BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC.

波克夏海瑟崴股份有限公司


To the Shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.:

致所有股東:

Our per-share book value increased 20.3% during 1992. Over

the last 28 years (that is, since present management took over)

book value has grown from $19 to $7,745, or at a rate of 23.6%

compounded annually.

 

1992年本公司的淨值成長了20.3%,總計過去28年以來,也就是自從現有經
營階層接手之後,每股淨值由當初的19元成長到現在的7,745美元,年複合成
長率約為23.6%。

During the year, Berkshire's net worth increased by $1.52

billion. More than 98% of this gain came from earnings and

appreciation of portfolio securities, with the remainder coming

from the issuance of new stock. These shares were issued as a

result of our calling our convertible debentures for redemption

on January 4, 1993, and of some holders electing to receive

common shares rather than the cash that was their alternative.

Most holders of the debentures who converted into common waited

until January to do it, but a few made the move in December and

therefore received shares in 1992. To sum up what happened to

the $476 million of bonds we had outstanding: $25 million were

converted into shares before yearend; $46 million were converted

in January; and $405 million were redeemed for cash. The

conversions were made at $11,719 per share, so altogether we

issued 6,106 shares.

 

回顧過去一年,Berkshire的淨值增加了15.2億美元,其中98%係來自於盈餘
與投資組合的增值,剩下的2%則是因為發行新股的緣故,這些股份是因為我們
贖回在1993年1月4日所發行的可轉換特別股,其中有部份持有人不要現金
而選擇領取本公司的普通股,大部分的持有人選擇在1月進行轉換,另外有一
小部份則在去年12月就逕行轉換,總計當初我們發行總值4.76億美元的債券
中,4,600萬在一月轉換,另外4.05億美元則以現金贖回,轉換價訂為11,719
美元一股,換算下來一共發行了6,106股。

Berkshire now has 1,152,547 shares outstanding. That

compares, you will be interested to know, to 1,137,778 shares

outstanding on October 1, 1964, the beginning of the fiscal year

during which Buffett Partnership, Ltd. acquired control of the

company.

 

Berkshire目前流通在外股數為1,152,547股,相較於1964年10月1日當
初,巴菲特合夥取得Berkshire控制權時的1,137,778股來說,增加的股數實
屬有限。

We have a firm policy about issuing shares of Berkshire,

doing so only when we receive as much value as we give. Equal

value, however, has not been easy to obtain, since we have always

valued our shares highly. So be it: We wish to increase

Berkshire's size only when doing that also increases the wealth

of its owners.

對於發行新股我們有相當嚴格的規定,那就是除非我們確信所收到的價值與我們
付出的一致時,我們才會考慮這樣做,當然同等的價值不是那麼容易達到,因為
我們一向自視甚高,不過那又如何,除非確定公司股東的財富也會增加,否則我
們不會隨便擴大規模。

Those two objectives do not necessarily go hand-in-hand as an

amusing but value-destroying experience in our past illustrates.

On that occasion, we had a significant investment in a bank

whose management was hell-bent on expansion. (Aren't they all?)

When our bank wooed a smaller bank, its owner demanded a stock

swap on a basis that valued the acquiree's net worth and earning

power at over twice that of the acquirer's. Our management -

visibly in heat - quickly capitulated. The owner of the acquiree

then insisted on one other condition: "You must promise me," he

said in effect, "that once our merger is done and I have become a

major shareholder, you'll never again make a deal this dumb."

大家要知道這兩個目的不一定就會自然吻合,事實上在我們過去所舉過的例子
中,有些就是看起來有趣但卻是讓價值受到減損的經驗,在那次經驗中,我們在
一家銀行有相當大的投資,而銀行經理人對於擴張卻有極度偏好,(他們不都是
如此嗎?),當我們投資的銀行在追求另外一家較小的銀行時,對方開出的價碼是
以其淨值與獲利能力作為基礎後的兩倍,當時我們的經理人因為正在熱頭上,所
以很快就答應了,這時對方又得寸進尺開出另外一項條件,他說:「你必須答應
我,在整個購併案完成後,我可以變成公司最大的股東,同時以後你也不能在做
類似這次交易那樣愚蠢的購併案」。

You will remember that our goal is to increase our per-share

intrinsic value - for which our book value is a conservative, but

useful, proxy - at a 15% annual rate. This objective, however,

cannot be attained in a smooth manner. Smoothness is

particularly elusive because of the accounting rules that apply

to the common stocks owned by our insurance companies, whose

portfolios represent a high proportion of Berkshire's net worth.

Since 1979, generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) have

required that these securities be valued at their market prices

(less an adjustment for tax on any net unrealized appreciation)

rather than at the lower of cost or market. Run-of-the-mill

fluctuations in equity prices therefore cause our annual results

to gyrate, especially in comparison to those of the typical

industrial company.

大家一定要記得,我們的終極目標是希望能讓公司每年以15%穩定的速度來增
加每股的實質價值,當然公司的帳面價值雖然保守了點,但卻是相當有用的替代
性指標,不過這樣的目標很難以平穩地態勢達成,這在Berkshire尤其困難,因
為會計原則規定,我們旗下保險事業所持有,佔Berkshire相當大部分的股票投
資必須以市價列示。自從1979年以來,一般公認會計原則就要求它們以市價方
式而非原先的成本與市價孰低法列在公司帳上(當然要扣除未實現資本利得估計
應支付的稅負),股票價格如同水車滾輪般上上下下,也使得我們每年結算的成
績變化很大,尤其是在與一般公司產業比較時更為明顯。

To illustrate just how volatile our progress has been - and

to indicate the impact that market movements have on short-term

results - we show on the facing page our annual change in per-

share net worth and compare it with the annual results (including

dividends) of the S&P 500.

為了解釋我們淨值變化的程度以及股票市場波動對於公司帳面盈餘短期的影
響,從今年起我們決定在年報的首頁放置每年公司淨值變化以及與S&P 500指
數(含現金股利)之間的比較。

You should keep at least three points in mind as you

evaluate this data. The first point concerns the many businesses

we operate whose annual earnings are unaffected by changes in

stock market valuations. The impact of these businesses on both

our absolute and relative performance has changed over the years.

