Feb 25, 2017

Some thoughts from Warren Buffett

AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File

Warren Buffett released his highly-anticipated annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders Saturday morning. It's widely read for clues on where the world's most famous investor thinks the economy and markets are headed. Key points:

  • Hedge funds stink: Buffet devoted nearly 5 pages to condemning hedge funds for charging high fees while delivering meager results to their investors: "When trillions of dollars are managed by Wall Streeters charging high fees, it will usually be the managers who reap outsized profits, not the clients."
  • Immigration is good: Buffet said that you don't need to be an economist to understand that immigration has been at the foundation of what makes America great, adding that immigrants are partly responsible for the nation's "miraculous" economic growth. Note, however, that Buffet never mentions President Trump by name in his letter.
  • Stocks will continue to go up: "The years ahead will occasionally deliver major market declines — even panics — that will affect virtually all stocks." But don't panic, he says. "Yes, the build-up of wealth will be interrupted for short periods from time to time. It will not, however, be stopped... American business — and consequently a basket of stocks— is virtually certain to be worth far more in the years ahead."

And he heaps praise on Jack Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group and father of low-fee index funds. "If a statue is ever erected to honor the person who has done the most for American investors, the hands-down choice should be Jack Bogle," Buffett writes.

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