中英對照:畢菲特《致股東的信》2019年全文

February 24, 2019

畢菲特《致股東的信》是每個「價值投資者」每年必讀的聖經。2019年的信,我們嘗試為大家提供中英版本,方便大家收藏和分享。

 

 

致伯克希爾哈撒韋公司股東:

 

Berkshire earned $4.0 billion in 2018 utilizing generally accepted accounting principles (commonly called 「GAAP」). The components of that figure are $24.8 billion in operating earnings, a $3.0 billion non-cash loss from an impairment of intangible assets (arising almost entirely from our equity interest in Kraft Heinz), $2.8 billion in realized capital gains from the sale of investment securities and a $20.6 billion loss from a reduction in the amount of unrealized capital gains that existed in our investment holdings.

2018年伯克希爾利潤為40億美元(GAAP下)。包括24.8億美元的運營利潤、30億美元的非現金形式的無形資產減記(主要來自卡夫亨氏)、28億美元的資本利得(來自出售可投資證券)、206億美元的虧損(來自投資組合的未實現資本損失)。

 

A new GAAP rule requires us to include that last item in earnings. As I emphasized in the 2017 annual report, neither Berkshire’s Vice Chairman, Charlie Munger, nor I believe that rule to be sensible. Rather, both of us have consistently thought that at Berkshire this mark-to-market change would produce what I described as 「wild and capricious swings in our bottom line.」

GAAP新規要求將未實現的投資組合資本損益計入利潤統計中。 正如我在2017年年度報告中強調的那樣,我和伯克希爾副董事長芒格都表示反對。 相反,我們倆都一直認為,在伯克希爾,這種按市價計價的變化會令伯克希爾的利潤發生「狂野且反復無常的波動」。

 

The accuracy of that prediction can be suggested by our quarterly results during 2018. In the first and fourth quarters, we reported GAAP losses of $1.1 billion and $25.4 billion respectively. In the second and third quarters, we reported profits of $12 billion and $18.5 billion. In complete contrast to these gyrations, the many businesses that Berkshire owns delivered consistent and satisfactory operating earnings in all quarters. For the year, those earnings exceeded their 2016 high of $17.6 billion by 41%.

2018年的季報證明瞭以這一點。第一和第四季度,我們分別錄得11億和254億美元損失(GAAP下)。 而第二和第三季度,我們又錄得120億美元和185億美元利潤。 與此形成鮮明對比的是,伯克希爾旗下各家公司在去年所有季度都擁有持續且令人滿意的營業利潤,超過2016年利潤高峰176億美元的幅度高達41%。
 

Wide swings in our quarterly GAAP earnings will inevitably continue. That’s because our huge equity portfolio – valued at nearly $173 billion at the end of 2018 – will often experience one-day price fluctuations of $2 billion or more, all of which the new rule says must be dropped immediately to our bottom line. Indeed, in the fourth quarter, a period of high volatility in stock prices, we experienced several days with a 「profit」 or 「loss」 of more than $4 billion.

我們季度GAAP收益的大幅波動將不可避免地繼續下去。 那是因為我們的巨額股權投資組合 - 在2018年底價值接近1730億美元 - 通常會出現一天超過20億美元的波動。而這些按照新的GAAP規則必須立即計入利潤。 的確,在四季度,股價高位震蕩的時期,我們經歷了「盈利」或「虧損」超過40億美元的幾天。

 

Our advice? Focus on operating earnings, paying little attention to gains or losses of any variety. My saying that in no way diminishes the importance of our investments to Berkshire. Over time, Charlie and I expect them to deliver substantial gains, albeit with highly irregular timing.

我們的建議? 專注於營業利潤,不要關注收益或損失。 但這並不意味這我們將削弱投資對伯克希爾投資的重要性。我和查理始終希望投資能為我們帶來可觀的收益,儘管它擁有高度不確定性。

 

**********

Long-time readers of our annual reports will have spotted the different way in which I opened this letter. For nearly three decades, the initial paragraph featured the percentage change in Berkshire’s per-share book value. It’s now time to abandon that practice.

我們的老讀者會發現今年的股東信發生了變化。 過去三十年,我們總是會在開頭提到伯克希爾每股賬面價值的變化。現在是時候放棄這種做法了。

 

The fact is that the annual change in Berkshire’s book value – which makes its farewell appearance on page 2 – is a metric that has lost the relevance it once had. Three circumstances have made that so. First, Berkshire has gradually morphed from a company whose assets are concentrated in marketable stocks into one whose major value resides in operating businesses. Charlie and I expect that reshaping to continue in an irregular manner. Second, while our equity holdings are valued at market prices, accounting rules require our collection of operating companies to be included in book value at an amount far below their current value, a mismark that has grown in recent years. Third, it is likely that – over time – Berkshire will be a significant repurchaser of its shares, transactions that will take place at prices above book value but below our estimate of intrinsic value. The math of such purchases is simple: Each transaction makes per-share intrinsic value go up, while per-share book value goes down. That combination causes the book-value scorecard to become increasingly out of touch with economic reality.

事實上每股賬面價值已經失去了相關性,有三大原因導致了這一現象。首先,伯克希爾逐漸從資產集中在可銷售股票的公司,轉變為主要價值在於經營業務的公司。其次,雖然我們持有的股權按市場價格計算,但會計規則要求我們用賬面價值來記錄我們旗下公司的價值,而這遠低於當前市價。第三,未來伯克希爾很可能將回購股票,交易價格將高於賬面價值、但低於我們估計的內生價值。回購將令每股內生價值上升、每股賬面價值下降,將導致賬面價值越來越與經濟現實脫節。

 

In future tabulations of our financial results, we expect to focus on Berkshire’s market price. Markets can be extremely capricious: Just look at the 54-year history laid out on page 2. Over time, however, Berkshire’s stock price will provide the best measure of business performance.

在未來的財務業績表中,我們期望關注伯克希爾的市場價格。 市場可以非常反復無常:只要看看第2頁列出的54年歷史。然而,隨著時間的推移,伯克希爾的股價才是反應我們經營業績的最佳指標。

 

**********

Before moving on, I want to give you some good news – really good news – that is not reflected in our financial statements. It concerns the management changes we made in early 2018, when Ajit Jain was put in charge of all insurance activities and Greg Abel was given authority over all other operations. These moves were overdue. Berkshire is now far better managed than when I alone was supervising operations. Ajit and Greg have rare talents, and Berkshire blood flows through their veins.

在繼續之前,我想給你一些好消息 - 真正的好消息 - 這些都沒有反映在我們的財報中。2018年初管理層發生變動,Ajit Jain負責保險業務,Greg Abel負責其他所有業務。事實證明這個變化早就應該推進了。伯克希爾現在的管理得比我獨自管理時要好得多。 阿吉特和格雷格擁有難得的天賦,同時也擁有伯克希爾的基因和價值觀。

 

Now let’s take a look at what you own.

現在讓我們來看看你擁有的東西。 

 

專注於森林 - 忘記樹木

 

Investors who evaluate Berkshire sometimes obsess on the details of our many and diverse businesses – our economic 「trees,」 so to speak. Analysis of that type can be mind-numbing, given that we own a vast array of specimens, ranging from twigs to redwoods. A few of our trees are diseased and unlikely to be around a decade from now. Many others, though, are destined to grow in size and beauty.

評估伯克希爾的投資者有時會對我們眾多不同業務的細節——我們的「每一棵樹」都仔細研究。考慮到我們擁有大量的投資標的,就如同在森林中有種類繁多的樹種一樣,這種分析的結果可能會讓人頭腦麻木。我們的一些樹木會生病,但是病期不會超過十年。與此同時,還有大量其他樹木在茁壯成長。

 

Fortunately, it’s not necessary to evaluate each tree individually to make a rough estimate of Berkshire’s intrinsic business value. That’s because our forest contains five 「groves」 of major importance, each of which can be appraised, with reasonable accuracy, in its entirety. Four of those groves are differentiated clusters of businesses and financial assets that are easy to understand. The fifth – our huge and diverse insurance operation – delivers great value to Berkshire in a less obvious manner, one I will explain later in this letter.

