Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Buffett's Annual Letter

Warren Buffett has issued his annual letter to shareholders, which often receives a great deal of attention. In that letter, Buffett typically discusses general business and economic issues, as well as the performance of Berkshire Hathaway. Given the current economic environment, this year's letter strikes me as particularly interesting to read. Here's one very insightful comment from his letter, which all investors should remember as they look to the year ahead:

Take a look again at the 44-year table on page 2. In 75% of those years, the S&P stocks recorded a gain. I would guess that a roughly similar percentage of years will be positive in the next 44. But neither Charlie Munger, my partner in running Berkshire, nor I can predict the winning and losing years in advance. (In our
usual opinionated view, we don’t think anyone else can either.) We’re certain, for example, that the economy will be in shambles throughout 2009 – and, for that matter, probably well beyond – but that conclusion does not tell us whether the stock market will rise or fall