Warren Buffett optimistic about United States economy in annual letter

Cornelia Mascio
Febbraio 26, 2017

For all of 2016, meanwhile, top-line growth of 6% was driven by the conglomerate's insurance businesses, whose revenue increased 7.5% to $175.2 billion, and 37% gains in financial products Berkshire Hathaway said in its annual report.

Warren Buffett made it clear Saturday that while he prefers investments that last forever, any of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s $122 billion worth of stock in publicly traded companies can go up for sale at any time.

Buffett also said the market system that has propelled USA economic growth for more than two centuries will continue unabated, echoing his optimism about the country where he amassed a fortune.

While Buffett said no pension funds or "mega-rich individuals" have taken his advice on index funds and that "human behavior won't change", some investors are following his lead.

At year-end, that privilege would have delivered Berkshire a profit of $10.5 billion, Buffett wrote, noting that Berkshire can use its preferred shares to satisfy the $5 billion cost of exercising the warrant.

Despite a roaring stock market in the United States, actively managed mutual funds bled $342 billion last year, their second straight year of outflows.

Buffett also lauded what he called the "miraculous" performance of the USA economy, a dynamic he expects to help boost the company's own bottom line.

"Ajit has created tens of billions of value for Berkshire shareholders", Buffett wrote. "If there were ever to be another Ajit and you could swap me for him, don't hesitate". Net earnings per Class A equivalent share attributable to Berkshire shareholders rose to 3,823 from $3,333 in the year-ago period. Buffett had previously said Berkshire would probably only exercise the warrants just before expiration.

"One word sums up our country's achievements: miraculous", Buffett said.

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