Warren Buffett Goes Green (Metaphorically) in 2018 Annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Letter

[Editor’s Note:  The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway (“Berkshire”), or any other entity referenced. Edina Realty is a subsidiary of Berkshire.]

What stood out (at least to me) in this year’s letter to shareholders was the lexicon Mr. Buffett used to describe Berkshire Hathaway’s vast corporate holdings:

“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.

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.”

2018 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Letter; p. 3.

Sounds good to me.

Unfortunately, unlike in past years, there’s no mention of Homeservices of America (Edina Realty’s immediate parent company) in this year’s letter.

See also, “Edina Realty’s Parent Co. Gets Nice Plug in Warren Buffett’s 2017 Letter to Shareholders“; “What Motivates Senior Managers at Berkshire Hathaway?“; and “Warren Buffett’s Shout-Out to Ron Peltier.

And: “Ahead for Berkshire Hathaway: Utility-Like Returns?“; “Buffett’s Negotiating Secrets“; and “Warren Buffett’s Crystal Ball ” & Rearview Mirror

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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