幸運的是,投資者沒有必要單獨評估每棵樹,並以此來估算伯克希爾內在的商業價值。那是因為我們的森林包含五個重要的「小樹林」,每個小樹林都可以以合理的準確度進行評估。其中四個是易於理解的差異化企業和金融資產集群。第五個——我們龐大而多樣化的保險業務——以不太明顯的方式為伯克希爾提供了巨大的價值。

 

Before we look more closely at the first four groves, let me remind you of our prime goal in the deployment of your capital: to buy ably-managed businesses, in whole or part, that possess favorable and durable economic characteristics. We also need to make these purchases at sensible prices.

在我們更仔細地研究前四個樹林之前,讓我提醒一下您在資本配置中的首要目標:購買具有良好和持久發展特徵公司的股票——全倉或者分散買都可以。當然,我們在購買這些股票的時候,還要以合理的價格來購買。

 

Sometimes we can buy control of companies that meet our tests. Far more often, we find the attributes we seek in publicly-traded businesses, in which we normally acquire a 5% to 10% interest. Our two-pronged approach to huge-scale capital allocation is rare in corporate America and, at times, gives us an important advantage.

有時我們可以買下符合條件公司的控制權,但是我們更通常的做法是,在公司公開交易的股份中,我們買下5%到10%的股份。我們這種雙管齊下的投資策略在美國很少見,但這種策略也給我們帶來了重要優勢。

In recent years, the sensible course for us to follow has been clear: Many stocks have offered far more for our money than we could obtain by purchasing businesses in their entirety. That disparity led us to buy about $43 billion of marketable equities last year, while selling only $19 billion. Charlie and I believe the companies in which we invested offered excellent value, far exceeding that available in takeover transactions.

近年來,我們遵循的這一明智之路已經獲得了很明確的收益:許多我們分散購買的股票為我們提供的利益比我們買下整個公司獲得的利益要大得多。這種差異化的交易策略,讓我們在去年買入了約430億美元公開發售的股票,但是我們僅僅拋了190億美元的股票。我們相信,我們投資的公司為我們提供了極好的價值,遠遠超過了收購這些公司帶來的價值。

 

Despite our recent additions to marketable equities, the most valuable grove in Berkshire’s forest remains the many dozens of non-insurance businesses that Berkshire controls (usually with 100% ownership and never with less than 80%). Those subsidiaries earned $16.8 billion last year. When we say 「earned,」 moreover, we are describing what remains after all income taxes, interest payments, managerial compensation (whether cash or stock-based), restructuring expenses, depreciation, amortization and home-office overhead.

除了在股票投資上或以之外,伯克希爾森林體系中最有價值的一個小樹林依然是數十個伯克希爾控股的非保險公司(我們在這些公司的股份通常是100%,沒有低於80%的)。這些子公司在去年為我們貢獻了168億美元的淨利潤(在扣除各種稅費之後)。

 

That brand of earnings is a far cry from that frequently touted by Wall Street bankers and corporate CEOs. Too often, their presentations feature 「adjusted EBITDA,」 a measure that redefines 「earnings」 to exclude a variety of all-too-real costs.

這一定義與華爾街銀行家和一些CEO們常常兜售的概念相去甚遠。他們通常會使用「調整後的EBITDA」,這種方法把一些應當計入的成本排除在外。

 

For example, managements sometimes assert that their company’s stock-based compensation shouldn’t be counted as an expense. (What else could it be – a gift from shareholders?) And restructuring expenses? Well, maybe

last year’s exact rearrangement won’t recur. But restructurings of one sort or another are common in business – Berkshire has gone down that road dozens of times, and our shareholders have always borne the costs of doing so.

例如,管理層有時會斷言他們的股票激勵不應該算作費用。 (還能算做什麼 -來自股東的 禮物 ?)重組費用? 也許去年的重組不會再發生。 但是,這各種重組非常常見 - 伯克希爾已經走了幾十次這條路,我們的股東一直承擔著這樣做的代價。

 

Abraham Lincoln once posed the question: 「If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does it have?」 and then answered his own query: 「Four, because calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.」 Abe would have felt lonely on Wall Street.

亞伯拉罕·林肯(Abraham Lincoln)曾提出過這樣一個問題:「如果你把狗的尾巴稱為腿,它有多少條腿?」然後回答了他自己的疑問:「四條,因為把尾巴稱為一條腿並不能使他真正成為一條腿。」

 

Charlie and I do contend that our acquisition-related amortization expenses of $1.4 billion (detailed on page K-84) are not a true economic cost. We add back such amortization 「costs」 to GAAP earnings when we are evaluating both private businesses and marketable stocks.

我們認為,伯克希爾與收購相關的14億美元的攤銷費用並不是真正的經濟成本。當我們評估私營企業和公開發售股票時,我們將這部分攤銷「成本」加回到GAAP下的收益中。

 

In contrast, Berkshire’s $8.4 billion depreciation charge understates our true economic cost. In fact, we need to spend more than this sum annually to simply remain competitive in our many operations. Beyond those 「maintenance」 capital expenditures, we spend large sums in pursuit of growth. Overall, Berkshire invested a record $14.5 billion last year in plant, equipment and other fixed assets, with 89% of that spent in America.

伯克希爾的84億美元折舊費低估了我們的真實經濟成本。事實上,我們需要每年花費超過這筆金額,以便在我們的許多業務中保持競爭力。除此之外「維護」資本支出,我們花費大量資金追求增長。總體而言,伯克希爾去年在工廠,設備和其他固定資產方面的投資達到創紀錄的145億美元,其中89%用於美國。

 

Berkshire’s runner-up grove by value is its collection of equities, typically involving a 5% to 10% ownership position in a very large company. As noted earlier, our equity investments were worth nearly $173 billion at yearend, an amount far above their cost. If the portfolio had been sold at its yearend valuation, federal income tax of about $14.7 billion would have been payable on the gain. In all likelihood, we will hold most of these stocks for a long time. Eventually, however, gains generate taxes at whatever rate prevails at the time of sale.

按價值計算,排在第二名的小樹林是我們的股權投資,我們通常投在那些大公司5%至10%的股權。我們的股權投資在年底時價值接近1730億美元,遠高於其成本。如果我們將這些投資按照年底的估值售,那麼將繳納約147億美元的聯邦所得稅。不過,我們很有可能將長時間持有其中大部分的股票。

 

Our investees paid us dividends of $3.8 billion last year, a sum that will increase in 2019. Far more important than the dividends, though, are the huge earnings that are annually retained by these companies. Consider, as an

indicator, these figures that cover only our five largest holdings.

去年,我們還獲得了這些投資標的38億美元的分紅,這筆款項將在2019年增加。我們在此公佈我們從持有最多價值股票的五家公司獲得的分紅情況:

 

 

(1)根據目前的年率。

(2)基於2018年的收益減去已支付的普通和優先股息。

 

GAAP – which dictates the earnings we report – does not allow us to include the retained earnings of investees in our financial accounts. But those earnings are of enormous value to us: Over the years, earnings retained by our investees (viewed as a group) have eventually delivered capital gains to Berkshire that totaled more than one dollar for each dollar these companies reinvested for us.

GAAP - 它決定了我們報告的收益 - 不允許我們包括的留存收益投資對象在我們的財務賬戶中。 但這些收益對我們來說具有巨大價值:多年來,收益保持不變。我們的被投資者(被視為一個集團)最終為伯克希爾提供了不止一筆資金。這些公司為我們再投資的每一美元的美元。

 

All of our major holdings enjoy excellent economics, and most use a portion of their retained earnings to repurchase their shares. We very much like that: If Charlie and I think an investee’s stock is underpriced, we rejoice when management employs some of its earnings to increase Berkshire’s ownership percentage. 

我們投資的主要股票都有出色的經濟收益,而且大部分公司都使用部分留存收益來回購股票。我們非常喜歡這樣:如果我們認為被投資公司的股票價格被低估,那麼當管理層將其部分收益用於增加伯克希爾的所有權比例時,我們感到高興。

 

Here’s one example drawn from the table above: Berkshire’s holdings of American Express have remained unchanged over the past eight years. Meanwhile, our ownership increased from 12.6% to 17.9% because of repurchases made by the company. Last year, Berkshire’s portion of the $6.9 billion earned by American Express was $1.2 billion, about 96% of the $1.3 billion we paid for our stake in the company. When earnings increase and shares outstanding decrease, owners – over time – usually do well.

