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巴菲特致股东的封(2020)2/5

巴菲特致股东的封(2020)2/5


巴菲特致股东的封(2020)上


If that strategy requires little or no effort on our part, so much the better. In contrast to the scoring system utilized in diving competitions, you are awarded no points in business endeavors for “degree of difficulty.” Furthermore, as Ronald Reagan cautioned: “It’s said that hard work never killed anyone, but I say why take the chance?”

如果我们不需要或只需很少的努力,那就更好了。与潜水比赛中使用的计分系统相比,您在艰苦程度方面的商业努力不会获得任何分数。此外,正如罗纳德·里根(Ronald Reagan)告诫的那样:据说辛勤工作从未杀死任何人,但我说为什么要抓住机会?


The Family Jewels and How We Increase Your Share of These Gems

家庭珠宝以及我们如何增加您在这些宝石中的份额


On page A-1 we list Berkshire’s subsidiaries, a smorgasbord of businesses employing 360,000 at yearend. You can read much more about these controlled operations in the 10-K that fills the back part of this report. Our major positions in companies that we partly own and don’t control are listed on page 7 of this letter. That portfolio of businesses, too, is large and diverse.

A-1页上,我们列出了伯克希尔的子公司,这是一家年末雇用360,000名员工的大型企业。您可以在本报告后半部分的10-K中阅读有关这些受控操作的更多信息。这封信的第7页列出了我们在部分拥有和不受控制的公司中的主要职位。该业务组合也很大而且是多种多样的。


Most of Berkshire’s value, however, resides in four businesses, three controlled and one in which we have only a 5.4% interest. All four are jewels.

但是,伯克希尔哈撒韦公司的大部分价值都来自四项业务,其中三项受控,而其中一项仅占我们5.4%的权益。这四个都是珠宝。


The largest in value is our property/casualty insurance operation, which for 53 years has been the core of Berkshire. Our family of insurers is unique in the insurance field. So, too, is its manager, Ajit Jain, who joined Berkshire in 1986.

价值最大的是我们的财产/财产保险业务,该业务在53年以来一直是伯克希尔的核心业务。我们的保险公司家族在保险领域是独一无二的。它的经理Ajit Jain也是如此,他于1986年加入伯克希尔。


Overall, the insurance fleet operates with far more capital than is deployed by any of its competitors worldwide. That financial strength, coupled with the huge flow of cash Berkshire annually receives from its non-insurance businesses, allows our insurance companies to safely follow an equity-heavy investment strategy not feasible for the overwhelming majority of insurers. Those competitors, for both regulatory and credit-rating reasons, must focus on bonds.

总体而言,该保险公司的运营资本远远超过其全球任何竞争对手所部署的资本。这种财务实力,再加上伯克希尔每年从非保险业务中获得的大量现金流,使我们的保险公司能够安全地采取对绝大多数保险公司不可行的以股票为主的投资策略。出于监管和信用评级的原因,这些竞争对手必须将重点放在债券上。


And bonds are not the place to be these days. Can you believe that the income recently available from a 10-year U.S. Treasury bond – the yield was 0.93% at yearend – had fallen 94% from the 15.8% yield available in September 1981? In certain large and important countries, such as Germany and Japan, investors earn a negative return on trillions of dollars of sovereign debt. Fixed-income investors worldwide – whether pension funds, insurance companies or retirees – face a bleak future.

如今,债券已不再是地方。您是否可以相信,最近可从10年期美国国债获得的收入(年末收益率为0.93%)已经比19819月的15.8%下降了94%?在某些大型重要国家,例如德国和日本,投资者从数万亿美元的主权债务中获得负收益。全世界的固定收益投资者(无论是养老基金,保险公司还是退休人员)都面临着黯淡的未来。


Some insurers, as well as other bond investors, may try to juice the pathetic returns now available by shifting their purchases to obligations backed by shaky borrowers. Risky loans, however, are not the answer to inadequate interest rates. Three decades ago, the once-mighty savings and loan industry destroyed itself, partly by ignoring that maxim.

