What You Can Learn from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Website
You have many options when researching a company in our digital age, and its own website is a great place to start. That’s often helpful for introducing you to the scope of the company’s products and services, as well as offering other valuable information, such as its leadership and financial statements.
Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors, and his company, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) (NYSE: BRK.B), has been a great long-term investment. Here’s a look at the Berkshire Hathaway website and what you might learn from it.
The Berkshire Hathaway website
The first thing you’ll notice about the Berkshire Hathaway website is that it’s far from a typical company’s website. It looks like it was designed decades ago. There are no photos on the main page at all — nor on many of the other pages. Instead, it simply serves as a site map, offering links to many topics of interest. Most of the links are listed below, with a brief explanation. Following that is a pointer to what is arguably the site’s most important content: Buffett’s annual letters to shareholders. Those letters contain countless investing lessons from which any of us can learn.
A message from Warren E. Buffett
Here Buffett reminds readers that he doesn’t make stock recommendations — but then suggests that people might save a lot of money by patronizing two Berkshire businesses — GEICO (for insurance) and Borsheim’s (for jewelry). Attendees of his annual meetings know that he loves to plug his businesses — such as See’s Candies.
News releases from Berkshire Hathaway and from Warren Buffett
Like most other corporate websites, Berkshire parks its press releases in a nook. This is where you’ll see announcements of quarterly financial results as well as news of acquisitions and annual meeting updates. Those interested in Berkshire might want to check in here every month or two.
Annual and interim reports
Here are links to quarterly and annual reports dating back to 1995. This is very handy for investors digging deeply into the company’s past to better understand how it got to its current state.
Annual meeting information
Buffett’s annual meetings are a big deal, so you’ll find an Omaha visitor guide and other information relating to the annual shareholder meeting.
Berkshire Hathaway Energy — 2021 investor presentation
One of Berkshire’s biggest businesses these days is energy (along with insurance and transportation), and here you’ll find a presentation for investors detailing considerable investments and leadership in renewable energy.
Special letters from Warren and Charlie Munger regarding the past, present, and future
With Buffett turning 92 in August, shareholders have long been interested in who will succeed him and what Berkshire will look like post-Buffett. Here you’ll find a letter from Buffett and one from his vice chairman and longtime partner, Charlie Munger, looking backward and forward.
Links to Berkshire subsidiary companies
Here are links to dozens of companies fully owned by Berkshire, such as Benjamin Moore, Brooks, International Dairy Queen, Johns Manville, Justin Brands, McLane, Business Wire, Clayton Homes, Forest River, Fruit of the Loom, GEICO, Nebraska Furniture Mart, NetJets, Pampered Chef, Shaw Industries, and the entire BNSF railroad.
This page has links to topics such as Berkshire’s insider trading policy, prohibited business practices, governance guidelines, and more.
Many companies report on their sustainability goals and progress on their websites, and here Berkshire links to roughly 20 subsidiaries’ sustainability reports. The link to the Berkshire Hathaway Sustainability Leadership Council notes, among other things, that it has held eight sustainability summits, with 600 participants in 2020 alone.
Information regarding Warren E. Buffett’s annual contributions to five foundations
Buffett is one of history’s greatest philanthropists, and on this page he lays out how he is giving away some 99% or more of his fortune over time.
Warren Buffett’s letters to Berkshire shareholders
Finally, we come to what might be considered the real meat of the Berkshire website: 45 years’ worth of Warren Buffett’s annual letters to shareholders, going back to 1977 (when a chunk of the letter discussed textile operations). Buffett’s tenure at the company goes back to 1965, and this page links to where you can buy a book compiling the very early letters.
The letters are very informative for Berkshire shareholders and would-be shareholders, but they can also inform other investors, as he often details not only some of Berkshire’s businesses, but also tackles various topics of interest to the business world, such as derivatives, bear markets, and boards of directors. His most recent letter, as an example, goes into detail about the energy business in general and Berkshire Hathaway Energy in particular.
Buffett’s letters are also full of inspiring (and sometimes funny) quips, such as “Charlie and I are not stock-pickers; we are business-pickers” and “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”
It’s worth spending some time at the Berkshire Hathaway website, especially if you go there to read some or all of Buffett’s letters. As you learn more about Warren Buffett and his company, you can become a better investor.
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Selena Maranjian has positions in Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2023 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2023 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short January 2023 $265 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.