Last Saturday Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) released its investment performance for calendar year 2015, along with Chairman Warren Buffett’s much anticipated annual letter to shareholders.
Buffett called 2015 a “good year” with the company reporting a total book value increase of +6.4% for the year, compared to a +1.4% return for the S&P 500.
That adds up to a tidy $15.4 billion increase in net worth.
According to the annual shareholder letter, the five stocks with the largest market values in Buffett’s portfolio include Wells Fargo (-1.66%), Coca Cola (+0.01), IBM (-15.23%), American Express (-26.24%), and Phillips 66 (+12.59%). These stocks had mixed performances in 2015.
On the bright side, boosts from BNSF Railroad, Kraft Heinz (now Berkshire’s largest holding) and many subsidiaries tied to the recovering housing industry, helped offset losses in other areas.
A Surprise Announcement in Buffett’s Annual Shareholder Letter
Just to prove that an old dog is never too old to learn new tricks, Warren Buffett announced that for the first time, Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting on April 30, 2016 would also be held as a webcast.
It was reported that the webcast would be hosted on Yahoo! Finance and a recording of the event would be available for about a month after the actual meeting.
With crowds at the Berkshire annual meeting growing larger each and every year (last year a reported 40,000 folks attended) Buffett and the Berkshire board was hoping that this may be a way to limit the enormous crowds that flock to Omaha each year for this well publicized event.
Buffett also weighed in on the current 2016 Presidential race saying that, “In an election year, candidates can’t stop speaking about the country’s problems. And as a result of this negativity, many Americans now believe that their children will not live as well as they did.”
“That view is dead wrong” says Buffett. He went on to state that, “The babies being born in America today are the luckiest crop in history.”
I certainly hope he is right.
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