Early on, returns from our textile operation, which then

represented a significant portion of our net worth, were a major

drag on performance, averaging far less than would have been the

case if the money invested in that business had instead been

invested in the S&P 500. In more recent years, as we assembled

our collection of exceptional businesses run by equally

exceptional managers, the returns from our operating businesses

have been high - usually well in excess of the returns achieved

by the S&P.

大家在評估這份資料時至少必須要注意三個重點,第一、我們旗下許多事業每年
年度的獲利並不受股市波動的影響,而這些企業對於我們絕對或相對的影響每年
也都不一樣,就早期而言,由於我們在紡織事業的報酬佔我們淨值相當大的部
份,所以要是在這方面投資不當,我們的績效可能會遠遠落後於將錢擺在S&P
500指數相關類股之上,不過到了最近,當我們逐漸利用投資組成一支由優秀
經理人經營的優秀企業團隊時,這些企業所帶來的報酬通常遠高於投資S&P 500
指數。

A second important factor to consider - and one that

significantly hurts our relative performance - is that both the

income and capital gains from our securities are burdened by a

substantial corporate tax liability whereas the S&P returns are

pre-tax. To comprehend the damage, imagine that Berkshire had

owned nothing other than the S&P index during the 28-year period

covered. In that case, the tax bite would have caused our

corporate performance to be appreciably below the record shown in

the table for the S&P. Under present tax laws, a gain for the

S&P of 18% delivers a corporate holder of that index a return

well short of 13%. And this problem would be intensified if

corporate tax rates were to rise. This is a structural

disadvantage we simply have to live with; there is no antidote

for it.

第二項應該要特別注意的因素-也是影響我們相對表現的因素,那就是我們投資
證券所產生的收益與資本利得必須要負擔相當重的稅負,而在此同時S&P 500
指數卻是以免稅基礎計算的,為了讓大家了解這期間的差異性,假設Berkshire
在過去28年間就只投資S&P 500指數,則最後所得到的投資報酬將遠低於S&P
500指數本身的表現,依照目前的稅率,若是S&P 500上漲18%,則在課稅後
投資人真正得到的報酬只有13%不到,而這個問題若是考量目前稅率即將調高
的情況,將會變得更嚴重,這是一個我們必須要忍受的結構性問題,基本上沒有
辦法可解。

The third point incorporates two predictions: Charlie

Munger, Berkshire's Vice Chairman and my partner, and I are

virtually certain that the return over the next decade from an

investment in the S&P index will be far less than that of the

past decade, and we are dead certain that the drag exerted by

Berkshire's expanding capital base will substantially reduce our

historical advantage relative to the index.

第三點包含兩個預測,查理孟格-Berkshire的副主席兼主要合夥人,跟我都相
當清楚,那就是未來十年內S&P 500指數的表現將無法像過去十年那樣的好,
而我們同樣也相信以Berkshire目前資本規模越來越大的趨勢,將會大大影響過
去我們大幅超越指數的表現。

Making the first prediction goes somewhat against our grain:

We've long felt that the only value of stock forecasters is to

make fortune tellers look good. Even now, Charlie and I continue

to believe that short-term market forecasts are poison and should

be kept locked up in a safe place, away from children and also

from grown-ups who behave in the market like children. However,

it is clear that stocks cannot forever overperform their

underlying businesses, as they have so dramatically done for some

time, and that fact makes us quite confident of our forecast that

the rewards from investing in stocks over the next decade will be

significantly smaller than they were in the last. Our second

conclusion - that an increased capital base will act as an anchor

on our relative performance - seems incontestable. The only open

question is whether we can drag the anchor along at some

tolerable, though slowed, pace.

做出第一項預測有違我們的本性,一直以來我們認為股市預言家唯一的價值就是
讓算命先生看起來像那麼一回事,即便是現在,查理跟我還是相信短期股市的預
測是毒藥,應該要把他們擺在最安全的地方,遠離兒童以及那些在股市中的行為
像小孩般幼稚的投資人,雖然有時股市的表現會有相當大的起伏,然而很明顯的
股市的表現不可能永遠都能超越其背後所代表的企業,這也是為何我們膽敢預測
未來十年投資人在股市所獲得的報酬將很難再像過去十年那樣的優異的原因。我
們第二點結論,規模越來越大的資金將會拖累我們的績效,對於這點倒是不容置
疑,唯一的問題在於我們拖著這樣的重擔的同時,如何還能以緩慢但是可以忍受
的速度前進。

We will continue to experience considerable volatility in

our annual results. That's assured by the general volatility of

the stock market, by the concentration of our equity holdings in

just a few companies, and by certain business decisions we have

made, most especially our move to commit large resources to

super-catastrophe insurance. We not only accept this volatility

but welcome it: A tolerance for short-term swings improves our

long-term prospects. In baseball lingo, our performance

yardstick is slugging percentage, not batting average.

往後我們將會繼續經歷年度績效的上下變動,面對多變的股市,這點絕對可以確
定,尤其是我們將資金集中在幾家主要的被投資公司之上,同時也因為我們將大
部分的資源擺在超級意外險之上的商業決策,我們不但接受這種變動,而且相當
能夠接受,只要忍受短期變動的同時可以為我們帶來長期的效果,套句棒球常用
的術語,我們的表現主要是看長打率而不是打擊率。

The Salomon Interlude

所羅門插曲

Last June, I stepped down as Interim Chairman of Salomon Inc

after ten months in the job. You can tell from Berkshire's 1991-

92 results that the company didn't miss me while I was gone. But

the reverse isn't true: I missed Berkshire and am delighted to

be back full-time. There is no job in the world that is more fun

than running Berkshire and I count myself lucky to be where I am.

去年六月,在接手十個月後,我正式辭去所羅門董事會臨時主席的職務,大家可
以從1991年到1992年Berkshire的經營績效看出,公司並沒有因為我暫時不
在而發生任何差錯,不過反過來說就不一定了,我很懷念Berkshire且很願意再
度回到公司擔任全職工作,對我而言,世界上沒有任何其他工作比起經營
Berkshire更有樂趣,很慶幸我自己能夠身處現在這個位置。

The Salomon post, though far from fun, was interesting and

worthwhile: In Fortune's annual survey of America's Most Admired

Corporations, conducted last September, Salomon ranked second

among 311 companies in the degree to which it improved its

reputation. Additionally, Salomon Brothers, the securities

subsidiary of Salomon Inc, reported record pre-tax earnings last

year - 34% above the previous high.