一些保险公司以及其他债券投资者可能会尝试通过将购买的产品转移到由摇摇欲坠的借款人支持的债务中来获取可悲的回报。但是,高风险贷款并不是解决利率不足的答案。三十年前,曾经强大的储蓄和贷款行业摧毁了自己,部分原因是无视这一准则。


Berkshire now enjoys $138 billion of insurance “float” – funds that do not belong to us, but are nevertheless ours to deploy, whether in bonds, stocks or cash equivalents such as U.S. Treasury bills. Float has some similarities to bank deposits: cash flows in and out daily to insurers, with the total they hold changing very little. The massive sum held by Berkshire is likely to remain near its present level for many years and, on a cumulative basis, has been costless to us. That happy result, of course, could change – but, over time, I like our odds.

伯克希尔现在享有1,380亿美元的保险流通量,这些资金不属于我们,但仍然属于我们的部署范围,无论是债券,股票还是现金等价物(例如美国国库券)。浮存金与银行存款有一些相似之处:每天流入和流出保险公司的现金流量,其持有的总额变化很小。伯克希尔哈撒韦所持有的巨额资金很可能多年来仍将保持在目前水平附近,并且从累积的角度来看,对我们来说是无价的。当然,这种快乐的结果可能会改变-但是随着时间的流逝,我喜欢我们的赔率。


I have repetitiously – some might say endlessly – explained our insurance operation in my annual letters to you. Therefore, I will this year ask new shareholders who wish to learn more about our insurance business and “float” to read the pertinent section of the 2019 report, reprinted on page A-2. It’s important that you understand the risks, as well as the opportunities, existing in our insurance activities.

我反复(有时可能会不停地说)在我给您的年度信函中解释了我们的保险业务。因此,我今年将请希望进一步了解我们的保险业务并浮动的新股东阅读A-2页上转载的2019年报告的相关部分。了解您的保险活动中存在的风险和机遇非常重要。


Our second and third most valuable assets – it’s pretty much a toss-up at this point – are Berkshire’s 100% ownership of BNSF, America’s largest railroad measured by freight volume, and our 5.4% ownership of Apple. And in the fourth spot is our 91% ownership of Berkshire Hathaway Energy (“BHE”). What we have here is a very unusual utility business, whose annual earnings have grown from $122 million to $3.4 billion during our 21 years of ownership.

我们第二,第三高价值的资产(目前几乎是一笔交易)是伯克希尔拥有BNSF100%所有权,这是按货运量衡量的美国最大铁路,以及我们拥有5.4%的苹果。排在第四位的是伯克希尔·哈撒韦能源(“ BHE”)的91%所有权。我们拥有的是一家非常不寻常的公用事业公司,在我们拥有的21年中,其年收入从1.22亿美元增长至34亿美元。


I’ll have more to say about BNSF and BHE later in this letter. For now, however, I would like to focus on a practice Berkshire will periodically use to enhance your interest in both its “Big Four” as well as the many other assets Berkshire owns.

在这封信的后面,我将对BNSFBHE进行更多讨论。但是,就目前而言,我想重点介绍一下伯克希尔将定期使用的一种做法,以增强您对它的四大以及伯克希尔拥有的许多其他资产的兴趣。


* * * * * * * * * * * *


Last year we demonstrated our enthusiasm for Berkshire’s spread of properties by repurchasing the equivalent of 80,998 “A” shares, spending $24.7 billion in the process. That action increased your ownership in all of Berkshire’s businesses by 5.2% without requiring you to so much as touch your wallet.

去年,我们回购了80,998“ A”股,并花费247亿美元,显示了我们对伯克希尔·哈撒韦遍及房地产的热情。这一举动使您在伯克希尔所有业务中的所有权增加了5.2%,而无需您花太多钱就能摸到钱包。


Following criteria Charlie and I have long recommended, we made those purchases because we believed they would both enhance the intrinsic value per share for continuing shareholders and would leave Berkshire with more than ample funds for any opportunities or problems it might encounter.

