1. 워렌버핏이 1930년생이니까 나보다 62살이 많다. 그러니까 나이가 이제 올해로 89살….인데, 아직도 매년 주주서한을 직접 쓴다. 89살 할아버지가 독수리 타법으로 (설마 연필로 쓰지는 않겠지) 한 글자 한 글자 지혜를 꾹꾹 눌러 담고 있는 모습을 떠올리니 정말 근사하다. 뭐 연필로 써도 조금 놀랍기는 하겠지만 근사할 것 같다.
2. 버크셔의 부회장이자 버핏의 오랜 파트너인 찰리 멍거는 버핏의 투자 능력을 페더러의 테니스 능력과 비교한 적이있는데,
“활동을 몇 가지로 제한하고 그 활동들에 정신을 집중하고, 50년 간을 그렇게 유지하기로 한 버핏의 결심은 룰루팔루자였습니다. 버핏은 로저 페더러가 테니스를 잘 치게 된 것과 같은 이유로 성공했습니다.”
” 농구 선수는 나이가 들어갈수록 실력이 떨어지지만, 버핏은 50년 동안 나이가 들면서 지속적으로 실력이 향상됐기 때문입니다.”
버핏은 20대부터 (혹은 그 이전부터) 투자에만 생각과 정신을 집중하고 삶을 헌신했다. 쉽게 말해, 테니스 선수로 비교하면, (페더러가 81년 생 38살인데 버핏이 89살이니까 신체적으로 늙지 않는다는 가정 하에) 버핏은앞으로 51년을 더 테니스를 빡시게 친 챔피언인 것. 누가 이 자를 이길 수 있겠는가.
3. 소중한 지혜를 홈페이지에서 무료로 볼 수 있는데, 투자대가꿈나무 입장에서 매년 나오는 주주서한은 매우 소중하다. 평생을 갈고 닦아 뽑아낸 정수가 문장 속에 녹아 있을 것만 같다. 이하는 내가 밑줄 그은 문장들만 편집한 것.
우선, 하이라이트 부터
–Charlie and I view the marketable common stocks that Berkshire owns as interests in businesses, not as ticker symbols to be bought or sold based on their “chart” patterns, the “target” prices of analysts or the opinions of media pundits. Instead, we simply believe that if the businesses of the investees are successful (as we believe most will be) our investments will be successful as well. Sometimes the payoffs to us will be modest; occasionally the cash register will ring loudly. And sometimes I will make expensive mistakes. Overall – and over time – we should get decent results. In America, equity investors have the wind at their back.
->내가 생각하는 이번 레터의 하이라이트이자, 정수. 좋은 사업과 파트너가 되면, 좋은 투자 실적은 따라올 것이다. 가끔 값비싼 실수를 하겠지만, overall over time, we should get decent results.
-The connection of value-building to retained earnings that I’ve just described will be impossible to detect in the short term. Stocks surge and swoon, seemingly untethered to any year-to-year buildup in their underlying value. Over time, however, Ben Graham’s oft-quoted maxim proves true: “In the short run, the market is a voting machine; in the long run, however, it becomes a weighing machine.”
->그렇게 생각하는 이유.
–Berkshire, itself, provides some vivid examples of how price randomness in the short term can obscure longterm growth in value. For the last 53 years, the company has built value by reinvesting its earnings and letting compound interest work its magic. Year by year, we have moved forward. Yet Berkshire shares have suffered four truly major dips. Here are the gory details: ….This table offers the strongest argument I can muster against ever using borrowed money to own stocks. There is simply no telling how far stocks can fall in a short period. Even if your borrowings are small and your positions aren’t immediately threatened by the plunging market, your mind may well become rattled by scary headlines and breathless commentary. And an unsettled mind will not make good decisions.
In the next 53 years our shares (and others) will experience declines resembling those in the table. No one can tell you when these will happen. The light can at any time go from green to red without pausing at yellow. When major declines occur, however, they offer extraordinary opportunities to those who are not handicapped by debt.
That’s the time to heed these lines from Kipling’s If:
“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs . . .
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting . . .
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim . . .
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you…
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.”
-The bet illuminated another important investment lesson: Though markets are generally rational, they occasionally do crazy things. Seizing the opportunities then offered does not require great intelligence, a degree in economics or a familiarity with Wall Street jargon such as alpha and beta. What investors then need instead is an
ability to both disregard mob fears or enthusiasms and to focus on a few simple fundamentals. A willingness to look unimaginative for a sustained period – or even to look foolish – is also essential.
-> Market이 irrational 해질 때, 군중심리로부터 벗어나 용기를 내는 간단한 행동이 전부다.
4. 다른 글들.