這次所羅門的任務雖然不是很愉快,但卻相當有趣且值得,在去年九月財富雜誌
票選全美最受崇敬企業的年度調查中,所羅門在全部的311家公司中名列第二
進步獎,此外所羅門兄弟-所羅門集團其下的證券子公司,其稅前盈餘更是創下
之前歷史新高34%之多。

Many people helped in the resolution of Salomon's problems

and the righting of the firm, but a few clearly deserve special

mention. It is no exaggeration to say that without the combined

efforts of Salomon executives Deryck Maughan, Bob Denham, Don

Howard, and John Macfarlane, the firm very probably would not

have survived. In their work, these men were tireless,

effective, supportive and selfless, and I will forever be

grateful to them.

所羅門能夠得到解救需要感謝許多人,其中有幾位尤其要特別提到的,若是沒有
Deryck Maughhan、Bob Denham、Don Howard與John Macfarlane等人
的通力合作,這家證券商很可能無法倖免,這些人努力不懈、有效率、無私奉獻
的精神,讓我永遠感佩他們。

Salomon's lead lawyer in its Government matters, Ron Olson

of Munger, Tolles & Olson, was also key to our success in getting

through this trouble. The firm's problems were not only severe,

but complex. At least five authorities - the SEC, the Federal

Reserve Bank of New York, the U.S. Treasury, the U.S. Attorney

for the Southern District of New York, and the Antitrust Division

of the Department of Justice - had important concerns about

Salomon. If we were to resolve our problems in a coordinated and

prompt manner, we needed a lawyer with exceptional legal,

business and human skills. Ron had them all.

所羅門在政府事務方面的首席律師-Munger, Tolles&Olson聯合律師事務所的
Ron Olson也是這次問題能夠順利解決的核心人物,所羅門所面臨的問題不但
嚴重而且相當複雜,至少有五個主管機關-證管會、紐約聯邦準備銀行、美國財
政部、紐約南區地方法院與司法部的反托拉斯部門都牽涉其中,若是我們想要以
明快有組織性地解決這件事,我們絕對必須要有一位具有商務法律專業與溝通技
巧的律師來幫忙,Ron正是具備有這樣條件的最佳人選。

Acquisitions

購併案

Of all our activities at Berkshire, the most exhilarating

for Charlie and me is the acquisition of a business with

excellent economic characteristics and a management that we like,

trust and admire. Such acquisitions are not easy to make but we

look for them constantly. In the search, we adopt the same

attitude one might find appropriate in looking for a spouse: It

pays to be active, interested and open-minded, but it does not

pay to be in a hurry.

在Berkshire所有的活動中,最令查理跟我感到雀躍的是當我們找到同時具有超
強產業競爭力並且還擁有我們信任與崇敬的經營者的那種企業,想要買到這類公
司可不是件容易的事,但我們會一直努力尋找,而在尋找的過程當中,我們採取
的就像是與一般人尋找終身伴侶一樣相同的態度,當然積極、樂觀與開放的態度
是應該的,但絕對沒有必要躁進。

In the past, I've observed that many acquisition-hungry

managers were apparently mesmerized by their childhood reading of

the story about the frog-kissing princess. Remembering her

success, they pay dearly for the right to kiss corporate toads,

expecting wondrous transfigurations. Initially, disappointing

results only deepen their desire to round up new toads.

("Fanaticism," said Santyana, "consists of redoubling your effort

when you've forgotten your aim.") Ultimately, even the most

optimistic manager must face reality. Standing knee-deep in

unresponsive toads, he then announces an enormous "restructuring"

charge. In this corporate equivalent of a Head Start program,

the CEO receives the education but the stockholders pay the

tuition.

過去我看過許多對於購併活動相當饑渴的經理人,很顯然地可能是小時候青蛙王
子的故事看太多了,腦中只記得那美麗的結局,他們很慷慨地花大筆的銀子取得
親吻蟾蜍的機會,期望會有神奇的事情發生,而失望的結果往往只會讓他們更積
極地尋找下一次機會,(Santyana說:所謂的狂樂就是當你忘了目標何在時,還
加倍投入你的心力),到最後即使是最樂觀的經理人還是要被迫面對現實,深陷
在一堆沒有反應的蟾蜍當中,然後他會再大聲地宣佈將進行另一波的重整改造方
案,在這種企業版的全新出擊方案,CEO學到相當寶貴的教訓,只不過學費卻
必須由股東們來出。

In my early days as a manager I, too, dated a few toads.

They were cheap dates - I've never been much of a sport - but my

results matched those of acquirers who courted higher-priced

toads. I kissed and they croaked.

早年在我擔任經理人時,也曾碰到幾隻蟾蜍,還好他們算是相當便宜的了,雖然
我並沒有那麼積極,但所得到的結果與那些花高價追求蟾蜍的凱子經理人差不
多,在親了之後,它們還是依然聒聒叫。

After several failures of this type, I finally remembered

some useful advice I once got from a golf pro (who, like all pros

who have had anything to do with my game, wishes to remain

anonymous). Said the pro: "Practice doesn't make perfect;

practice makes permanent." And thereafter I revised my strategy

and tried to buy good businesses at fair prices rather than fair

businesses at good prices.

在失敗過幾次之後,我終於想起我曾經從某位職業高爾夫選手的建議(像所有職
業選手一樣,只要和我打過球的,通常都不太願意我提起他們的名字),他說:
「不斷的練習雖然無法達到完美的境界,但練習卻能夠使你的成績永續維持」,
也因此我決定改變我的投資策略,試著以合理的價格買進好公司而不是以便宜的
價格買進普通的公司。

Last year, in December, we made an acquisition that is a

prototype of what we now look for. The purchase was 82% of

Central States Indemnity, an insurer that makes monthly payments

for credit-card holders who are unable themselves to pay because

they have become disabled or unemployed. Currently the company's

annual premiums are about $90 million and profits about $10

million. Central States is based in Omaha and managed by Bill

Kizer, a friend of mine for over 35 years. The Kizer family -

which includes sons Bill, Dick and John - retains 18% ownership

of the business and will continue to run things just as it has in

the past. We could not be associated with better people.

