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Friday, February 29, 2008

Buffett's Letter

by Calculated Risk on 2/29/2008 04:49:00 PM

I’ve reluctantly discarded the notion of my continuing to manage the portfolio after my death abandoning my hope to give new meaning to the term “thinking outside the box.”
Warren Buffett, Feb 29, 2008
Here is Buffett's letter to shareholders.
I should mention that people who expect to earn 10% annually from equities during this century – envisioning that 2% of that will come from dividends and 8% from price appreciation – are implicitly forecasting a level of about 24,000,000 on the Dow by 2100. If your adviser talks to you about doubledigit returns from equities, explain this math to him – not that it will faze him. Many helpers are apparently direct descendants of the queen in Alice in Wonderland, who said: “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Beware the glib helper who fills your head with fantasies while he fills his pockets with fees.
Numbers are fun. Let's see, 1.08 (8% price appreciation) for 92 years = 1188. Then multiply by 12,266 (today's close), and I only get 14.6 million on the Dow. Oh well ... underperforming Buffett again!

The actual number sounds huge, but much depends on the size of the economy - and that will be many many times larger in 92 years.

Buffett is always fun to read.