As I look back on last year — in fact, the last decade — it is remarkable how well our company has performed. Ours is an exceptional company with an extraordinary heritage and a promising future. We continue to make excellent progress around technology, risk and controls, innovation, diversity and reduced bureaucracy. Throughout a period of profound political and economic change around the world, our company has been steadfast in our dedication to the clients, communities and countries we serve while earning a fair return for our shareholders.
Data are for calendar years with these exceptions: Starting inaccounting rules required insurance companies to value the equity securities they hold at market rather than at the lower of cost or market, which was previously the requirement.
In this table, Berkshire's results through have been restated to conform to the changed rules.
In all other respects, the results are calculated using the numbers originally reported. Over the years, the tax costs would have caused the aggregate lag to be substantial.
To the Shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.: Intrinsic value is discussed on page Furthermore, we completed two significant acquisitions that we negotiated in and initiated six more.
Better yet, we remain awash in liquid assets and are both eager and ready for even larger acquisitions. I will detail our purchases in the next section of the report. But I will tell you now that we have embraced the 21st century by entering such cutting-edge industries as brick, carpet, insulation and paint.
Try to control your excitement. It has become much more expensive to obtain new business. We own stocks of some excellent businesses, but most of our holdings are fully priced and are unlikely to deliver more than moderate returns in the future. The long-term prospect for equities in general is far from exciting.
Finally, there is the negative that recurs annually: Better yet, this differential will widen in the future. As the table on the facing page shows, a small annual advantage in our favor can, if sustained, produce an anything-but-small long-term advantage.
We are confident about meeting the last two objectives; the first will require some luck. First, our operating managers continue to run their businesses in splendid fashion, which allows me to spend my time allocating capital rather than supervising them.
Our managers are a very special breed. At most large companies, the truly talented divisional managers seldom have the job they really want. Instead they yearn to become CEOs, either at their present employer or elsewhere. Indeed, if they stay put, they and their colleagues are likely to feel they have failed.
At Berkshire, our all-stars have exactly the jobs they want, ones that they hope and expect to keep throughout their business lifetimes.
They therefore concentrate solely on maximizing the long-term value of the businesses that they "own" and love.
If the businesses succeed, they have succeeded. And they stick with us: In our last 36 years, Berkshire has never had a manager of a significant subsidiary voluntarily leave to join another business.
The other group to which I owe enormous thanks is the home-office staff. After the eight acquisitions more than doubled our worldwide workforce to about , Charlie and I went soft last year and added one more person at headquarters.
This tiny band works miracles.
In it handled all of the details connected with our eight acquisitions, processed extensive regulatory and tax filings our tax return covers 4, pagessmoothly produced an annual meeting to which 25, tickets were issued, and accurately dispensed checks to 3, charities designated by our shareholders.
And, to add to all of this, the other I should pay to have my job. Acquisitions of Our acquisition technique at Berkshire is simplicity itself:Note: The following table appears in the printed Annual Report on the facing page of the Chairman's Letter and is referred to in that letter.
Resignation letter templates you can download and print for free. We have tips on writing letters of resignation as well as resignation letter templates. Since our business leaders describe their businesses later in this report, I am not going to be repetitive within this section.
I encourage you to read their letters following this Letter . In the letter, Bezos stressed the importance of having high standards in running a business. By setting high standards, companies are able to live up to "ever-rising customer expectations," he said.
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