-In our search for new stand-alone businesses, the key qualities we seek are durable competitive strengths; able and high-grade management; good returns on the net tangible assets required to operate the business; opportunities for internal growth at attractive returns; and, finally, a sensible purchase price. That last requirement proved a barrier to virtually all deals we reviewed in 2017, as prices for decent, but far from spectacular, businesses hit an all-time high. Indeed, price seemed almost irrelevant to an army of optimistic purchasers.
-> 경쟁우의의 지속가능성, 메니지먼트의 퀄리티, 유형자산 대비 수익창출능력, ROE 유지 가능한 재투자 가능성 그리고 마지막으로 “적절한 가격” 의 중요성.
-Our aversion to leverage has dampened our returns over the years. But Charlie and I sleep well. Both of us believe it is insane to risk what you have and need in order to obtain what you don’t need. We held this view 50 years ago when we each ran an investment partnership, funded by a few friends and relatives who trusted us. We also hold it today after a million or so “partners” have joined us at Berkshire.
-> 50년 전 (버핏과 멍거는 젊은 시절 각자의 투자조합을 운영했음) 가족들과 친구들의 자산을 운영했던 시절부터 지켜온 Swag (it is insane to risk what you have and need in order to obtain what you don’t need) 덕에 여전히 꿀잠자고 계시다는 내용.
–Before I discuss our 2017 insurance results, let me remind you of how and why we entered the field. We began by purchasing National Indemnity and a smaller sister company for $8.6 million in early 1967. With our purchase we received $6.7 million of tangible net worth that, by the nature of the insurance business, we were able to deploy in marketable securities. It was easy to rearrange the portfolio into securities we would otherwise have owned at Berkshire itself. In effect, we were “trading dollars” for the net worth portion of the cost……..Even more important, the insurance operation carried with it $19.4 million of “float”– money that belonged to others but was held by our two insurers.
-> 보험업에 진출하게 된 이유, Float 의 활용.
-Charlie and I never will operate Berkshire in a manner that depends on the kindness of strangers – or even that of friends who may be facing liquidity problems of their own. During the 2008-2009 crisis, we liked having Treasury Bills – loads of Treasury Bills – that protected us from having to rely on funding sources such as bank lines or commercial paper. We have intentionally constructed Berkshire in a manner that will allow it to comfortably withstand economic discontinuities, including such extremes as extended market closures……I have warned you, however, that we have been fortunate in recent years and that the catastrophe-light period the industry was experiencing was not a new norm. Last September drove home that point, as three significant hurricanes hit Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
-> 블랙스완에 대비하는 안정적인 posture의 중요성.
–Depreciation charges for all of these non-insurance operations totaled $7.6 billion; capital expenditures were $11.5 billion. Berkshire is always looking for ways to expand its businesses and regularly incurs capital expenditures that far exceed its depreciation charge. Almost 90% of our investments are made in the United States. America’s economic soil remains fertile.
->감가상각을 초과하는 CAPEX, 그 중 대부분이 미국에서 이뤄져 미경제에 크게 이바지하고 있다고 어필.
-Berkshire’s goal is to substantially increase the earnings of its non-insurance group. For that to happen, we will need to make one or more huge acquisitions. We certainly have the resources to do so. At yearend Berkshire held $116.0 billion in cash and U.S. Treasury Bills (whose average maturity was 88 days), up from $86.4 billion at yearend 2016. This extraordinary liquidity earns only a pittance and is far beyond the level Charlie and I wish Berkshire to have. Our smiles will broaden when we have redeployed Berkshire’s excess funds into more productive assets.\
->’17년말 기준 현금성자산 보유액은 116조…. 인수 기회 노리고 있다고 언급. 좀 더 productive한 asset에capital allocation 하고 싶고 그게 언제나 우선이라는 얘기.
-주요 보유 종목
->이제 애플 3.3%가 버크셔의 것.
–Some of the stocks in the table are the responsibility of either Todd Combs or Ted Weschler, who work with me in managing Berkshire’s investments. Each, independently of me, manages more than $12 billion; I usually learn about decisions they have made by looking at monthly portfolio summaries. Included in the $25 billion that the two manage is more than $8 billion of pension trust assets of certain Berkshire subsidiaries. As noted, pension investments are not included in the preceding tabulation of Berkshire holdings.
->Todd Combs 랑 Ted Weschler 각각 12조씩 운용… 버핏의 선택을 받은 펀드매니저 둘. 어떤 사람들일까?