以上是從上表中得出的一個例子:伯克希爾持有的美國運通股份過去八年中沒有變化。 同時,由於公司回購,我們的所有權從12.6%增加到17.9%。 去年,伯克希爾公司在美國運通公司獲得12億美元分紅,約佔我們為運通股權支付的13億美元的96%。 當分紅增加、在外流通股減少,這通常是件好事。

 

A third category of Berkshire’s business ownership is a quartet of companies in which we share control with other parties. Our portion of the after-tax operating earnings of these businesses – 26.7% of Kraft Heinz, 50% of Berkadia and Electric Transmission Texas, and 38.6% of Pilot Flying J – totaled about $1.3 billion in 2018.

第三類則是伯克希爾公司與其他方共享控制權的公司。我們在這些業務中的部分稅後利潤——包括卡夫亨氏的26.7%,Berkadia和德國電力傳輸的50%,以及Pilot Flying J的38.6%——在2018年總計約13億美元。

 

In our fourth grove, Berkshire held $112 billion at yearend in U.S. Treasury bills and other cash equivalents, and another $20 billion in miscellaneous fixed-income instruments. We consider a portion of that stash to be untouchable, having pledged to always hold at least $20 billion in cash equivalents to guard against external calamities. We have also promised to avoid any activities that could threaten our maintaining that buffer.

在我們森林體系的第四部分,伯克希爾在年底持有1120億美元的美國國庫券和其他現金等價物,以及另外200億美元的各類固定收益工具。我們認為這部分資金平時是不會輕易動的,我們承諾始終持有至少200億美元的現金等價物以防範各類意外。

 

Berkshire will forever remain a financial fortress. In managing, I will make expensive mistakes of commission and will also miss many opportunities, some of which should have been obvious to me. At times, our stock will tumble as investors flee from equities. But I will never risk getting caught short of cash.

有時,隨著投資者逃離股市,我們的股票將會下挫。但我永遠不會冒現金短缺的風險。

 

In the years ahead, we hope to move much of our excess liquidity into businesses that Berkshire will permanently own. The immediate prospects for that, however, are not good: Prices are sky-high for businesses possessing decent long-term prospects.

在未來幾年,我們希望將大部分過剩流動資金轉移到伯克希爾將永久擁有的業務中。然而,眼前可能並不是好的時機:那些擁有良好長期前景的企業股票價格現在是天價。

 

That disappointing reality means that 2019 will likely see us again expanding our holdings of marketable equities. We continue, nevertheless, to hope for an elephant-sized acquisition. Even at our ages of 88 and 95 – I’m the young one – that prospect is what causes my heart and Charlie’s to beat faster. (Just writing about the possibility of a huge purchase has caused my pulse rate to soar.)

這意味著,在2019年,我們將擴大公開市場交易股票投資的規模,但同時也會考慮對大公司的收購。

 

My expectation of more stock purchases is not a market call. Charlie and I have no idea as to how stocks will behave next week or next year. Predictions of that sort have never been a part of our activities. Our thinking, rather, is focused on calculating whether a portion of an attractive business is worth more than its market price.

我對更多投資股票的預期不是市場需求。我們並不知道下周或明年的股票表現會如何。我們也從未進行過這種預測。相反,我們的想法是專注於計算有吸引力的公司股票價格是否比市場價格更高。

 

**********

I believe Berkshire’s intrinsic value can be approximated by summing the values of our four asset-laden groves and then subtracting an appropriate amount for taxes eventually payable on the sale of marketable securities.

我相信伯克希爾的內在價值可以通過加總我們上述4個資產端的森林、減去稅費得出。

 

You may ask whether an allowance should not also be made for the major tax costs Berkshire would incur if we were to sell certain of our wholly-owned businesses. Forget that thought: It would be foolish for us to sell any of our wonderful companies even if no tax would be payable on its sale. Truly good businesses are exceptionally hard to find. Selling any you are lucky enough to own makes no sense at all.

您可能會問,如果我們出售全資子公司時發生巨額稅費支出,是不是應該進行補貼。 忘記這個想法:我們賣掉任何一個很棒的公司都是愚蠢的,即使不需要繳納稅款。 真正優秀的企業非常難找。 出售任何你有幸擁有的東西毫無意義。

 

The interest cost on all of our debt has been deducted as an expense in calculating the earnings at Berkshire’s non-insurance businesses. Beyond that, much of our ownership of the first four groves is financed by funds generated from Berkshire’s fifth grove – a collection of exceptional insurance companies. We call those funds 「float,」 a source of financing that we expect to be cost-free – or maybe even better than that – over time. We will explain the

characteristics of float later in this letter.

我們在計算伯克希爾非保險業務的成本時,已將所有債務的利息成本扣除。 除此之外,我們對前四個樹林的大部分所有權的資金,都來自伯克希爾的第五個小樹林 - 一系列優秀的保險公司。 我們將這些資金稱為「浮存金」,這是一種成本幾乎為零、甚至擁有收益的資金來源。

 

Finally, a point of key and lasting importance: Berkshire’s value is maximized by our having assembled the five groves into a single entity. This arrangement allows us to seamlessly and objectively allocate major amounts of capital, eliminate enterprise risk, avoid insularity, fund assets at exceptionally low cost, occasionally take advantage of tax efficiencies, and minimize overhead.

最後,重要的一點:伯克希爾的價值最大化是由這五個小樹林結合成一個有機整體。 這種安排使我們能夠無縫地分配大量資金資本,消除企業風險,避免孤立,以極低的成本獲取資金購買資產。

 

At Berkshire, the whole is greater – considerably greater – than the sum of the parts.

在伯克希爾,整體比部分的總和更大 - 相當大。

 

回購和報告

Earlier I mentioned that Berkshire will from time to time be repurchasing its own stock. Assuming that we buy at a discount to Berkshire’s intrinsic value – which certainly will be our intention – repurchases will benefit both those shareholders leaving the company and those who stay.

早些時候我提到伯克希爾將不時回購自己的股票。 假設我們回購的價格低於伯克希爾的內在價值 - 這當然是我們的意圖 - 回購將使離開公司和留下來的股東都獲得收益。

 

True, the upside from repurchases is very slight for those who are leaving. That’s because careful buying by us will minimize any impact on Berkshire’s stock price. Nevertheless, there is some benefit to sellers in having an extra buyer in the market.

誠然,回購的好處對於那些離開的股東來說非常輕微。 那是因為我們將謹慎回購,以盡量減少對伯克希爾股票價格的影響。 然而,這總歸會吸引更多的買入者。

 

For continuing shareholders, the advantage is obvious: If the market prices a departing partner’s interest at, say, 90¢ on the dollar, continuing shareholders reap an increase in per-share intrinsic value with every repurchase by the company. Obviously, repurchases should be price-sensitive: Blindly buying an overpriced stock is valuedestructive, a fact lost on many promotional or ever-optimistic CEOs.

對於繼續持有的股東而言,優點顯而易見:如果市場價格發生扭曲,1美元價值只值90分,這時候如果公司回購,每股內在價值將會提升,繼續持有的股東將會從中受益。 顯然回購應該是對價格敏感的:在過高股價盲目買入是對股票價值的破壞,這一點被很多樂觀的CEO們忽視了。

 

When a company says that it contemplates repurchases, it’s vital that all shareholder-partners be given the information they need to make an intelligent estimate of value. Providing that information is what Charlie and I try to do in this report. We do not want a partner to sell shares back to the company because he or she has been misled or inadequately informed.

重要的是,當一家公司表示它打算進行回購時,所有股東都應有權知曉其所需信息,以便對價值進行明智的估算。 提供這些信息是查理和我嘗試的在這份報告中所做的。 我們不希望股東賣出股票,僅僅以為他被誤導或並不充分知情。

 

Some sellers, however, may disagree with our calculation of value and others may have found investments that they consider more attractive than Berkshire shares. Some of that second group will be right: There are unquestionably many stocks that will deliver far greater gains than ours.

然而,一些賣家可能不同意我們的價值計算,而其他賣家可能已經找到了他們認為比伯克希爾股票更有吸引力的投資。 當然,的確有許多股票將比伯克希爾能帶來更大的收益。

 

In addition, certain shareholders will simply decide it’s time for them or their families to become net consumers rather than continuing to build capital. Charlie and I have no current interest in joining that group. Perhaps we will become big spenders in our old age.

