Published: Sun, February 25, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett to retire from Kraft Heinz board

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett to retire from Kraft Heinz board

"A large portion of our gain did not come from anything we accomplished at Berkshire", Buffett said.

The rest was a gift from the new USA tax code.

"Thus, upon the enactment of the TCJA, we included a net income tax benefit in our 2017 earnings of approximately $28.2 billion".

Buffett often invests in stocks when he can not find whole companies to buy. Careful decisions and an aversion to debt and speculation has gotten the firm this far - and that's the course it'll stay on, he said.

Still, he said, the company "will have opportunities to make very large purchases" going forward, with emphasis on those available at 'a sensible purchase price'.

The company's often-impressive pace of acquisitions had slowed past year, he noted, when the prices asked for businesses 'hit an all-time high, ' amid what he called 'a purchasing frenzy'. "In the meantime, we will stick with our simple guideline: The less the prudence with which others conduct their affairs, the greater the prudence with which we must conduct our own".

It was also short on faulting excesses of Wall Street and Washington, and said nothing about Berkshire's plan to create a healthcare company with Amazon.com Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Van Damme is also a board member of Anheuser-Busch Inbev and Restaurant Brands International.

Treasury yields have been rising since the start of the year, stemming from brewing inflationary pressures and massive bond supply to help fund US President Donald Trump's tax overhaul.

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All told, the S&P 500 had an overall gain of 125.8% while the group of hedge funds - which have never been publicly named - gained just 27%.

Known to fans as "the Oracle of Omaha", Buffett, 87, has suggested USA stocks are probably the best bet over time, encouraging people to make easy choices and stick with them, eschewing high-fee fund managers, for instance.

In the departure from past years, Buffett refrained from talking about the direction of the country or economy.

Buffett also warned long-term investors including pension funds, college endowments and "savings-minded individuals" that even with US stock prices near record highs, it would be a "terrible mistake" to assume bonds are safer.

Speculation about Buffett's successor has swirled for years.

Gregory Abel, who had run Berkshire Hathaway Energy, is now overseeing Berkshire's non-insurance businesses such as the BNSF railroad and Dairy Queen ice cream, all of which employ 330,000 people, while insurance specialist Ajit Jain oversee the Geico auto insurer and other insurance businesses, employing 47,000. Kraft Heinz Co said yesterday billionaire investor Warren Buffett has chose to retire from the company's board following the end of his term in April to reduce travel commitments.

"The deferred taxes that are applicable to unrealized gains on securities would all be applicable to us", Buffett said during Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholders meeting.

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