Question: If you ingest probiotics and antibiotics at the same time, will you explode? Discuss.
And now . . .
Thirty-five years ago, Fortune paid me $1,500 to review Warren Buffett’s annual shareholder letters. At the time, they had developed a cult following. Today, they make national news.
It was an easy assignment. His writing is so clear, wry and insightful, all I had to do was string together some excerpts.
I concluded with words to the effect of, “At $300, Berkshire Hathaway’s stocks seems to be a little ahead of itself. But I might well buy some on the next dip.”
I wrote much the same thing when it got to $3,000, then $30,000. (Today: $300,000.)
Had I taken my $1,500 fee and bought 5 shares of the $300 stock, I would today be 35 years older (that part worked out), and $1.5 million richer (oh, well).
At least, that’s the way I remember it and have been telling this story for decades.
Having just now reread the piece, it seems Berkshire stock wasn’t $300, it was $955 — so I missed only a 300-fold gain. And, no, I did not conclude the piece with a comment about buying some on the next pull-back.
It’s interesting, if not a little scary, to see how one’s memory can play tricks.
But I digress.
The point is: Warren’s latest letter is out, yours to read here.
If you want more, just change the year in this URL — berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2017ltr.pdf — to any other year back to 2003. (For 1965-2002, you’ll have to search further.)
The big headline this year? The Republicans’ “middle class” tax cut enriched Berkshire Hathaway shareholders by $29 billion.
Even when you’re rich, every little bit helps.
The extra $1.5 trillion over ten years — borrowed from your children and grandchildren at exactly the wrong time in the business cycle, allegedly to help you — may indeed add a few bucks to your take-home pay . . . I hope it does. But those few bucks were included to keep you from noticing or caring too much that the bulk of the money was borrowed to enrich those at the very tippy top, like the Trumps and the Kushners. And the Mnuchins and Wilbur Rosses and Peter Thiels and DeVoses (and, of course, the Waltons, who alone control as much wealth as the bottom 139 million Americans combined).
Have a great weekend.
Quote of the Day
A penny saved may be a penny earned, but it's one boring penny. A penny invested, on the other hand, bounces around. It gets bigger one day, smaller the next. A bit player in the drama of global finance, that penny buys a guy a balcony seat in the theater of macroeconomics.~Susan Stewart
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