此外,某些股東認為是時候不需要再積累資本,而是可以成為一個純消費者。 查理和我目前沒有興趣加入這個隊伍。 當我們年老的時候可能需要非常大的開支。

 

**********

 

For 54 years our managerial decisions at Berkshire have been made from the viewpoint of the shareholders who are staying, not those who are leaving. Consequently, Charlie and I have never focused on current-quarter results.

54年來,我們在伯克希爾的管理決策都是從繼續持有股份的角度、而不是從即將離場的角度出發。 因此,查理和我 從未專注於當前季度的財報。

 

Berkshire, in fact, may be the only company in the Fortune 500 that does not prepare monthly earnings reports or balance sheets. I, of course, regularly view the monthly financial reports of most subsidiaries. But Charlie and I learn of Berkshire’s overall earnings and financial position only on a quarterly basis.

事實上,伯克希爾可能是財富500強中唯一一家沒有編制月度盈利報告或資產負債表的公司。 當然,我經常查看大多數子公司的月度財務報告。 但查理和我僅按季度瞭解伯克希爾的整體收益和財務狀況。

 

Furthermore, Berkshire has no company-wide budget (though many of our subsidiaries find one useful). Our lack of such an instrument means that the parent company has never had a quarterly 「number」 to hit. Shunning the use of this bogey sends an important message to our many managers, reinforcing the culture we prize.

此外,伯克希爾沒有公司範圍的預算(儘管我們的許多子公司都發現預算很有用)。 這意味著母公司 從未有過季度「數字」。

 

Over the years, Charlie and I have seen all sorts of bad corporate behavior, both accounting and operational, induced by the desire of management to meet Wall Street expectations. What starts as an 「innocent」 fudge in order to not disappoint 「the Street」 – say, trade-loading at quarter-end, turning a blind eye to rising insurance losses, or drawing down a 「cookie-jar」 reserve – can become the first step toward full-fledged fraud. Playing with the numbers 「just this once」 may well be the CEO’s intent; it’s seldom the end result. And if it’s okay for the boss to cheat a little, it’s easy for subordinates to rationalize similar behavior.

多年來,查理和我見過各種不良的公司行為,包括會計和運營,來源於管理層希望迎合華爾街的期望。 很多CEO最初會想玩弄數字遊戲「就這一次」,但最終並非如此。另外如果老闆可以做一些小的欺騙行為,那員工仿效就變得天經地義了。

 

At Berkshire, our audience is neither analysts nor commentators: Charlie and I are working for our shareholder-partners. The numbers that flow up to us will be the ones we send on to you.

在伯克希爾,我們的觀眾既不是分析師也不是評論員:查理和我一直為我們的股東工作。呈現給我們的財務數字也將是最終呈現給你們的。

 

非保險業務 - 從棒棒糖到機車

Let’s now look further at Berkshire’s most valuable grove – our collection of non-insurance businesses –keeping in mind that we do not wish to unnecessarily hand our competitors information that might be useful to them. Additional details about individual operations can be found on pages K-5 – K-22 and pages K-40 – K-51.

讓我們現在進一步瞭解伯克希爾最有價值的小樹林 - 我們的非保險業務 -請記住,我們不希望不必要地向競爭對手提供可能對他們有用的信息。

 

Viewed as a group, these businesses earned pre-tax income in 2018 of $20.8 billion, a 24% increase over 2017. Acquisitions we made in 2018 delivered only a trivial amount of that gain.

作為一個整體,這些業務2018年的稅前收入為208億美元,比上年增長24%。我們在2018年進行的收購只貢獻了微不足道的收益。

 

I will stick with pre-tax figures in this discussion. But our after-tax gain in 2018 from these businesses was far greater – 47% – thanks in large part to the cut in the corporate tax rate that became effective at the beginning of that year. Let’s look at why the impact was so dramatic.

在這次討論中,我會堅持稅前數字。 但是,這些業務在2018年的稅後利潤的增長大得多 - 47% -在很大程度上因為年初生效的減稅措施。 讓我們來看看為什麼影響如此戲劇性。

 

Begin with an economic reality: Like it or not, the U.S. Government 「owns」 an interest in Berkshire’s earnings of a size determined by Congress. In effect, our country’s Treasury Department holds a special class of our stock – call this holding the AA shares – that receives large 「dividends」 (that is, tax payments) from Berkshire. In 2017, as in many years before, the corporate tax rate was 35%, which meant that the Treasury was doing very well with its AA shares. Indeed, the Treasury’s 「stock,」 which was paying nothing when we took over in 1965, had evolved into a holding that delivered billions of dollars annually to the federal government.

從經濟現實開始:無論喜歡與否,美國政府「擁有」對伯克希爾的一部分股權,而這規模由國會決定。 實際上,我們國家的財政部持有我們的特殊種類股票「AA股」,從伯克希爾獲得大量「股息」(即納稅)。 在2017年,與多年前一樣,企業稅率為35%,這意味著財政部從它的AA股中收穫頗豐。

 

Last year, however, 40% of the government’s 「ownership」 (14/35ths) was returned to Berkshire – free of charge – when the corporate tax rate was reduced to 21%. Consequently, our 「A」 and 「B」 shareholders received a major boost in the earnings attributable to their shares

然而去年,當企業所得稅降低至21%,相當於政府所擁有的這部分「股權」的40%無償歸還給了伯克希爾。 因此,我們的A股和B股股東獲得了大幅收益 。

 

This happening materially increased the intrinsic value of the Berkshire shares you and I own. The same dynamic, moreover, enhanced the intrinsic value of almost all of the stocks Berkshire holds.

這實質上增加了伯克希爾股票的內在價值,同時也增加了幾乎所有伯克希爾擁有股票的內在價值。

 

Those are the headlines. But there are other factors to consider that tempered our gain. For example, the tax benefits garnered by our large utility operation get passed along to its customers. Meanwhile, the tax rate applicable to the substantial dividends we receive from domestic corporations is little changed at about 13%. (This lower rate has long been logical because our investees have already paid tax on the earnings that they pay to us.) Overall, however, the new law made our businesses and the stocks we own considerably more valuable.

這些是最重要的,還有其他一些因素可以增加了我們的收益。 例如,稅我們的大型公用事業運營所帶來的好處傳遞給了客戶。 同時,稅率適用我們從國內公司獲得的大筆紅利幾乎沒有變化,約為13%。 (這個較低的比率有長期合乎邏輯,因為我們的被投資者已經對他們向我們支付的收入徵稅。)但總的來說,新的法律使我們的企業和我們擁有 相當多的有價值的股票 。

 

Which suggests that we return to the performance of our non-insurance businesses. Our two towering redwoods in this grove are BNSF and Berkshire Hathaway Energy (90.9% owned). Combined, they earned $9.3 billion before tax last year, up 6% from 2017. You can read more about these businesses on pages K-5 – K-10 and pages K-40 – K-45.

這表明我們恢復了非保險業務的表現。 我們兩個高聳的紅杉在這個小樹林里有BNSF和Berkshire Hathaway Energy(擁有90.9%股權)。 合併後,他們的稅前收入為93億美元去年,比2017年增長了6%。您可以在K-5-K-10頁和K-40-K-45頁上閱讀有關這些業務的更多信息。

 

Our next five non-insurance subsidiaries, as ranked by earnings (but presented here alphabetically), Clayton Homes, International Metalworking, Lubrizol, Marmon and Precision Castparts, had aggregate pre-tax income in 2018 of $6.4 billion, up from the $5.5 billion these companies earned in 2017.

我們接下來的五家非保險子公司按收益排名(但按字母順序排列),克萊頓Homes,International Metalworking,Lubrizol,Marmon和Precision Castparts在2018年的稅前收入總額這些公司在2017年獲得的55億美元,高達64億美元。

 

The next five, similarly ranked and listed (Forest River, Johns Manville, MiTek, Shaw and TTI) earned $2.4 billion pre-tax last year, up from $2.1 billion in 2017.

接下來的五個,同樣排名和列出(Forest River,Johns Manville,MiTek,Shaw和TTI)賺了2.4美元去年的稅前利潤為10億美元,高於2017年的21億美元。

 

The remaining non-insurance businesses that Berkshire owns – and there are many – had pre-tax income of $3.6 billion in 2018 vs. $3.3 billion in 2017.

