American billionaire Warren Buffett, 90, remains a staunch supporter of the American dream and advises, in his famous annual letter, never to bet against America.
“During its brief existence, 232 years, there has been no incubator capable of unleashing human potential like America,” wrote the leader in this letter addressed to shareholders of the conglomerate Berkshire Hattaway and published on Saturday.
He points out that despite a particularly difficult year 2020, marked by the COVID-19 pandemic which plunged the first economy into recession and pushed millions of people into poverty, “the economic progress of our country has been breathtaking ”.
“Our unwavering conclusion: never bet against America,” he said.
This annual letter is always eagerly awaited by the business world, Warren Buffett being known to be a cautious investor and focusing on the long term.
Regarding the conglomerate Berkshire Hattaway, Warren Buffett admits to having made “a mistake” by buying Precision Castparts (PCC) in 2016, which led to an asset depreciation of 11 billion dollars.
“I paid too much for this business,” admits the billionaire. “Nobody misled me, I was just too optimistic about the potential of CCP,” he said.
Mr. Buffett also indicated that the group’s annual meeting, which usually attracts thousands of shareholders and which will be held on May 1, will be held as last year in virtual mode due to the pandemic.
“Last year, we did not achieve any objective: Berkshire did not make any significant acquisition and operating profit fell by 9%”, also lamented the leader.
“We did, however, increase the intrinsic value per share of Berkshire by retaining earnings and repurchasing about 5% of our shares,” he explained.
However, he said he was convinced “that over time, Berkshire’s capital gains on its investments will be substantial.”
Looking to the future, he said the conglomerate “will remain a collection of controlled and uncontrolled companies.”
Shareholder capital will also be invested “on the basis of a company’s competitive and sustainable strengths, its management capabilities and character, and price”.
Warren Buffett also explained that he and Charlie Munger would respond on the 1is May to Shareholder Questions, from Los Angeles.
In 2020, Berkshire posted net income of $ 42.5 billion in 2020, driven by its insurance business, but down nearly 48%.
Last year, Berkshire pulled out of airlines and invested more money in pharmaceuticals.