Go ahead, download a copy of Warren Buffett’s letter to shareholders & BRK annual report and read it. I will never advise my readers of what stocks to buy or at what prices, I believe it is the readers’ job. If people want to invest their money and receive the associated gain/lose as a result, it is only fair that they are responsible for their investment actions.
But to me, reading Warren Buffett’s letter is a FREE exercise of the brain one should engage our minds once a year if we can. And I am fully aware that great investor of Warren’s success and one who is so willing to share his insights (in a way with minimum agenda) will likely not come by for a long time (or in my lifetime). So I treasure the pleasure in reading Warren’s letter every year.
The following are my notes and “insights” on Warren Buffett’s 2009 letter to shareholders & BRK annual report. This article will be updated frequently today and the next few days as I get a chance to read more. Come back often to check.
*** Page ref are based on the printed page numbers. Emphasis added. ***
Note: I am reading in a “random” manner” so you will see my comments appearing out of sequence. I will try to read both the letter (pg 1-22) and the MD&A section (pg 61-94).
*** pg 15 – When it’s raining gold ***
“We told you last year that very unusual conditions then existed in the corporate and municipal bond markets and that these securities were ridiculously cheap [...] Big opportunities come infrequently. When it’s raining gold, reach for a bucket, not a thimble.” [Kempton: Of course, the challenge and the wisdom is in recognizing "big_and_solid" opportunities and not just "big_and_wishful_thinking" opportunities. (smile)] [HT Alex]
*** pg 16 – Risk Control ***
“Charlie and I believe that a CEO must not delegate risk control. It’s simply too important. […] If Berkshire ever gets in trouble, it will be my fault. It will not be because of misjudgments made by a Risk Committee or Chief Risk Officer.”