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Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter to Shareholders: Reflections on Value Investing, Tax Contributions, and More


Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has long been revered for his value investing style, and many investors strive to emulate his success.[0] On Saturday, Buffett released his famous annual letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B), taking on some of his favorite topics in share buybacks, taxes, corporate accounting, and his long-term optimism about the U.S. economy.

Buffett struck a proud, reflective tone in his letter, mapping out plans for his Berkshire shares after he’s gone, and highlighting long-time investment managers Todd Combs and Ted Wechsler role in making equity investments. He extolled the advantages of acquiring stakes in well-run companies and urged shareholders to not focus on book value per share.[1]

Buffett pointed out that Berkshire’s investments in Coca-Cola and American Express, which were made almost 30 years ago, would yield over $1 billion in dividends in 2022.[2] Upon finishing construction of those positions in 1994 and 1995, the yearly dividends paid were only $75 million and $41 million, respectively.[3] In 2021, there were 128 companies in the S&P 500 that earned more than $3 billion in profits — and Berkshire was the largest shareholder in 8 of these businesses: American Express (AXP), Bank of America (BAC), Chevron (CVX), Coca-Cola (KO), HP Inc. (HPQ), Moody’s (MCO), Occidental Petroleum (OXY), and Paramount Global (PARA).[4]

In the letter, Buffett reminded readers that Berkshire had paid $32 billion in corporate taxes over the last 10 years, which was equal to 0.1% of the total federal taxes collected during that period, to show that the company was doing its share.[5] He said that “At Berkshire we hope and expect to pay much more in taxes during the next decade. We owe the country no less: America’s dynamism has made a huge contribution to whatever success Berkshire has achieved — a contribution Berkshire will always need.”[3]

Berkshire posted a loss of $22.82 billion for 2022 and a 54% decline in fourth-quarter income.[6] Operating earnings, which is Buffett’s preferred figure to measure the company’s growth as it is adjusted to remove net capital gains or losses during the year, was $30.79 billion, 12.2% above 2021’s figure.[5]

0. “Invest Like Warren Buffett With These ETFs” Yahoo! Voices, 23 Feb. 2023,

1. “Warren Buffett’s letter to shareholders, Berkshire Hathaway’s Q4 earnings (NYSE:BRK.A)” Seeking Alpha, 24 Feb. 2023,

2. “Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is the largest investor in these 8 stocks” MarketWatch, 25 Feb. 2023,

3. “Warren Buffett touts key bets, defends taxes, buybacks in annual letter” Markets Insider, 25 Feb. 2023,

4. “Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 2022 Shareholder Letter” Seeking Alpha, 25 Feb. 2023,

5. “Highlights from Berkshire Hathaway’s annual report and Warren Buffett’s letter By”, 25 Feb. 2023,

6. “Warren Buffett Letter To Shareholders: Berkshire Hathaway Posts Losses — But Remains Optimistic” Forbes, 25 Feb. 2023,—but-remains-optimistic/

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