Click on title for more on Warren Buffet.
It must be financial Armageddon time. When the man most claim as the saviest investor of all time is losing money, what does that mean for the future of the rest of us?
Buffett said"Our country has faced far worse travails in the past," he said. "Without fail, however, we've overcome them." He declined to draw a correlation between stocks and economics, saying that while he was certain the economy would be "in shambles for 2009" that "does not tell us whether the stock market will rise or fall."
Mr. Buffett conceded in his letter that he "did some dumb things" in the past year, such as boosting the company's holdings of the oil giant ConocoPhillips when oil prices were near their peak. Since then, oil prices have tumbled and shares of ConocoPhillips and many other energy outfits are down sharply.
He also said he made a $244 million investment in two Irish banks "that appeared cheap." At year-end, Berkshire wrote the holdings down to their market value of $27 million, an 89% loss on the investment.
Do you feel better now?
The letter also provided new details on some moves Mr. Buffett made in late 2008 as the credit crisis worsened. Berkshire invested $14.5 billion in fixed-income securities from companies such as General Electric Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. To fund the purchases, the letter says, he sold part of his holdings in ConocoPhillips, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble Co.--"holdings I would have preferred to keep," he said.
He sold quality stocks to buy what were good stocks, a method he has used for years of bottom feeding on quality stocks that had taken a tumble. One should not bet against Mr. Buffett to once again rise to the top. But he is not getting any younger.
Portions of this post taken from:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123575572935295811.html?mod=msn_money_ticker&ru=msn_money
Always giving credit were credit is due.