去年十二月,我們做了一個我們現在所認為最典型的購併案,那就是買下中央州
險公司82%的股權,這是一家專門受理信用卡持有人因為突然失業或是失能而
付不出信用卡帳單風險的保險公司,現在這家保險公司一年的保費收入大概是
9,000萬美元,獲利1,000萬美元,總部就設於奧瑪哈,並且由與我結交35
年以上的老朋友Bill Kizer所管理,Kizer家族包含他幾個兒子持有剩下18%的
股權,而且還會如同以前那般地經營這項事業,我們實在是不太可能再找到更合
適的人選。

Coincidentally, this latest acquisition has much in common

with our first, made 26 years ago. At that time, we purchased

another Omaha insurer, National Indemnity Company (along with a

small sister company) from Jack Ringwalt, another long-time

friend. Jack had built the business from scratch and, as was the

case with Bill Kizer, thought of me when he wished to sell.

(Jack's comment at the time: "If I don't sell the company, my

executor will, and I'd rather pick the home for it.") National

Indemnity was an outstanding business when we bought it and

continued to be under Jack's management. Hollywood has had good

luck with sequels; I believe we, too, will.

碰巧的是這件最新的購併案與我在26年前第一次所做的案子有許多雷同之處,
在當時,我們從另一位老朋友Jack Ringwalt手中,買下奧瑪哈另一家保險公司
-國家產險公司,這家公司是由Jack一手草創,同時也跟Bill一樣,當他打算把
公司賣掉時,第一個人就想到我,(Jack當時說到:若是我自己不賣這家公司,
我的遺囑執行人也會賣,所以我寧可自己為它找個歸宿),國家產險在我們當初
買下時,就是一家相當優秀的好公司,而在Jack的領導下依舊維持這樣的情況,
好萊塢在發行電影續集時,通常都會有不錯的成績,我想我也是。

Berkshire's acquisition criteria are described on page 23.

Beyond purchases made by the parent company, however, our

subsidiaries sometimes make small "add-on" acquisitions that

extend their product lines or distribution capabilities. In this

manner, we enlarge the domain of managers we already know to be

outstanding - and that's a low-risk and high-return proposition.

We made five acquisitions of this type in 1992, and one was not

so small: At yearend, H. H. Brown purchased Lowell Shoe Company,

a business with $90 million in sales that makes Nursemates, a

leading line of shoes for nurses, and other kinds of shoes as

well. Our operating managers will continue to look for add-on

opportunities, and we would expect these to contribute modestly

to Berkshire's value in the future.

Berkshire的購併標準詳另頁,除了母公司本身時常對外進行購併,我們旗下的
子公司偶爾也會自行新添生力軍,以延伸其產品線或是通路能力,就這點兒言,
我們很願意擴大旗下經理人的視野,因為我們相當清楚他們優異的能力,這絕對
是低風險高報酬的一件事,在1992年我們總共有5件這樣類似的案例,另外
還有一件比較大的案子,在年底時,布朗鞋業買下Lowell鞋業-一家年營業額
9,000萬美金,專門製造護士專用鞋的公司,當然我們旗下事業的經理人還是繼
續尋找擴充的機會,而我們也預期他們未來將能夠為Berkshire創造出更多的價
值。

Then again, a trend has emerged that may make further

acquisitions difficult. The parent company made one purchase in

1991, buying H. H. Brown, which is run by Frank Rooney, who has

eight children. In 1992 our only deal was with Bill Kizer,

father of nine. It won't be easy to keep this string going in

1993.

不過市場上目前的趨勢再度地不利於購併活動的進行,母公司在1991年所買下
的布朗鞋業,經營者Frank有八個小孩,我們在1992年唯一的案子的經理人,
Bill有九個小孩,不過我想這種趨勢很難在1993年繼續維持下去。

Sources of Reported Earnings

帳列盈餘的來源

The table below shows the major sources of Berkshire's

reported earnings. In this presentation, amortization of

Goodwill and other major purchase-price accounting adjustments

are not charged against the specific businesses to which they

apply, but are instead aggregated and shown separately. This

procedure lets you view the earnings of our businesses as they

would have been reported had we not purchased them. I've

explained in past reports why this form of presentation seems to

us to be more useful to investors and managers than one utilizing

GAAP, which requires purchase-price adjustments to be made on a

business-by-business basis. The total net earnings we show in

the table are, of course, identical to the GAAP total in our

audited financial statements.

下表顯示Berkshire帳列盈餘的主要來源,在這張表中商譽的攤銷數與購買法會
計調整數會從個別被投資公司分離出來,單獨加總列示,之所以這樣做是為了讓
旗下各事業的盈餘狀況,不因我們的投資而有所影響,過去我一再地強調我們認
為這樣的表達方式,較之一般公認會計原則要求以個別企業基礎做調整,不管是
對投資者或是管理者來說,更有幫助,當然最後損益加總的數字仍然會與經會計
師查核的數字一致。

(000s omitted)

-----------------------------------------------

Berkshire's Share

of Net Earnings

(after taxes and

Pre-Tax Earnings minority interests)

---------------------- ----------------------

1992 1991 1992 1991

---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

Operating Earnings:

Insurance Group:

Underwriting ............ $(108,961) $(119,593) $ (71,141) $ (77,229)

Net Investment Income.... 355,067 331,846 305,763 285,173

H. H. Brown (acquired 7/1/91) 27,883 13,616 17,340 8,611

Buffalo News .............. 47,863 37,113 28,163 21,841

Fechheimer ................ 13,698 12,947 7,267 6,843

Kirby ..................... 35,653 35,726 22,795 22,555

Nebraska Furniture Mart ... 17,110 14,384 8,072 6,993

Scott Fetzer

Manufacturing Group .... 31,954 26,123 19,883 15,901

See's Candies ............. 42,357 42,390 25,501 25,575

Wesco - other than Insurance 15,153 12,230 9,195 8,777

World Book ................ 29,044 22,483 19,503 15,487

Amortization of Goodwill .. (4,702) (4,113) (4,687) (4,098)

Other Purchase-Price

Accounting Charges ..... (7,385) (6,021) (8,383) (7,019)

Interest Expense* ......... (98,643) (89,250) (62,899) (57,165)

Shareholder-Designated

Contributions .......... (7,634) (6,772) (4,913) (4,388)

Other ..................... 72,223 77,399 36,267 47,896

---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

Operating Earnings .......... 460,680 400,508 347,726 315,753

Sales of Securities ......... 89,937 192,478 59,559 124,155

---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

Total Earnings - All Entities $ 550,617 $ 592,986 $ 407,285 $ 439,908

======== ======== ========= ======

*Excludes interest expense of Scott Fetzer Financial Group and Mutual

Savings & Loan. Includes $22.5 million in 1992 and $5.7 million in

1991 of premiums paid on the early redemption of debt.

