Warren Buffett to step down from Kraft Heinz board

25 February, 2018, 00:36 | Author: Kathy Ellis
  • Two Things We Learned From Billionaire Warren Buffett's Annual Shareholder Letter

For its part, Buffett said Berkshire is sitting on $116 billion of low-yielding cash and government bonds - whose average maturity was 88 days as of year-end 2017.

Buffett recognised this in his annual letter to shareholders, where he said the company's 2017 results were "far from standard". The billionaire investor has long advocated for higher taxes on the wealthy, while the new law reduced the top income-tax rate.

"The $65bn gain is nonetheless real - rest assured of that".

The new law, greatly touted by President Donald Trump, lowered the tax rate paid by U.S. corporations from 35 percent to 21 percent, allowing many to undertake major new outlays and others to book significant fiscal gains.

Turning to investments, Berkshire's Apple holding was up to $28.2B at year-end, second only to Wells Fargo at $29.3B.

Buffett's newsletters are read with intense interest on Wall Street and beyond. Now 87, he has been investing since he first bought stock at the age of 11.

In its annual report filed alongside Buffett's letter, Berkshire details exactly how it got to the $29 billion tax bill-related benefit.

Some Berkshire stock investments are made by deputies Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, who Buffett said together manage about $25 billion, up from $21 billion a year ago.

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"P$3 rices for decent, but far from spectacular, businesses hit an all-time high" past year, he wrote.

'Price seemed nearly irrelevant to an army of optimistic purchasers, ' Buffett noted.

Buffett said Berkshire would stick with a 'simple guideline: The less the prudence with which others conduct their affairs, the greater the prudence with which we must conduct our own'.

"Though markets are generally rational, they occasionally do insane things", said Buffett, adding that investors need "an ability to both disregard mob fears or enthusiasms and to focus on a few simple fundamentals" even if makes them "look foolish".

Kraft said it plans to nominate Alexandre Van Damme, a board member of Anheuser-Busch Inbev and Restaurant Brands International, to stand for election to Buffett's place in its 2018 annual stockholder meeting. Berkshire estimates about $3B in losses from those events.

'No one, of course, knows the correct probability, ' he added.

Buffett learned that so-called "risk-free" bonds were a "far riskier" investment than a long-term investment in common stocks.


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