-The only risk in the bonds-to-Berkshire switch was that yearend 2017 would coincide with an exceptionally weak stock market. Protégé and I felt this possibility (which always exists) was very low. Two factors dictated this conclusion: The reasonable price of Berkshire in late 2012, and the large asset build-up that was almost certain to occur
at Berkshire during the five years that remained before the bet would be settled. Even so, to eliminate all risk to the charities from the switch, I agreed to make up any shortfall if sales of the 11,200 Berkshire shares at yearend 2017 didn’t produce at least $1 million.
->간단한 논리적 판단이 제일 중요하다.
-Investing is an activity in which consumption today is foregone in an attempt to allow greater consumption at a later date. “Risk” is the possibility that this objective won’t be attained. By that standard, purportedly “risk-free” long-term bonds in 2012 were a far riskier investment than a longterm investment in common stocks. At that time, even a 1% annual rate of inflation between 2012 and 2017 would have decreased the purchasing-power of the government bond that Protégé and I sold. I want to quickly acknowledge that in any upcoming day, week or even year, stocks will be riskier – far
riskier – than short-term U.S. bonds. As an investor’s investment horizon lengthens, however, a diversified portfolio of U.S. equities becomes progressively less risky than bonds, assuming that the stocks are purchased at a sensible multiple of earnings relative to then-prevailing interest rates. It is a terrible mistake for investors with long-term horizons – among them, pension funds, college endowments and savings-minded individuals – to measure their investment “risk” by their portfolio’s ratio of bonds
to stocks. Often, high-grade bonds in an investment portfolio increase its risk.
->결국, 미국에 대한 장기적인 긍정적인 view가 바탕되지 않는다면, 주식에 대한 장기적 long view는 성립될 수 없는 걸까? 우리나라에서도 이런 자세를 견지하는 게 과연 의미가 있을까?
–A final lesson from our bet: Stick with big, “easy” decisions and eschew activity. During the ten-year bet, the 200-plus hedge-fund managers that were involved almost certainly made tens of thousands of buy and sell decisions. Most of those managers undoubtedly thought hard about their decisions, each of which they believed would prove advantageous. In the process of investing, they studied 10-Ks, interviewed managements, ead trade journals and conferred with Wall Street analysts.
–Protégé and I, meanwhile, leaning neither on research, insights nor brilliance, made only one investment decision during the ten years. We simply decided to sell our bond investment at a price of more than 100 times earnings (95.7 sale price/.88 yield), those being “earnings” that could not increase during the ensuing five years. We made the sale in order to move our money into a single security – Berkshire – that, in turn, owned a
diversified group of solid businesses. Fueled by retained earnings, Berkshire’s growth in value was unlikely to be less than 8% annually, even if we were to experience a so-so economy. After that kindergarten-like analysis, Protégé and I made the switch and relaxed, confident that, over time, 8% was certain to beat .88%. By a lot.
->Active manager들을 바보만드는 내용. 수년간 수천번의 거래보다 프로테제와 자신이 만든 단 한 번의 거래가 우월했다는.
-Be sure to visit the Bookworm. This Omaha-based retailer will carry more than 40 books and DVDs, among them a couple of new titles. Berkshire shareholders are a bookseller’s dream: When Poor Charlie’s Almanack (yes, our Charlie) made its debut some years ago, we sold 3,500 copies at the meeting. The book weighed 4.85 pounds. Do the math: Our shareholders left the building that day carrying about 81⁄2 tons of Charlie’s wisdom.
->흔한 89살 할배의 유머감각
-An attachment to the proxy material that is enclosed with this report explains how you can obtain the credential you will need for admission to both the meeting and other events. Keep in mind that most airlines substantially increase prices for the Berkshire weekend. If you are coming from far away, compare the cost of flying to Kansas City vs. Omaha. The drive between the two cities is about 21⁄2 hours, and it may be that Kansas City can save you significant money. The savings for a couple could run to $1,000 or more. Spend that money with us.
->흔할 89살 할배의 친절
-While I’m on the subject of our owners’ gaining knowledge, let me remind you that Charlie and I believe all shareholders should simultaneously have access to new information that Berkshire releases and, if possible, should also have adequate time to digest and analyze that information before any trading takes place. That’s why we try to
issue financial data late on Fridays or early on Saturdays and why our annual meeting is always held on a Saturday (a day that also eases traffic and parking problems).
We do not follow the common practice of talking one-on-one with large institutional investors or analysts, treating them instead as we do all other shareholders. There is no one more important to us than the shareholder of limited means who trusts us with a substantial portion of his or her savings. As I run the company day-to-day – and as I write this letter – that is the shareholder whose image is in my mind.
->흔한 89살 할배의 소액(?) 주주 배려
-You and I are lucky to have Ajit and Greg working for us. Each has been with Berkshire for decades, and Berkshire’s blood flows through their veins. The character of each man matches his talents. And that says it all.