伯克希爾擁有的剩餘非保險業務 - 有很多 - 的稅前收入為2018年為36億美元,2017年為33億美元。

 

保險,「浮動」和伯克希爾的資金

Our property/casualty (「P/C」) insurance business – our fifth grove – has been the engine propelling Berkshire’s growth since 1967, the year we acquired National Indemnity and its sister company, National Fire & Marine, for $8.6 million. Today, National Indemnity is the largest property/casualty company in the world as measured by net worth.

我們的財產/傷亡(「P / C」)保險業務 - 我們的第五個樹林 - 一直是引擎推動伯克希爾自1967年以來的增長,也就是我們收購National Indemnity及其姊妹公司National Fire&海運,860萬美元。 今天,National Indemnity是世界上最大的財產/傷亡公司按淨值計算。

 

One reason we were attracted to the P/C business was the industry’s business model: P/C insurers receive premiums upfront and pay claims later. In extreme cases, such as claims arising from exposure to asbestos, or severe workplace accidents, payments can stretch over many decades.

我們被P / C業務吸引的一個原因是該行業的商業模式:P / C保險公司獲得提前支付保費並在以後支付保單。 在極端情況下,例如因接觸石棉而引起的索賠,或嚴重的索賠工作場所事故,付款可以持續數十年。

 

This collect-now, pay-later model leaves P/C companies holding large sums – money we call 「float」 – that will eventually go to others. Meanwhile, insurers get to invest this float for their own benefit. Though individual policies and claims come and go, the amount of float an insurer holds usually remains fairly stable in relation to premium volume. Consequently, as our business grows, so does our float. And how it has grown, as the following table shows:

這個收集現在,後付款的模型讓P / C公司持有大筆資金 - 我們稱之為「浮動」的資金 - 那最終將歸於他人。 與此同時,保險公司為了自己的利益而投資這個浮動。 個人而言政策和索賠來來去去,保險公司持有的浮動金額通常保持相當穩定優質量。 因此,隨著我們業務的增長,我們的業務也在增長。 以及它如何增長,如下表顯示: 

 

包括因人壽,年金和健康保險業務而產生的浮動 。

 

We may in time experience a decline in float. If so, the decline will be very gradual – at the outside no more than 3% in any year. The nature of our insurance contracts is such that we can never be subject to immediate or nearterm demands for sums that are of significance to our cash resources. That structure is by design and is a key component in the unequaled financial strength of our insurance companies. That strength will never be compromised. 

我們可能會及時體驗浮動的下降。 如果是這樣,下降將是 非常緩慢的 - 在外面不再何一年超過3%。 我們的保險合約的性質使我們 永遠不會立即或接近對我們現金資源具有重要意義的金額的期限要求。 該結構是設計的,是關鍵我們保險公司無與倫比的財務實力。 這種力量 永遠不會受到損害。

 

If our premiums exceed the total of our expenses and eventual losses, our insurance operation registers an underwriting profit that adds to the investment income the float produces. When such a profit is earned, we enjoy the use of free money – and, better yet, get paid for holding it.

如果我們的保費超過我們的費用總額和最終損失,我們的保險業務會註冊承保利潤增加浮動產生的投資收益。 當獲得這樣的利潤時,我們享受使用免費資金 - 而且,更好的是,通過持有它獲得 報酬 。

 

Unfortunately, the wish of all insurers to achieve this happy result creates intense competition, so vigorous indeed that it sometimes causes the P/C industry as a whole to operate at a significant underwriting loss. That loss, in effect, is what the industry pays to hold its float. Competitive dynamics almost guarantee that the insurance industry, despite the float income all its companies enjoy, will continue its dismal record of earning subnormal returns on tangible net worth as compared to other American businesses.

不幸的是,所有保險公司希望實現這一快樂結果的願望會產生激烈的競爭,如此充滿活力事實上,它有時會導致整個P / C行業以明顯的承保 虧損 運作 。 那個損失,在效果,是業界為保持其浮動而付出的代價。 競爭動態幾乎保證了保險業,儘管其所有公司都享有浮動收益,但仍將繼續其慘淡的收益記錄與其他美國企業相比,有形淨資產。

 

Nevertheless, I like our own prospects. Berkshire’s unrivaled financial strength allows us far more flexibility in investing our float than that generally available to P/C companies. The many alternatives available to us are always an advantage and occasionally offer major opportunities. When other insurers are constrained, our choices expand.

不過,我喜歡自己的前景。 伯克希爾無與倫比的財務實力使我們具有更大的靈活性投資我們的浮動比通常可用於P / C公司。 我們可以使用的許多替代品都是優勢,偶爾提供重大機會。 當其他保險公司受到限制時,我們的選擇就會擴大。

 

Moreover, our P/C companies have an excellent underwriting record. Berkshire has now operated at an underwriting profit for 15 of the past 16 years, the exception being 2017, when our pre-tax loss was $3.2 billion. For the entire 16-year span, our pre-tax gain totaled $27 billion, of which $2 billion was recorded in 2018.

此外,我們的P / C公司有很好的承保記錄。 伯克希爾現在經營一家公司過去16年中有15年的承保利潤,例外是2017年,當時我們的稅前虧損為32億美元。 對於在整個16年的時間里,我們的稅前收益總計270億美元,其中20億美元是在2018年錄得的。

 

That record is no accident: Disciplined risk evaluation is the daily focus of our insurance managers, who know that the benefits of float can be drowned by poor underwriting results. All insurers give that message lip service. At Berkshire it is a religion, Old Testament style.

這一記錄並非偶然:紀律風險評估是我們保險經理的日常關注點我們知道浮動的好處可能會被糟糕的承保業績所淹沒。 所有保險公司都會提供這種信息。在伯克希爾,它是一種宗教,舊約的風格。

 

**********

In most cases, the funding of a business comes from two sources – debt and equity. At Berkshire, we have two additional arrows in the quiver to talk about, but let’s first address the conventional components.

在大多數情況下,企業的資金來自兩個來源 - 債務和股權。 在伯克希爾,我們有在箭袋中有兩個額外的箭頭可以談談,但讓我們首先解決傳統的組件。

 

We use debt sparingly. Many managers, it should be noted, will disagree with this policy, arguing that significant debt juices the returns for equity owners. And these more venturesome CEOs will be right most of the time.

我們謹慎使用債務。 應該指出,許多管理人員不同意這一政策,並認為這一點重大債務會影響股權所有者的回報。 而這些更冒險的首席執行官 大多數時候都是正確的。

 

At rare and unpredictable intervals, however, credit vanishes and debt becomes financially fatal. A Russianroulette equation – usually win, occasionally die – may make financial sense for someone who gets a piece of a company’s upside but does not share in its downside. But that strategy would be madness for Berkshire. Rational people don’t risk what they have and need for what they don’t have and don’t need.

然而,在罕見和不可預測的時間間隔,信貸消失和債務變得在經濟上致命。 俄語 - 輪盤賭公式 - 通常是勝利,偶爾會死 - 可能會讓那些得到一塊錢的人有經濟意義公司的優勢但並未分享其下行空間。 但這種策略對伯克希爾來說是瘋狂的。 合理的人們不會冒任何風險,也不需要他們沒有和不需要的東西。

 

Most of the debt you see on our consolidated balance sheet – see page K-65 – resides at our railroad and energy subsidiaries, both of them asset-heavy companies. During recessions, the cash generation of these businesses remains bountiful. The debt they use is both appropriate for their operations and not guaranteed by Berkshire.

您在我們的合併資產負債表上看到的大部分債務 - 見第K-65頁 - 都在我們的鐵路和能源子公司,都是資產密集型公司。 在經濟衰退期間,這些企業的現金產生仍然很豐富。 他們使用的債務既適合他們的業務,也 不受伯克希爾保證。

 

Our level of equity capital is a different story: Berkshire’s $349 billion is unmatched in corporate America. By retaining all earnings for a very long time, and allowing compound interest to work its magic, we have amassed funds 

that have enabled us to purchase and develop the valuable groves earlier described. Had we instead followed a 100%

payout policy, we would still be working with the $22 million with which we began fiscal 1965.

