Buffett discusses Berkshire's cash ambition, its reinsurance business, and his succession plan.

Becky Berkman

2018-02-23 09:35:00 Fri ET

Warren Buffett releases his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders as of February 2018. Buffett discusses Berkshire's core cash ambition, its reinsurance business, the recent increase in corporate net worth, and his succession plan. First, Buffett highlights the importance of *float* for insurance companies like Berkshire Hathaway, i.e. the company collects insurance premiums that have not been paid out as claims. Buffett and Munger can invest the float as these premiums absorb losses gradually throughout the life of each insurance policy. As this reinsurance counterbalances long-tail losses, Berkshire grows its float to extraordinary levels over time.

Second, corporate cash stockpiles surge to $116 billion, so Buffett prefers to keep this cash position for near-term mergers and acquisitions (instead of dividends and share repurchases). However, Buffett considers most recent takeover targets with no sensible purchase prices at the current stage of the real business cycle. Also, Buffett emphasizes the fact that debt-free investors can better take advantage of short-term stock market crashes such as Black Monday in 1987, the Asian financial crisis in 1997, and the global economic recession in 2008.

Berkshire experiences a one-time hefty increase in net worth by $65 billion or 23% due to the Trump tax cuts. The tax credits not only strengthen Berkshire's current fortress balance sheet, but also allow Buffett and Munger to cast a broader net of potential M&A deals.

Third, Buffett declares that Berkshire's next CEO will oversee company operations while the other half of this job will be given to stock-pickers who specialize in asset management. On the latter investment front, the likely successors are Todd Combs and Ted Weschler. The high-skill money managers both have successfully grown their assets under management (AUM) to $25 billion in early-2018.

Under this succession plan, Combs and Weschler will continue to implement the value investment philosophy in the post-Buffett reinsurance business structure.

 


If any of our AYA Analytica financial health memos (FHM), blog posts, ebooks, newsletters, and notifications etc, or any other form of online content curation, involves potential copyright concerns, please feel free to contact us at service@ayafintech.network so that we can remove relevant content in response to any such request within a reasonable time frame.

Blog+More

Mario Draghi declares the ECB agreement on a thorny set of revisions to Basel 3.

Rose Prince

2017-11-25 06:34:00 Saturday ET

Mario Draghi declares the ECB agreement on a thorny set of revisions to Basel 3.

Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, heads the international committee of financial supervisors and has declared their landmark agreement o

+See More

AYA Analytica podcast provides fresh insights into the latest stock market news, economic trends, and investment portfolio strategies.

Andy Yeh Alpha

2019-02-28 20:44:00 Thursday ET

AYA Analytica podcast provides fresh insights into the latest stock market news, economic trends, and investment portfolio strategies.

AYA Analytica finbuzz podcast channel on YouTube February 2019 In this podcast, we discuss several topical issues as of February 2019: (1) our proprieta

+See More

Response to USPTO fintech patent protection and accreditation

Andy Yeh Alpha

2023-01-09 10:31:00 Monday ET

Response to USPTO fintech patent protection and accreditation

Response to USPTO fintech patent protection As of early-January 2023, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has approved our U.S. utility patent

+See More

Tony Robbins recommends portfolio optimization only once a year.

Laura Hermes

2017-02-19 07:41:00 Sunday ET

Tony Robbins recommends portfolio optimization only once a year.

In his recent book on personal finance, Tony Robbins recommends that each investor should rebalance his or her investment portfolio *only once a year* to in

+See More

Lyft seeks to go public with a dual-class stock ownership structure that allows the co-founders to retain significant influence.

Amy Hamilton

2019-03-11 10:32:00 Monday ET

Lyft seeks to go public with a dual-class stock ownership structure that allows the co-founders to retain significant influence.

Lyft seeks to go public with a dual-class stock ownership structure that allows the co-founders to retain significant influence over the rideshare tech unic

+See More

Former White House chief economic advisor Nouriel Roubini discusses the major limits of central-bank-driven fiscal deficits.

Rose Prince

2019-12-25 19:46:00 Wednesday ET

Former White House chief economic advisor Nouriel Roubini discusses the major limits of central-bank-driven fiscal deficits.

Former White House chief economic advisor Nouriel Roubini discusses the major limits of central-bank-driven fiscal deficits. The International Monetary Fund

+See More