*不包含史考特飛茲與聯合儲貸的利息費用,另外加計1992年與1991年分別贖回可轉換債券
所額外支付的2,250萬與570萬溢價。

A large amount of additional information about these

businesses is given on pages 37-47, where you will also find our

segment earnings reported on a GAAP basis. Our goal is to give you

all of the financial information that Charlie and I consider

significant in making our own evaluation of Berkshire.

在年報中你可以找到依照一般公認會計原則編製,詳細的部門別資訊,至於我們
的目的是希望給你所有查理跟我認為在評估Berkshire價值時,應該必要的資
訊。

"Look-Through" Earnings

透視盈餘

We've previously discussed look-through earnings, which

consist of: (1) the operating earnings reported in the previous

section, plus; (2) the retained operating earnings of major

investees that, under GAAP accounting, are not reflected in our

profits, less; (3) an allowance for the tax that would be paid by

Berkshire if these retained earnings of investees had instead been

distributed to us. Though no single figure can be perfect, we

believe that the look-through number more accurately portrays the

earnings of Berkshire than does the GAAP number.

之前我們曾經討論過透視盈餘,其主要的組成份子有(1)前段所提到的帳列盈
餘,加上(2)主要被投資公司的保留盈餘,按一般公認會計原則未反應在我們公
司帳上的盈餘,扣除(3)若這些未反應的盈餘分配給我們時,估計可能要繳的所
得稅。雖然沒有任何一項數字是完美的,但我們相信這項透視盈餘會比按一般公
認會計原則下的數字更能夠反應Berkshire實際的獲利狀況。

I've told you that over time look-through earnings must

increase at about 15% annually if our intrinsic business value is

to grow at that rate. Our look-through earnings in 1992 were $604

million, and they will need to grow to more than $1.8 billion by

the year 2000 if we are to meet that 15% goal. For us to get

there, our operating subsidiaries and investees must deliver

excellent performances, and we must exercise some skill in capital

allocation as well.

我曾經告訴各位,長期而言,如果我們的實質價值也期望以這個幅度來成長的
話,透視盈餘每年也必須增加15%,1992年我們的透視盈餘約為6.04億美元,
而到西元2000年為止,若要以15%的目標,透視盈餘必須成長到18億美元,
要完成這樣的目標,代表我們旗下的營運事業及主要的被投資公司必須要有更傑
出的表現,同時我們本身資金規劃分配也要更有效益才成。

We cannot promise to achieve the $1.8 billion target. Indeed,

we may not even come close to it. But it does guide our decision-

making: When we allocate capital today, we are thinking about what

will maximize look-through earnings in 2000.

我們不敢保證屆時一定可以達到18億美元的目標,甚至很有可能根本就達不
到,不過這目標還是對我們的決策有幫助,每當我們現在在分配資金時,我們都
會想到要如何將2000年的透視盈餘極大化。

We do not, however, see this long-term focus as eliminating

the need for us to achieve decent short-term results as well.

After all, we were thinking long-range thoughts five or ten years

ago, and the moves we made then should now be paying off. If

plantings made confidently are repeatedly followed by disappointing

harvests, something is wrong with the farmer. (Or perhaps with the

farm: Investors should understand that for certain companies, and

even for some industries, there simply is no good long-term

strategy.) Just as you should be suspicious of managers who pump

up short-term earnings by accounting maneuvers, asset sales and the

like, so also should you be suspicious of those managers who fail

to deliver for extended periods and blame it on their long-term

focus. (Even Alice, after listening to the Queen lecture her about

"jam tomorrow," finally insisted, "It must come sometimes to jam

today.")

不過我們對於長期目標的專注並不代表我們就不注重短期結果,總的來說我們早
在5到10年前就預先規劃設想,而當時所作的舉動現在才開始慢慢地回收,如
果每次有信心的播種最後的收割結果都一再讓人失望的話,農夫就應該要好好地
檢討原因了,(不然就是農地有問題,投資人必須了解對於某些公司或甚至是某
些產業,根本就沒有所謂的長期性策略),就像是你可能會特別留心那些利用會
計手法或出售資產撐高短期盈餘的經理人,你也應該要特別注意那些一再延長達
成目標期程,並把長期目標一直掛在嘴上的人,(即使是愛莉絲一再聽到母后明
天再擠牛奶的說教,她最後還是忍不注堅持,總有一些應該要今天擠吧!)

The following table shows you how we calculate look-through

earnings, though I warn you that the figures are necessarily very

rough. (The dividends paid to us by these investees have been

included in the operating earnings itemized on page 8, mostly

under "Insurance Group: Net Investment Income.")

各位可以從下表看出我們是如何計算透視盈餘的,不過我還是要提醒各位這些數
字有點粗糙,(被投資公司所分配的股利收入已經包含在保險事業的淨投資收益
項下)

Berkshire's Share

of Undistributed

Berkshire's Approximate Operating Earnings

Berkshire's Major Investees Ownership at Yearend (in millions)

----------------------- ----------------------- ------------------

1992 1991 1992 1991

-------- -------- -------- --------

Capital Cities/ABC Inc. ....... 18.2% 18.1% $ 70 $ 61

The Coca-Cola Company ......... 7.1% 7.0% 82 69

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. 8.2%(1) 3.4%(1) 29(2) 15

GEICO Corp. ................... 48.1% 48.2% 34(3) 69(3)

General Dynamics Corp. ........ 14.1% -- 11(2) --

The Gillette Company .......... 10.9% 11.0% 38 23(2)

Guinness PLC .................. 2.0% 1.6% 7 --

The Washington Post Company ... 14.6% 14.6% 11 10

Wells Fargo & Company ......... 11.5% 9.6% 16(2) (17)(2)