我們的股權資本水平是另一回事:伯克希爾的3490億美元在美國企業中是無與倫比的。 通過保留所有收益很長一段時間,並允許復利利用其魔力,我們積累了資金這使我們能夠購買和開發前面描述的有價值的樹林。 如果我們改為100%支付政策,我們仍將使用我們從1965年開始的2200 萬美元 。

 

Beyond using debt and equity, Berkshire has benefitted in a major way from two less-common sources of corporate funding. The larger is the float I have described. So far, those funds, though they are recorded as a huge net liability on our balance sheet, have been of more utility to us than an equivalent amount of equity. That’s because they have usually been accompanied by underwriting earnings. In effect, we have been paid in most years for holding and

using other people’s money

除了使用債務和股權之外,伯克希爾還從兩個不那麼常見的資金來源中獲益企業資金。 我描述的浮子越大。 到目前為止,這些資金雖然被記錄為巨額網絡我們的資產負債表上的負債對我們來說比等值的權益更有用。 那是因為他們通常伴隨著承銷收益。 實際上,我們在大多數年份都獲得了持有和支付用別人的錢。

 

As I have often done before, I will emphasize that this happy outcome is far from a sure thing: Mistakes in

assessing insurance risks can be huge and can take many years to surface. (Think asbestos.) A major catastrophe that will dwarf hurricanes Katrina and Michael will occur – perhaps tomorrow, perhaps many decades from now. 「The Big One」 may come from a traditional source, such as a hurricane or earthquake, or it may be a total surprise involving, say, a cyber attack having disastrous consequences beyond anything insurers now contemplate. When such a megacatastrophe strikes, we will get our share of the losses and they will be big – very big. Unlike many other insurers, however, we will be looking to add business the next day.

正如我以前經常做的那樣,我會強調這個快樂的結果遠非一個肯定的事情:錯誤評估保險風險可能是巨大的,可能需要很多年才能浮出水面。 (想想石棉。)這是一場重大災難將矮卡特里娜和邁克爾 會發生-也許是明天,也許從現在開始幾十年。 「該Big One「可能來自傳統的來源,例如颶風或地震,或者可能是一個完全意外的涉及,比如,網絡攻擊帶來的災難性後果超出了保險公司現在所考慮的範圍。 當這樣一個巨大的 - 災難性的罷工,我們將得到我們的損失份額,他們將是巨大的 - 非常大。 與許多其他保險公司不同,但是,我們希望第二天增加業務。

 

The final funding source – which again Berkshire possesses to an unusual degree – is deferred income taxes. These are liabilities that we will eventually pay but that are meanwhile interest-free.

最終的資金來源 - 伯克希爾再次擁有不同程度的資產 - 是遞延所得稅。這些是我們最終會支付的負債,但同時也是無息的。

 

As I indicated earlier, about $14.7 billion of our $50.5 billion of deferred taxes arises from the unrealized gains in our equity holdings. These liabilities are accrued in our financial statements at the current 21% corporate tax rate but will be paid at the rates prevailing when our investments are sold. Between now and then, we in effect have an interest-free 「loan」 that allows us to have more money working for us in equities than would otherwise be the case.

正如我早些時候指出的那樣,我們的505億美元遞延稅款中約有147億美元來自未實現的稅收我們的股權收益增加。 這些負債在我們的財務報表中按當前21%的公司稅計算價格,但將按我們的投資銷售時的現行費率支付。 從現在到現在,我們實際上都有一種免息的「貸款」,允許我們在股票上為我們工作的錢多於其他情況。

 

A further $28.3 billion of deferred tax results from our being able to accelerate the depreciation of assets such as plant and equipment in calculating the tax we must currently pay. The front-ended savings in taxes that we record gradually reverse in future years. We regularly purchase additional assets, however. As long as the present tax law prevails, this source of funding should trend upward.

另外還有283億美元的遞延稅,這是因為我們能夠加速這類資產的貶值

作為計算我們當前必須支付的稅收的工廠和設備。我們記錄的稅前端節省在未來幾年逐漸逆轉。但是,我們會定期購買其他資產。只要現行稅法佔上風,這種資金來源應該呈上升趨勢。

 

Over time, Berkshire’s funding base – that’s the right-hand side of our balance sheet – should grow, primarily through the earnings we retain. Our job is to put the money retained to good use on the left-hand side, by adding attractive assets.

隨著時間的推移,伯克希爾的資金基礎 - 這是我們資產負債表的右側 - 應該會增長通過我們保留的收益。我們的工作是通過添加,將保留的錢保留在左側有吸引力的資產。 

 

GEICO和Tony Nicely

That title says it all: The company and the man are inseparable.

這個頭銜說明瞭一切:公司和男人是不可分割的。

 

Tony joined GEICO in 1961 at the age of 18; I met him in the mid-1970s. At that time, GEICO, after a fourdecade record of both rapid growth and outstanding underwriting results, suddenly found itself near bankruptcy. A recently-installed management had grossly underestimated GEICO’s loss costs and consequently underpriced its product. It would take many months until those loss-generating policies on GEICO’s books – there were no less than 2.3 million of them – would expire and could then be repriced. The company’s net worth in the meantime was rapidly approaching zero.

Tony於1961年加入GEICO,享年18歲; 我在20世紀70年代中期遇見了他。那個時候,GEICO,經過四個快速增長和卓越承保業績的十年記錄,突然發現自己接近破產。 一個最近安裝的管理層嚴重低估了GEICO的損失成本,因此低估了其成本產品。 需要幾個月的時間,直到那些關於GEICO書籍的虧損政策 - 不少於其中230萬 - 將過期,然後可以重新定價。與此同時,公司的淨資產很快接近零。

 

In 1976, Jack Byrne was brought in as CEO to rescue GEICO. Soon after his arrival, I met him, concluded that he was the perfect man for the job, and began to aggressively buy GEICO shares. Within a few months, Berkshire bought about 1⁄3 of the company, a portion that later grew to roughly 1⁄2 without our spending a dime. That stunning accretion occurred because GEICO, after recovering its health, consistently repurchased its shares. All told, this halfinterest in GEICO cost Berkshire $47 million, about what you might pay today for a trophy apartment in New York.

1976年,Jack Byrne被任命擔任GEICO的首席執行官。他到達後不久,我遇見了他,結論他是這份工作的最佳人選,並開始積極購買GEICO股票。幾個月內,伯克希爾購買了約 1 / 3的公司,後來增長到約部分1 / 2沒有我們花一毛錢。那令人驚嘆因為GEICO在恢復健康狀況後不斷回購其股票,因此出現了增長。總而言之,這一半 -對GEICO的興趣使Berkshire損失了4700萬美元,這與你今天在紐約的獎杯公寓所支付的費用有關。

 

Let’s now fast-forward 17 years to 1993, when Tony Nicely was promoted to CEO. At that point, GEICO’s reputation and profitability had been restored – but not its growth. Indeed, at yearend 1992 the company had only 1.9 million auto policies on its books, far less than its pre-crisis high. In sales volume among U.S. auto insurers, GEICO then ranked an undistinguished seventh.

現在讓我們快進17年到1993年,當時Tony Nicely晉升為首席執行官。那時,GEICO的聲譽和盈利能力已經恢復 - 但不是它的增長。事實上,在1992年年底,公司只有1.9百萬汽車政策在其賬面上,遠低於危機前的高點。在美國汽車保險公司GEICO的銷量中然後排名第七。

 

Late in 1995, after Tony had re-energized GEICO, Berkshire made an offer to buy the remaining 50% of the company for $2.3 billion, about 50 times what we had paid for the first half (and people say I never pay up!). Our offer was successful and brought Berkshire a wonderful, but underdeveloped, company and an equally wonderful CEO, who would move GEICO forward beyond my dreams.

在1995年晚些時候,在Tony重新激活GEICO之後,伯克希爾提出購買其餘50%的資金該公司以23億美元,約為我們上半年支付的50倍(人們說我從不付錢!)。 我們的提議是成功的,並使伯克希爾成為一個美妙但不發達的公司,同樣也很棒首席執行官,他會讓GEICO超越我的夢想。

GEICO is now America’s Number Two auto insurer, with sales 1,200% greater than it recorded in 1995. Underwriting profits have totaled $15.5 billion (pre-tax) since our purchase, and float available for investment has grown from $2.5 billion to $22.1 billion.

