Warren Buffett 'dead wrong'

File

THEY call him the "Sage of Omaha", but Warren Buffett doesn't always get things right. Just ask Warren Buffett.

In his annual letter to his shareholders, the world's most famous investor has offered a series of colourful mea culpae for a selection of market predictions which subsequently proved wide of the mark. Or, in his own words, went "dead wrong".

A decision to gamble US$2 billion on a Texan energy company turned out to be "in tennis parlance ... a major unforced error".

An investment in ConocoPhillips was "dumb" and, of an ill-fated foray into the textiles industry, he writes merely: "Aaaaaaagh!"

Mr Buffett's frank comments were published on Saturday in his firm Berkshire Hathaway's annual report. They come at a time when he faces widespread scrutiny for endorsing Barack Obama's proposals to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

The letter also comes amid growing interest in Mr Buffett's legacy.

At 81, and after almost half a century running the company, his investors have never been more acutely aware of the fact he cannot carry on for ever. With this in mind, Mr Buffett revealed he had identified an (as yet secret) individual, apparently from within the business, to be his successor.

He also reiterated plans to devote his $44 billion fortune to good causes, adding that despite his advancing age, he was in "excellent health" and not "going anywhere" if he could help it.

Berkshire Hathaway made $10.3 billion in 2011, down from nearly $13 billion in 2010. Much of the decline can be blamed on Mr Buffett's insistence a year ago that the US housing market was about to rebound. That prediction was "dead wrong", he admits. However he is adamant that basic laws of supply, demand, and human population growth must eventually lead to a recovery.

Elsewhere, Mr Buffett has become an object of heated public debate after he endorsed raising taxes on the so-called "1 per cent" of wealthiest Americans. He famously pointed out that his earnings were taxed at about 15 per cent, while his secretary paid twice that. As long as this endures, he believes the US will struggle to reduce its deficit. Opponents call that class warfare.

Chris Christie, the Republican Governor of New Jersey, said last week that if Mr Buffett thought he was under-taxed, he should "just write a cheque" to the US government "and shut up".

Topics:  investing, stock markets, warren buffet




Local Real Estate

finda logo
Featured Real Estate
RIDGE TO SEA $728,000
4 3
Stunning HINTERLAND... $875,000 - Price...
House 4 1 2
RUSTIC CHARMER! NEW PRICE...
Rural 3 2 9
Beach House in Byron... $1,350,000
House 2 2 2

Featured Jobs

finda logo

Lismore jobs listed daily


Featured Jobs
RETAIL GENERAL... Ocean Shores Full Time


Local Partners

LATEST DEALS AND OFFERS

Free Seed Packets

with token from today's paper
Learn More

Your Chance to Win!

Click here for more details...
Learn More

Cars For Sale

Find cars for sale online now.
Learn More

Property Listings

Post an ad from $30
Learn More

Local Profile

Stay Connected

Get the news as it happens, in your inbox

You can change the newsletters you are subscribed to when you edit your profile

Edit Profile


Special Offers

Latest deals and offers

View today's ePaper!

Read the digital edition
Learn More

Horoscopes

Virgo

Sometimes a situation is not fair, and you will be irritated by the fact that you are not able to bring justice to the table. The best you can...

read more

Marketplace

Special Offers & Promotions

Compare & Save