-------- -------- -------- --------

Berkshire's share of

undistributed earnings of major investees $298 $230

Hypothetical tax on these

undistributed investee earnings (42) (30)

Reported operating earnings of Berkshire 348 316

-------- --------

Total look-through earnings of Berkshire $604 $516

(1) Net of minority interest at Wesco
已扣除Wesco的少數股權

(2) Calculated on average ownership for the year

以年平均持有股權比例計算

(3) Excludes realized capital gains, which have been both recurring and significant

扣除重複發生且金額大的已實現資本利得,

Insurance Operations

保險事業營運

Shown below is an updated version of our usual table

presenting key figures for the property-casualty insurance

industry:

下表是產物意外險業的最新的幾項重要指數

Yearly Change Combined Ratio

in Premiums After Policyholder

Written (%) Dividends

------------- --------------

1981 ........................... 3.8 106.0

1982 ........................... 3.7 109.6

1983 ........................... 5.0 112.0

1984 ........................... 8.5 118.0

1985 ........................... 22.1 116.3

1986 ........................... 22.2 108.0

1987 ........................... 9.4 104.6

1988 ........................... 4.5 105.4

1989 ........................... 3.2 109.2

1990 ........................... 4.5 109.6

1991 (Revised) ................. 2.4 108.8

1992 (Est.) .................... 2.7 114.8

The combined ratio represents total insurance costs (losses

incurred plus expenses) compared to revenue from premiums: A

ratio below 100 indicates an underwriting profit, and one above

100 indicates a loss. The higher the ratio, the worse the year.

When the investment income that an insurer earns from holding

policyholders' funds ("the float") is taken into account, a

combined ratio in the 106 - 110 range typically produces an

overall break-even result, exclusive of earnings on the funds

provided by shareholders.

綜合比率代表保險的總成本(理賠損失加上費用)佔保費收入的比例,比率在100
以下代表有承保的損失,在100以上則代表有承保的獲利綜合比率代表的是保
險的總成本(損失加上費用)佔保費收入的比率,100以下代表會有承銷利益,100
以上代表會有承銷損失,若把持有保費收入浮存金(扣除股東權益部份所產生的
盈餘)所產生的投資收益列入考量,損益兩平的範圍大概是在106-110之間。

About four points in the industry's 1992 combined ratio can

be attributed to Hurricane Andrew, which caused the largest

insured loss in history. Andrew destroyed a few small insurers.

Beyond that, it awakened some larger companies to the fact that

their reinsurance protection against catastrophes was far from

adequate. (It's only when the tide goes out that you learn who's

been swimming naked.) One major insurer escaped insolvency

solely because it had a wealthy parent that could promptly supply

a massive transfusion of capital.

1992年的綜合比率由於史上最大的單一損失理賠事件-Andrew 颶風發生而多
增加了4個百分點,Andrew讓幾家小型保險公司因此倒閉,另外他也讓許多大
型保險公司發覺自己並未尋求到足夠的再保險保護,(只有當浪退了,大家才知
道是誰沒穿衣服還在游泳的),還有一家大型的保險公司要不是因為背後有個有
錢的母公司及時供應資金的話,可能早就已經關門大吉了。

Bad as it was, however, Andrew could easily have been far

more damaging if it had hit Florida 20 or 30 miles north of where

it actually did and had hit Louisiana further east than was the

case. All in all, many companies will rethink their reinsurance

programs in light of the Andrew experience.

壞歸壞,還好Andrew沒有往北20-30英哩侵襲到佛羅里達,或是往東侵襲到
路易西安那州,否則損失可能難以估計,總而言之,很多公司因為Andrew事
件可能會重新考慮現有的再保險安排是否適當。

As you know we are a large writer - perhaps the largest in

the world - of "super-cat" coverages, which are the policies that

other insurance companies buy to protect themselves against major

catastrophic losses. Consequently, we too took our lumps from

Andrew, suffering losses from it of about $125 million, an amount

roughly equal to our 1992 super-cat premium income. Our other

super-cat losses, though, were negligible. This line of business

therefore produced an overall loss of only $2 million for the

year. (In addition, our investee, GEICO, suffered a net loss

from Andrew, after reinsurance recoveries and tax savings, of

about $50 million, of which our share is roughly $25 million.

This loss did not affect our operating earnings, but did reduce

our look-through earnings.)

大家知道Berkshire一直都是霹靂貓保單相當大的發行公司,或許規模已是全世
界最大的,這類保單通常是由其他保險公司買來分散他們本身在重大意外事故所
需承擔的風險,也因此我們必須承受一大塊Andrew所造成的損失,金額約為
1.25億美元,這數字相當於我們一整年的保費收入,不過還好其他霹靂貓保單
實際發生的損失都相當輕微,所以結算下來全年的總損失只有200萬美元,(另
外我們的被投資公司GEICO也因Andrew颶風產生了一些損失,在扣除再保分
攤與稅負抵減之後,金額約為5,000萬美元,依我們的持股比例大概要分攤
2,500萬美元,雖然這項損失不會反應在我們的帳上,但確實已對我們的透視盈
餘造成影響)。

In last year's report I told you that I hoped that our

super-cat business would over time achieve a 10% profit margin.

But I also warned you that in any given year the line was likely

to be "either enormously profitable or enormously unprofitable."

Instead, both 1991 and 1992 have come in close to a break-even

level. Nonetheless, I see these results as aberrations and stick

with my prediction of huge annual swings in profitability from

this business.

在去年的年報中,我曾告訴各位我們希望能從霹靂貓保險這類業務獲得10%的
利潤空間,但我還是要提醒各位在某些特定的年度中,有可能一下子大賺或是一
下子大虧,然而1991年與1992年倒是維持在損益兩平的邊緣,不過我還是認
為這樣的結果有點異常,同時我還是堅持在這行獲利可能大好大壞的預測。

Let me remind you of some characteristics of our super-cat

policies. Generally, they are activated only when two things

happen. First, the direct insurer or reinsurer we protect must

suffer losses of a given amount - that's the policyholder's

"retention" - from a catastrophe; and second, industry-wide

insured losses from the catastrophe must exceed some minimum

level, which usually is $3 billion or more. In most cases, the

policies we issue cover only a specific geographical area, such

as a portion of the U.S., the entire U.S., or everywhere other

than the U.S. Also, many policies are not activated by the first

super-cat that meets the policy terms, but instead cover only a

"second-event" or even a third- or fourth-event. Finally, some

policies are triggered only by a catastrophe of a specific type,

such as an earthquake. Our exposures are large: We have one

policy that calls for us to pay $100 million to the policyholder

if a specified catastrophe occurs. (Now you know why I suffer

eyestrain: from watching The Weather Channel.)