GEICO現在是美國第二大汽車保險公司,銷售額比1995年增加了1200%。自我們購買以來,承保利潤總額為155億美元(稅前),可用於投資的浮動利潤從25億美元增長到221億美元。

 

By my estimate, Tony’s management of GEICO has increased Berkshire’s intrinsic value by more than $50 billion. On top of that, he is a model for everything a manager should be, helping his 40,000 associates to identify and polish abilities they didn’t realize they possessed.

根據我的估計,Tony對GEICO的管理使伯克希爾的內在價值增加了 50多美元十億。 最重要的是,他是管理者應該做的一切模型,幫助他的40,000名員工識別和識別他們沒有意識到他們擁有的波蘭能力。

 

Last year, Tony decided to retire as CEO, and on June 30th he turned that position over to Bill Roberts, his long-time partner. I’ve known and watched Bill operate for several decades, and once again Tony made the right move. Tony remains Chairman and will be helpful to GEICO for the rest of his life. He’s incapable of doing less.

去年,托尼決定退休,並於6月30 日將這一職位轉交給比爾羅伯茨長期合作夥伴。我知道並看著比爾經營了幾十年,而托尼再次做出了正確的決定移動。 托尼仍然是主席,並將在他的餘生中幫助GEICO。他無能為力。

All Berkshire shareholders owe Tony their thanks. I head the list.

所有伯克希爾股東都對Tony表示感謝。我列在名單上。

 

 

投資

Below we list our fifteen common stock investments that at yearend had the largest market value. We exclude our Kraft Heinz holding – 325,442,152 shares – because Berkshire is part of a control group and therefore must account for this investment on the 「equity」 method. On its balance sheet, Berkshire carries its Kraft Heinz holding at a GAAP figure of $13.8 billion, an amount reduced by our share of the large write-off of intangible assets taken by Kraft Heinz in 2018. At yearend, our Kraft Heinz holding had a market value of $14 billion and a cost basis of $9.8 billion.

下面我們列出了我們在年底擁有最大市場價值的十五種普通股投資。我們排除我們的卡夫亨氏控股 - 325,442,152股 - 因為伯克希爾是一個控制組的一部分,因此必須對這種「股權」方法的投資進行了說明。在其資產負債表上,伯克希爾公司將其卡夫亨氏股票持有美國通用會計准則的數字為138億美元,這個數額減少了我們對無形資產的大額註銷所佔的份額卡夫亨氏在2018年。在年底,我們的卡夫亨氏控股公司的市值為140億美元,成本基礎為98億美元。

 

 

*

不包括伯克希爾子公司養老基金持有的股份。

**

這是我們的實際購買價格以及我們的稅基。

Charlie and I do not view the $172.8 billion detailed above as a collection of ticker symbols – a financial dalliance to be terminated because of downgrades by 「the Street,」 expected Federal Reserve actions, possible political developments, forecasts by economists or whatever else might be the subject du jour.

查理和我 不認為上面詳述的1728億美元是一個股票代碼的集合 - 一個金融由於「街道」降級,預期美聯儲的行動,可能的政治因素,終止調整發展,預測由經濟學家或其他任何可能的主題 大談特談。

 

What we see in our holdings, rather, is an assembly of companies that we partly own and that, on a weighted basis, are earning about 20% on the net tangible equity capital required to run their businesses. These companies, also, earn their profits without employing excessive levels of debt.

相反,我們在我們的持股中看到的是我們部分擁有的公司大會,以及加權公司基礎,在 經營業務所需的淨有形權益資本上賺取約20%。這些公司也是,在不使用過多債務的情況下賺取利潤。

 

Returns of that order by large, established and understandable businesses are remarkable under any circumstances. They are truly mind-blowing when compared against the return that many investors have accepted on bonds over the last decade – 3% or less on 30-year U.S. Treasury bonds, for example.

大型,成熟且可以理解的企業對該訂單的退貨在任何情況下都是非常了不起情況。 與許多投資者已接受的回報相比,它們真的令人興奮過去十年的債券 - 例如30年期美國國債的3%或更少。

 

On occasion, a ridiculously-high purchase price for a given stock will cause a splendid business to become a poor investment – if not permanently, at least for a painfully long period. Over time, however, investment performance converges with business performance. And, as I will next spell out, the record of American business has been extraordinary.

有時,給定股票的高購買價格將導致一個出色的業務成為一個投資不足 - 如果不是永久性的,至少在痛苦的很長一段時間內。然而,隨著時間的推移,投資表現與業務績效趨同。而且,正如我接下來將說明的那樣,美國企業的記錄一直如此非凡。

 

美國的利好因素

On March 11th, it will be 77 years since I first invested in an American business. The year was 1942, I was 11, and I went all in, investing $114.75 I had begun accumulating at age six. What I bought was three shares of Cities Service preferred stock. I had become a capitalist, and it felt good.

3月11 日,我第一次投資美國企業將是77年。這一年是1942年,我11歲,我all in由6歲時積累的114.75美元。我買的是三股城市服務首選股票。我成了資本家,感覺很好。

 

Let’s now travel back through the two 77-year periods that preceded my purchase. That leaves us starting in 1788, a year prior to George Washington’s installation as our first president. Could anyone then have imagined what their new country would accomplish in only three 77-year lifetimes?

現在讓我們回顧一下購買之前的兩個77年。這讓我們開始了1788年,喬治華盛頓安裝前一年擔任我們的第一任總統。任何人都可以想象什麼他們的新國家將在僅僅三個的77年內完成?

 

During the two 77-year periods prior to 1942, the United States had grown from four million people – about 1⁄2 of 1% of the world’s population – into the most powerful country on earth. In that spring of 1942, though, it faced a crisis: The U.S. and its allies were suffering heavy losses in a war that we had entered only three months earlier. Bad news arrived daily

在1942年之前的兩個77年期間,美國從400萬人增長到大約1 / 2 到地球上最強大的國家-世界人口的1%。然而,在1942年春天,它面臨著危機:美國及其盟國在我們三個月前剛剛進入的戰爭中遭受重創。 壞消息每天都有。

 

Despite the alarming headlines, almost all Americans believed on that March 11th that the war would be won. Nor was their optimism limited to that victory. Leaving aside congenital pessimists, Americans believed that their children and generations beyond would live far better lives than they themselves had led.

儘管有令人震驚的頭條新聞,但幾乎所有美國人都相信3月11 日這場戰爭將會如此韓元。他們的樂觀主義也不局限於這場勝利。除了先天的悲觀主義者,美國人相信這一點他們的孩子和他們的後代將過著比他們自己所領導的更好的生活。

 

The nation’s citizens understood, of course, that the road ahead would not be a smooth ride. It never had been. Early in its history our country was tested by a Civil War that killed 4% of all American males and led President Lincoln to openly ponder whether 「a nation so conceived and so dedicated could long endure.」 In the 1930s, America suffered through the Great Depression, a punishing period of massive unemployment.

當然,國家的公民理解前方的道路不會順利。它從來沒有是。 在其歷史的早期,我們的國家受到內戰的考驗,這場內戰殺死了所有美國男性的4%並領導了總統林肯公開思考「一個如此懷孕和如此奉獻的國家能否長期存在。」在20世紀30年代,美國經歷了大蕭條,這是一個大規模失業的懲罰時期。

 

Nevertheless, in 1942, when I made my purchase, the nation expected post-war growth, a belief that proved to be well-founded. In fact, the nation’s achievements can best be described as breathtaking.

然而,在1942年,當我購買時,國家預計戰後增長,這一信念已經證明有充分理由。事實上,這個國家的成就最好被描述為令人嘆為觀止。

 

Let’s put numbers to that claim: If my $114.75 had been invested in a no-fee S&P 500 index fund, and all dividends had been reinvested, my stake would have grown to be worth (pre-taxes) $606,811 on January 31, 2019 (the latest data available before the printing of this letter). That is a gain of 5,288 for 1. Meanwhile, a $1 million investment by a tax-free institution of that time – say, a pension fund or college endowment – would have grown to about $5.3 billion.

