Warren Buffett compares CEOs to oversexed teens

The "Oracle of Omaha's" famed annual letter to Berkshire shareholders has become a favourite in the investor calendar but it has attracted heightened interest this year amid rumours that the 87-year-old would unveil plans to step down.

"But", he added, "2017 was far from standard: a large portion of our gain did not come from anything we accomplished at Berkshire". No, it was the Republican-led rewrite of the American tax code.

Berkshire said about $29.11bn of its net income was attributable to the reduction of the United States corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 21 per cent. "We have $90 or $95 billion in gains, and our owners, dollar for dollar, will participate in that..."

Two Things We Learned From Billionaire Warren Buffett's Annual Shareholder Letter
Warren Buffett compares CEOs to oversexed teens

In discussion acquisitions, Buffett said it was hard to find companies at the "sensible price" in 2017 as the stock market soared.

The company's often-impressive pace of acquisitions had slowed a year ago, he noted, when the prices asked for businesses 'hit an all-time high, ' amid what he called 'a purchasing frenzy'.

Here's what to watch for in the latest letter from Buffett, 87, which is set for release online Saturday at 8 a.m.at Berkshire's home page http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/.

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Wells Fargo and Apple were at the top of the list.

The lower tax rate also contributed to a 23 percent full-year boost in Berkshire's book value, which measures assets minus liabilities and Buffett considers a good indicator of Berkshire's net worth, to $211,750 per Class A share. The compounded annual return over the last 53 years is 19.1%.

On Friday, Berkshire's Class A shares closed at $304,020.01, having risen above $300,000 a share for the first time ever in December on expectations that Trump's USA tax overhaul would pass into law.

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Buffett says a 10-year bet he made with a group of hedge funds shows why investors should be wary of fees and focus on investing regularly for the long term.

The takeaway: owning a broad basket of stocks and holding them is a better investment approach than a rapid trading strategy or investing in high-fee investment products run by Wall Street pros that charge fees and whose job it is to "help" investors.

Kraft Heinz Co said on Friday billionaire investor Warren Buffett has made a decision to retire from the company's board following the end of his term in April to reduce travel commitments. When the wager concluded on December 31, the index fund had won easily.

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  • Kelly Blake