Saturday, February 28, 2009

Read All About It: Berkshire Hathaway Net Worth Down 9.6% in 2008

Warren Buffett's letter to shareholders is out, and it’s official: Berkshire Hathaway’s net worth declined nearly 10% last year.

That makes 2008 Warren Buffett’s second down year—and Berkshire’s worst—since he began investing other people’s money in 1956.

Our guesstimate, which we published in these virtual pages on January 22 (see “Warren’s Worst Year”) to some criticism for jumping the gun on the “Oracle of Omaha”, was down 8%.

More interesting than the precise number, of course, is Buffett’s own commentary on the year past, and what might happen in the year ahead.

We’ll have our own take on the letter in these virtual pages soon,
by way of introducing a competition of sorts which should interest our readers—whether you idolize Warren Buffett, or loathe him, or merely want to understand Berkshire Hathaway better.

Details, as they say, at eleven.

Jeff Matthews
I Am Not Making This Up

© 2008 NotMakingThisUp, LLC


Heesun Wee said...

you are all over it..staying tuned, heesun

Anonymous said...

Two quick comments Jeff:

A) "The first rule of investing is don't lose money; the second rule is don't forget Rule No. 1."

I guess Buffett forgot his own rules on investing last year!

B) Guess your book really had an impact since Buffett is changing the question and answer format of Berkshire's shareholder meeting this year to where questions about their businesses are to be both asked and answered. That should be interesting to see/read!

Ryan said...

Fluctuation is a natural occurrence in any investment. Nobody is immue from down years.

Buffet's amazing record was built over 40 years, and even though this is somewhat newsworthy when he was up 20% a number of years now it'll be a distant memory.


extickerpimp said...

Your work on this was awesome. One would think that before this is all over the "Oracle of Omaha" will lose his title. Perhaps "You told us this was coming...why didn't you sell some Warren?"

kg79 said...

it would be nice to get some info on this line on page 11 describing mortgages of clayton homes

"In addition to our originated loans, we’ve also bought bulk portfolios of various
types from other financial institutions."

It'd be nice to know what the exposure there is... and I don't see much commentary on it...