遵循查理和我长期以来一直建议的标准,我们进行了这些购买,因为我们相信它们既可以提高持续股东的每股内在价值,又可以使伯克希尔拥有足够的资金来应对可能遇到的任何机会或问题。


In no way do we think that Berkshire shares should be repurchased at simply any price. I emphasize that point because American CEOs have an embarrassing record of devoting more company funds to repurchases when prices have risen than when they have tanked. Our approach is exactly the reverse.

我们绝不认为应该以任何价格回购伯克希尔股票。我强调这一点是因为美国CEO的尴尬记录是,在价格上涨时而不是在股价下跌时,将更多的公司资金用于回购。我们的方法恰恰相反。


Berkshire’s investment in Apple vividly illustrates the power of repurchases. We began buying Apple stock late in 2016 and by early July 2018, owned slightly more than one billion Apple shares (split-adjusted). Saying that, I’m referencing the investment held in Berkshire’s general account and am excluding a very small and separately-managed holding of Apple shares that was subsequently sold. When we finished our purchases in mid-2018, Berkshire’s general account owned 5.2% of Apple.

伯克希尔对苹果的投资生动地说明了回购的力量。我们于2016年末开始购买苹果股票,到20187月初,拥有略超过10亿苹果股票(分拆后)。话虽如此,我指的是在伯克希尔·哈撒韦公司普通账户中持有的投资,但不包括随后出售的非常小的单独管理的苹果股票。当我们在2018年中期完成购买时,伯克希尔哈撒韦的普通账户拥有苹果5.2%的股份。


Our cost for that stake was $36 billion. Since then, we have both enjoyed regular dividends, averaging about $775 million annually, and have also – in 2020 – pocketed an additional $11 billion by selling a small portion of our position.

我们所持股份的成本为360亿美元。从那时起,我们俩都享有定期股息,平均每年7.75亿美元,并且在2020年,通过出售我们一小部分头寸,还可额外赚得110亿美元。


Despite that sale – voila! – Berkshire now owns 5.4% of Apple. That increase was costless to us, coming about because Apple has continuously repurchased its shares, thereby substantially shrinking the number it now has outstanding.

尽管有特价瞧! 伯克希尔现在拥有苹果5.4%的股份。涨价对我们来说是无价的,这是因为苹果不断回购股票,从而大大减少了现在流通在外的股票数量。


But that’s far from all of the good news. Because we also repurchased Berkshire shares during the 21¤2 years,

但这远不是所有的好消息。因为我们也在212年内回购了伯克希尔股票,


you now indirectly own a full 10% more of Apple’s assets and future earnings than you did in July 2018.

20187月相比,您现在间接拥有Apple资产和未来收益的10%以上。


This agreeable dynamic continues. Berkshire has repurchased more shares since yearend and is likely to further reduce its share count in the future. Apple has publicly stated an intention to repurchase its shares as well. As these reductions occur, Berkshire shareholders will not only own a greater interest in our insurance group and in BNSF and BHE, but will also find their indirect ownership of Apple increasing as well.

这种令人愉快的动态仍在继续。自年底以来,伯克希尔哈撒韦公司回购了更多股票,并且将来可能会进一步减少其股票数量。苹果已经公开表示有意回购其股票。随着这些减少的发生,伯克希尔股东不仅将对我们的保险集团,BNSFBHE拥有更大的利益,而且还将发现他们对苹果的间接所有权也在增加。


The math of repurchases grinds away slowly, but can be powerful over time. The process offers a simple way for investors to own an ever-expanding portion of exceptional businesses.

回购的数学原理慢慢消失了,但是随着时间的流逝,它会变得强大起来。该过程为投资者提供了一种简单的方式,使其拥有不断扩大的特殊业务部分。


And as a sultry Mae West assured us: “Too much of a good thing can be . . . wonderful.”

·韦斯特(Mae West)闷闷不乐地向我们保证:好事太多 。精彩的。


Investments

投资项目




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