讓我們為這個說法提供數字:如果我的114.75美元已投資於免費的標準普爾500指數基金,以及所有股息已經再投資,我的股權將在2019年1月31日增加到價值(稅前)606,811美元(本信件印刷前的最新數據)。這是1的收益 5,288。同時,投資100萬美元當時的免稅機構 - 例如養老基金或大學捐贈 - 將增長到5.3美元左右十億。

 

Let me add one additional calculation that I believe will shock you: If that hypothetical institution had paid only 1% of assets annually to various 「helpers,」 such as investment managers and consultants, its gain would have been cut in half, to $2.65 billion. That’s what happens over 77 years when the 11.8% annual return actually achieved by the S&P 500 is recalculated at a 10.8% rate.

讓我再添加一個我認為會讓你感到震驚的計算:如果那個假設的機構付了錢每年只有1%的資產用於各種「幫助者」,例如投資經理和顧問,其收益就會增加被 削減一半,達到26.5億美元。這是77年來實現11.8%的年回報實際發生的情況由標準普爾500指數以10.8%的比率重新計算。

 

Those who regularly preach doom because of government budget deficits (as I regularly did myself for many years) might note that our country’s national debt has increased roughly 400-fold during the last of my 77-year periods. That’s 40,000%! Suppose you had foreseen this increase and panicked at the prospect of runaway deficits and a worthless currency. To 「protect」 yourself, you might have eschewed stocks and opted instead to buy 31⁄4 ounces of gold with your $114.75.

那些因政府預算赤字而經常宣傳厄運的人(正如我經常為許多人做的那樣可能會注意到,在我77年的最後一個時期,我國的國債增加了大約400倍。那是40,000%!假設你已經預見到這種增長,並對失控的赤字和a的前景感到恐慌沒用的貨幣。為了「保護」自己,你可能會避開股票和選擇,而不是買3 1 / 4盎司你的$ 114.75金幣。

 

And what would that supposed protection have delivered? You would now have an asset worth about $4,200, less than 1% of what would have been realized from a simple unmanaged investment in American business. The magical metal was no match for the American mettle.

這個假設的保護會帶來什麼?你現在有一個價值約4,200美元的資產,不到美國商業簡單無管理投資所能實現的收益的1%。該神奇的金屬與美國的勇氣無法匹敵。

 

Our country’s almost unbelievable prosperity has been gained in a bipartisan manner. Since 1942, we have had seven Republican presidents and seven Democrats. In the years they served, the country contended at various times with a long period of viral inflation, a 21% prime rate, several controversial and costly wars, the resignation of a president, a pervasive collapse in home values, a paralyzing financial panic and a host of other problems. All engendered scary headlines; all are now history

我們兩國以兩黨的方式獲得了幾乎令人難以置信的繁榮。自1942年以來,我們有有七位共和黨總統和七位民主黨人。在他們服務的這些年里,該國在不同時期發生爭執經歷了長期的病毒式通貨膨脹,21%的優惠利率,幾次有爭議且代價高昂的戰爭,一個人的辭職總統,房屋價值普遍崩潰,金融恐慌和其他一系列問題癱瘓。 所有引起可怕的頭條新聞; 現在都是歷史。

 

Christopher Wren, architect of St. Paul’s Cathedral, lies buried within that London church. Near his tomb are posted these words of description (translated from Latin): 「If you would seek my monument, look round you.」 Those skeptical of America’s economic playbook should heed his message.

聖保羅大教堂的建築師克里斯托弗雷恩(Christopher Wren)被埋葬在倫敦教堂內。他的墓附近張貼這些描述的詞語(翻譯自拉丁語):「如果你想尋找我的紀念碑,環顧四周。」那些持懷疑態度的美國經濟劇本應該留意他的信息。

 

In 1788 – to go back to our starting point – there really wasn’t much here except for a small band of ambitious people and an embryonic governing framework aimed at turning their dreams into reality. Today, the Federal Reserve estimates our household wealth at $108 trillion, an amount almost impossible to comprehend.

在1788年 - 回到我們的出發點 - 除了一小群野心勃勃之外,這裡確實沒有多少人和一個旨在將夢想變為現實的胚胎治理框架。今天,美聯儲估計我們的家庭財富為108 萬億美元,幾乎無法想象。

 

Remember, earlier in this letter, how I described retained earnings as having been the key to Berkshire’s prosperity? So it has been with America. In the nation’s accounting, the comparable item is labeled 「savings.」 And save we have. If our forefathers had instead consumed all they produced, there would have been no investment, no productivity gains and no leap in living standards.

請記住,在這封信的前面,我如何將留存收益描述為伯克希爾的關鍵繁榮?所以它一直在美國。在國家的會計中,可比項目被標記為「儲蓄」我們有。如果我們的祖先反而消耗了他們生產的所有東西,就沒有投資,沒有生產力提高,生活水平沒有飛躍。

 

**********

Charlie and I happily acknowledge that much of Berkshire’s success has simply been a product of what I think should be called The American Tailwind. It is beyond arrogance for American businesses or individuals to boast that they have 「done it alone.」 The tidy rows of simple white crosses at Normandy should shame those who make such claims.

查理和我高興地承認伯克希爾的大部分成功僅僅是我的成果認為應該叫做 美國Tailwind。對美國企業或個人來說,吹噓自大是不可或缺的

 

There are also many other countries around the world that have bright futures. About that, we should rejoice: Americans will be both more prosperous and safer if all nations thrive. At Berkshire, we hope to invest significant sums across borders.

他們「完全獨自完成了。」在諾曼底的一排排簡單的白色十字架應該讓那些製作的人感到羞恥這樣的說法。世界上還有許多其他國家都有光明的未來。關於那,我們應該高興:如果 所有國家都茁壯成長,美國人將更加繁榮和安全。在伯克希爾,我們希望投入巨資跨越國界。

 

Over the next 77 years, however, the major source of our gains will almost certainly be provided by The American Tailwind. We are lucky – gloriously lucky – to have that force at our back.

然而,在接下來的77年里,我們收穫的主要來源幾乎肯定會由The提供美國Tailwind。我們很幸運 - 光榮幸運 - 在我們的背後擁有這股力量。

 

年會

Berkshire’s 2019 annual meeting will take place on Saturday, May 4th. If you are thinking about attending –

and Charlie and I hope you come – check out the details on pages A-2 – A-3. They describe the same schedule we’ve followed for some years.

伯克希爾2019年年會將於5月4 日星期六舉行。如果您正考慮參加 -和查理,我希望你來 - 查看第A-2頁 - A-3頁的詳細信息。他們描述了我們相同的時間表隨後幾年。

 

If you can’t join us in Omaha, attend via Yahoo’s webcast. Andy Serwer and his Yahoo associates do an outstanding job, both in covering the entire meeting and interviewing many Berkshire managers, celebrities, financial experts and shareholders from the U.S. and abroad. The world’s knowledge of what goes on in Omaha the first Saturday of every May has grown dramatically since Yahoo came on board. Its coverage begins at 8:45 a.m. CDT and provides Mandarin translation.

如果您不能加入我們的奧馬哈,請通過雅虎的網絡直播參加。Andy Serwer和他的雅虎員工做了一個出色的工作,無論是在整個會議上,還是採訪了許多伯克希爾的經理人,名人,財務人員來自美國和海外的專家和股東。世界對奧馬哈發生的事情的瞭解是第一次自雅虎加入以來,每年五月的星期六都在急劇增長。它的報道始於CDT和上午8:45 提供普通話翻譯。

 

**********

For 54 years, Charlie and I have loved our jobs. Daily, we do what we find interesting, working with people we like and trust. And now our new management structure has made our lives even more enjoyable.

54年來,查理和我都喜歡我們的工作。每天,我們做有趣的事情,與人合作我們喜歡並信任。現在,我們新的管理結構使我們的生活更加愉快。

 

With the whole ensemble – that is, with Ajit and Greg running operations, a great collection of businesses, a Niagara of cash-generation, a cadre of talented managers and a rock-solid culture – your company is in good shape for whatever the future brings.

整個團隊 - 也就是說,通過Ajit和Greg運營業務,收集了大量業務,尼亞加拉的現金生產,一批才華橫溢的管理者和堅如磐石的文化 - 你的公司狀況良好無論未來如何。

 

2019年2月23日

華倫·畢菲特

董事會主席

Please reload

Our Recent Posts

Please reload

Archive

Please reload

Tags