我還是苦口婆心再提醒各位霹靂貓保單的特點,通常只有在兩種情況發生時,理
賠才會生效,首先受我們保護的保險或再保公司的損失必須超過一定金額-也就
是保戶的自留保額部份;第二整個保險業界的損失也必須超過一定的上限,比如
說30億美元以上或甚至更多。在大部分的狀況之下,我們發行的保單只包含特
定地區,像是美國一部份州、或是全美國或是除了美國的以外地區,另外有許多
保單也不是在第一次大型災害發生後就須理賠,有的只保第二次或第三次甚至是
第四次大災害,最後一點有些保單只保特定種類的災害,比如說是地震,我們暴
露的風險相當的大,我們有一張保單若是發生保單上指定的特定災害發生的話,
就必須給予保戶1億美元的理賠,(現在你應該知道我常常盯著氣象頻道盯到眼
睛酸的原因了吧)。

Currently, Berkshire is second in the U.S. property-casualty

industry in net worth (the leader being State Farm, which neither

buys nor sells reinsurance). Therefore, we have the capacity to

assume risk on a scale that interests virtually no other company.

We have the appetite as well: As Berkshire's net worth and

earnings grow, our willingness to write business increases also.

But let me add that means good business. The saying, "a fool

and his money are soon invited everywhere," applies in spades in

reinsurance, and we actually reject more than 98% of the business

we are offered. Our ability to choose between good and bad

proposals reflects a management strength that matches our

financial strength: Ajit Jain, who runs our reinsurance

operation, is simply the best in this business. In combination,

these strengths guarantee that we will stay a major factor in the

super-cat business so long as prices are appropriate.

現在Berkshire是全美國淨值第二大的產業意外險公司(排名第一的是州農保
險,不過他們並不從事再保業務),因此我們絕對有能力也有興趣去承擔別的保
險公司無法承擔的風險,隨著Berkshire的淨值與獲利能力繼續成長,我們接受
保單的意願也跟著增加,但是我必須強調只有好的生意我們才願意接,有人說:
笨的有錢人特別好騙,我想這句話也適用在再保險之上,事實上我們平均我們拒
絕98%以上上門的保單請求,我們挑選客戶的能力跟我們本身的財務實力相當,
Ajit Jain負責經營我們的再保業務,堪稱業界的翹楚,兩者結合使得我們的競爭
力確保我們可以在霹靂貓保險業界繼續成為主要的參與者,只要保費價格合理的
話。

What constitutes an appropriate price, of course, is

difficult to determine. Catastrophe insurers can't simply

extrapolate past experience. If there is truly "global warming,"

for example, the odds would shift, since tiny changes in

atmospheric conditions can produce momentous changes in weather

patterns. Furthermore, in recent years there has been a

mushrooming of population and insured values in U.S. coastal

areas that are particularly vulnerable to hurricanes, the number

one creator of super-cats. A hurricane that caused x dollars of

damage 20 years ago could easily cost 10x now.

當然何謂合理的價格實在是很難去界定,災害保險業者實在是很難依據過去的經
驗來預估未來,例如若是全球溫室效應確實存在的話,意外變數一定會增多,只
要大氣狀況有任何些微的轉變就有可能造成氣象形態的巨幅波動,更有甚者,最
近幾年美國海岸地區人口爆炸性成長,使得這些地區的被保標的特別容易受到颶
風的侵襲,而颶風正是超級意外最常發生的第一名,現在一次颶風所發生的損失
可能是二十年前的十倍以上。

Occasionally, also, the unthinkable happens. Who would have

guessed, for example, that a major earthquake could occur in

Charleston, S.C.? (It struck in 1886, registered an estimated 6.6

on the Richter scale, and caused 60 deaths.) And who could have

imagined that our country's most serious quake would occur at New

Madrid, Missouri, which suffered an estimated 8.7 shocker in

1812. By comparison, the 1989 San Francisco quake was a 7.1 -

and remember that each one-point Richter increase represents a

ten-fold increase in strength. Someday, a U.S. earthquake

occurring far from California will cause enormous losses for

insurers.

而且有時還會有意想不到的事情發生,比如說誰會想到Charleston地區竟然會
發生大地震(它在1886年發生,芮氏規模6.6,造成60個人死亡),又有誰知
道美國史上最嚴重的地震是1812年發生在密蘇里州估計規模8.7的那次地震,
比較起來1989年發生在舊金山的大地震,規模只有7.1,大家要知道每增加
0.1級代表其釋放的力量就要增加10倍,哪一天要是加州發生大地震的話,將
會對所有保險業者造成難以估計的損失。

When viewing our quarterly figures, you should understand

that our accounting for super-cat premiums differs from our

accounting for other insurance premiums. Rather than recording

our super-cat premiums on a pro-rata basis over the life of a

given policy, we defer recognition of revenue until a loss occurs

or until the policy expires. We take this conservative approach

because the likelihood of super-cats causing us losses is

particularly great toward the end of the year. It is then that

weather tends to kick up: Of the ten largest insured losses in

U.S. history, nine occurred in the last half of the year. In

addition, policies that are not triggered by a first event are

unlikely, by their very terms, to cause us losses until late in

the year.

當各位在檢視我們每季的數字時,大家一定要知道我們霹靂貓保險的會計原則與
一般保險有些許的不同,沒有將霹靂貓的保費收入按保單發行期間平均分攤認
列,我們必須等到整個保單期間結束或是損失發生後才全部一次認列,我們之所
以採取這樣保守的做法,原因在於霹靂貓保單在年度截止之前特別容易發生意
情,尤其是天氣狀況更是如此,在歷史上前十大意外災害中,有九件是發生在下
半年,此外由於許多保單在第一次重大災害發生時,並不理賠,所以若真的發生
損失的話,通常會是在下半年。

The bottom-line effect of our accounting procedure for

super-cats is this: Large losses may be reported in any quarter

of the year, but significant profits will only be reported in the

fourth quarter.

