "let me take the bows and receive the accolades," Buffett wrote, adding, "Even when he knew he was right, he gave me the reins, and when I blundered he never—never—reminded me of my mistake."

(More Berkshire Hathaway stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.