Letter - Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Mar 1, 2013 - premium can't be obtained. Many insurers pass the first three tests and flunk the fourth. They simply can't turn their back on business that is being eagerly written by their competitors. That old line, “The other guy is doing it, so we must as well,” spells trouble in any business, but none more so than insurance.
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Berkshire’s Corporate Performance vs. the S&P 500 Annual Percentage Change in Per-Share in S&P 500 Book Value of with Dividends Berkshire Included (1) (2)

Year 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

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Compounded Annual Gain – 1965-2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Overall Gain – 1964-2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

23.8 20.3 11.0 19.0 16.2 12.0 16.4 21.7 4.7 5.5 21.9 59.3 31.9 24.0 35.7 19.3 31.4 40.0 32.3 13.6 48.2 26.1 19.5 20.1 44.4 7.4 39.6 20.3 14.3 13.9 43.1 31.8 34.1 48.3 0.5 6.5 (6.2) 10.0 21.0 10.5 6.4 18.4 11.0 (9.6) 19.8 13.0 4.6 14.4 19.7% 586,817%

Relative Results (1)-(2)

10.0 (11.7) 30.9 11.0 (8.4) 3.9 14.6 18.9 (14.8) (26.4) 37.2 23.6 (7.4) 6.4 18.2 32.3 (5.0) 21.4 22.4 6.1 31.6 18.6 5.1 16.6 31.7 (3.1) 30.5 7.6 10.1 1.3 37.6 23.0 33.4 28.6 21.0 (9.1) (11.9) (22.1) 28.7 10.9 4.9 15.8 5.5 (37.0) 26.5 15.1 2.1 16.0

13.8 32.0 (19.9) 8.0 24.6 8.1 1.8 2.8 19.5 31.9 (15.3) 35.7 39.3 17.6 17.5 (13.0) 36.4 18.6 9.9 7.5 16.6 7.5 14.4 3.5 12.7 10.5 9.1 12.7 4.2 12.6 5.5 8.8