The Rational Walk has published several hundred articles regarding Berkshire Hathaway. This archive displays all articles related to Berkshire except for In Search of the Buffett Premium, a research report published in 2011. In addition to browsing the list of articles, you may also search for a specific topic within the archive by using the search box below. A separate archive exists for coverage of other companies. Berkshire is sometimes mentioned in the Rational Reflections weekly newsletter which has a separate archive.

"Charlie’s most important architectural feat was the design of today’s Berkshire. The blueprint he gave me was simple: Forget what you know about buying fair businesses at wonderful prices; instead, buy wonderful businesses at fair prices." -- Warren Buffett, 2014 Letter to Shareholders On a spring day in 1964, Warren Buffett received a letter from Seabury Stanton offering to purchase the Buffett Partnership's seven percent stake in Berkshire Hathaway. Stanton, the seventy-one year old President ...
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Warren Buffett has often applauded share repurchase programs instituted by companies in which Berkshire holds significant equity positions, but his attitude toward Berkshire Hathaway repurchasing its own shares has always been more complicated. In early 2000, at a time when Berkshire shares were severely depressed, Buffett expressed an interest in repurchases below $45,000 per Class A share but noted that he was not doing so merely in order to "support" the stock. At the time, ...
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"News, to put it simply, is what people don’t know that they want to know. And people will seek their news – what’s important to them – from whatever sources provide the best combination of immediacy, ease of access, reliability, comprehensiveness and low cost." -- Warren Buffett, 2012 Annual Letter to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Human beings have an innate curiosity and desire to know what is happening in the wider world beyond their immediate circle ...
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Berkshire Hathaway will hold its 2020 Annual Shareholders Meeting on Saturday, May 2 at 3:45 pm central time, as previously scheduled. However, due to the current pandemic, shareholders will not be allowed to attend in person. The only managers who will be present will be Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Greg Abel. The annual meeting will be webcast on Yahoo! with a pre-meeting show beginning at 3:00 pm central time. Most annual ...
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"Berkshire will forever remain a financial fortress. In managing, I will make expensive mistakes of commission and will also miss many opportunities, some of which should have been obvious to me. At times, our stock will tumble as investors flee from equities. But I will never risk getting caught short of cash." -- Warren Buffett, 2018 Annual Letter to Shareholders Berkshire Hathaway has long been known for its culture of financial conservatism. Warren Buffett and ...
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Berkshire Hathaway is often referred to as a "fortress" due to Warren Buffett's obsession with maintaining a massive margin of safety. With $125 billion of cash on hand as of December 31, 2019, there is no doubt that the company does not face any sort of near term liquidity crisis due to the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic. As plaintive calls for government bailouts emerge across industries, the lack of any worry about a liquidity crisis at ...
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Berkshire Hathaway has released its 2019 annual report along with Warren Buffett's annual letter to shareholders. In the letter, Mr. Buffett spends some time discussing the power of retained earnings as well as general capital allocation strategies. Given Berkshire's policy of retaining almost all earnings over the years, these topics are of utmost importance when it comes to understanding the company's prospects for delivering adequate returns to shareholders in the coming years. One important lever ...
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"Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years." -- Bill Gates Berkshire Textile Mill - 1960s Every person will have a different definition of what counts as "the long run", but it is probably fair to say that a decade is thought of as a long time by almost everyone. That is enough time to bring about major changes in life, whether positive or ...
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"Buffett trusts me so much with Berkshire's money that I am even more careful in handling Berkshire capital than in handling my own." -- Bruce Whitman, former CEO of FlightSafety International Trust takes a long period of time to fully develop but can be destroyed in an instant. This asymmetry is inherent in a world where trust continues to be the foundation of all human societies. The stakes could not be higher and, as a ...
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This mental tendency echoes the words of the song: "When I'm not near the girl I love, I love the girl I'm near." Man's imperfect, limited-capacity brain easily drifts into working with what's easily available to it. -- Charlie Munger, Poor Charlie's Almanack This is not the article that I planned to publish today. Early last week, I came up with an idea for a timely article that I would post after the end of ...
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Warren Buffett released his 2018 annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders last weekend which, of course, prompted investors and journalists to set aside their normal Saturday morning activities to analyze the Oracle's words in great detail. Since the mid 1980s, Mr. Buffett has opened the letter with a statement regarding Berkshire's change in book value per share. Longtime readers immediately noticed that this convention was missing from the 2018 letter. Readers quickly learned that this ...
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Berkshire Hathaway acquired $928 million of its own stock during the third quarter of 2018 through a series of purchases of Class A and Class B shares from August 7 to 24. A repurchase of this size, relative to the company's cash flow and market capitalization, would normally attract relatively little attention. However, Berkshire has maintained an unusual policy with respect to return of shareholder capital in general and stock repurchases in particular. Rational capital ...
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The concept of share repurchases is not particularly complicated. Repurchase programs allow companies to allocate capital toward purchasing its own shares either on public marketplaces or through privately negotiated transactions. Capital allocation is one of the most important recurring functions of management, at least for companies that regularly generate positive free cash flow. Share repurchases represent one of many options for allocating free cash flow. This week, Berkshire Hathaway surprised many investors by amending its ...
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"It can't possibly be this easy!" A first time attendee of a Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting might find it hard to believe that there could be any skeptics in the crowd. In contrast to the boring, useless, and perfunctory meetings held by nearly all publicly traded companies, Berkshire's annual meeting resembles a combination of a carnival and shopping mall. Tens of thousands of admiring fans of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger flock to Omaha every ...
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