對於霹靂貓保險我們的會計原則底限就是,鉅額的損失可能會發生在任何一季,
但鉅額的獲利只有在每年的第四季才有可能出現。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

As I've told you in each of the last few years, what counts

in our insurance business is "the cost of funds developed from

insurance," or in the vernacular, "the cost of float." Float -

which we generate in exceptional amounts - is the total of loss

reserves, loss adjustment expense reserves and unearned premium

reserves minus agents' balances, prepaid acquisition costs and

deferred charges applicable to assumed reinsurance. The cost of

float is measured by our underwriting loss.

就像是前幾年向各位提過的,真正重要的是我們從保險業所取得的資金,其資金
成本到底是多少,套句專業術語,就是浮存金成本,浮存金-係指我們靠保險業
所取得大量的資金,係指將所有的損失準備、損失費用調整準備與未賺取保費加
總後,再扣除應付佣金、預付購併成本及相關再保遞延費用,至於浮存金的成本
則是以我們所發生的承保損失來衡量。

The table below shows our cost of float since we entered the

business in 1967.

下表是我們在1967年進入保險業後,浮存金的成本統計:

(1) (2) Yearend Yield

Underwriting Approximate on Long-Term

Loss Average Float Cost of Funds Govt. Bonds

------------ ------------- ------------- -------------

(In $ Millions) (Ratio of 1 to 2)

1967 ......... profit $17.3 less than zero 5.50%

1968 ......... profit 19.9 less than zero 5.90%

1969 ......... profit 23.4 less than zero 6.79%

1970 ......... $ 0.37 32.4 1.14% 6.25%

1971 ......... profit 52.5 less than zero 5.81%

1972 ......... profit 69.5 less than zero 5.82%

1973 ......... profit 73.3 less than zero 7.27%

1974 ......... 7.36 79.1 9.30% 8.13%

1975 ......... 11.35 87.6 12.96% 8.03%

1976 ......... profit 102.6 less than zero 7.30%

1977 ......... profit 139.0 less than zero 7.97%

1978 ......... profit 190.4 less than zero 8.93%

1979 ......... profit 227.3 less than zero 10.08%

1980 ......... profit 237.0 less than zero 11.94%

1981 ......... profit 228.4 less than zero 13.61%

1982 ......... 21.56 220.6 9.77% 10.64%

1983 ......... 33.87 231.3 14.64% 11.84%

1984 ......... 48.06 253.2 18.98% 11.58%

1985 ......... 44.23 390.2 11.34% 9.34%

1986 ......... 55.84 797.5 7.00% 7.60%

1987 ......... 55.43 1,266.7 4.38% 8.95%

1988 ......... 11.08 1,497.7 0.74% 9.00%

1989 ......... 24.40 1,541.3 1.58% 7.97%

1990 ......... 26.65 1,637.3 1.63% 8.24%

1991 ......... 119.59 1,895.0 6.31% 7.40%

1992 ......... 108.96 2,290.4 4.76% 7.39%

Last year, our insurance operation again generated funds at a

cost below that incurred by the U.S. Government on its newly-issued

long-term bonds. This means that in 21 years out of the 26 years

we have been in the insurance business we have beaten the

Government's rate, and often we have done so by a wide margin.

(If, on average, we didn't beat the Government's rate, there would

be no economic reason for us to be in the business.)

去年我們保險營運所產生的資金成本還是一樣低於美國政府當年所新發行的公
債利率,意思是說在過去26年的保險事業經營中,我們有21年是遠勝於政府
公債發行利率,而且差距的幅度通常都相當可觀,(那天要是我們平均的資金成
本高於政府公債的利率的話,我們實在就沒有理由繼續留在保險業了)。

In 1992, as in previous years, National Indemnity's commercial

auto and general liability business, led by Don Wurster, and our

homestate operation, led by Rod Eldred, made excellent

contributions to our low cost of float. Indeed, both of these

operations recorded an underwriting profit last year, thereby

generating float at a less-than-zero cost. The bulk of our float,

meanwhile, comes from large transactions developed by Ajit. His

efforts are likely to produce a further growth in float during

1993.

1992年,如同以往年度,由Don Wurster領導的國家產物意外險公司所經營
的汽車與一般責任保險以及Rod Eldred領導的Homestate營運,對於我們取
得低廉的資金有相當的貢獻,事實上,在去年這兩家公司都有承保獲利,也就是
說所產生的保險浮存金的資金成本都是低於零,當然我們也有一大筆的浮存金是
來自於Ajit所開發出來的大型案件,展望1993年這方面所貢獻的保費收入還
會增加。

Charlie and I continue to like the insurance business, which

we expect to be our main source of earnings for decades to come.

The industry is huge; in certain sectors we can compete world-wide;

and Berkshire possesses an important competitive advantage. We

will look for ways to expand our participation in the business,

either indirectly as we have done through GEICO or directly as we

did by acquiring Central States Indemnity.

查理跟我還是相當喜愛保險業,這也是我們預期未來十年盈餘的主要來源,這個
產業規模夠大,在某些類別我們可以與全世界業者競爭,同時Berkshire在這方
面也擁有特殊的競爭力,我們會繼續尋找在這行增加參與的機會,不管是間接透
過GEICO、或是以取得中央州立保險公司的股權那樣直接參與。

Common Stock Investments

股票投資

Below we list our common stock holdings having a value of over

$100 million. A small portion of these investments belongs to

subsidiaries of which Berkshire owns less than 100%.

下表是我們超過一億美元以上的普通股投資,一部份的投資係屬於Berkshire關
係企業所持有)。

12/31/92

Shares Company Cost Market

------ ------- ---------- ----------

(000s omitted)

3,000,000 Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. ............. $ 517,500 $1,523,500

93,400,000 The Coca-Cola Company. ............... 1,023,920 3,911,125

16,196,700 Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

("Freddie Mac") ................... 414,257 783,515

34,250,000 GEICO Corp. .......................... 45,713 2,226,250

4,350,000 General Dynamics Corp. ............... 312,438 450,769

24,000,000 The Gillette Company ................. 600,000 1,365,000

38,335,000 Guinness PLC ......................... 333,019 299,581

1,727,765 The Washington Post Company .......... 9,731 396,954

6,358,418 Wells Fargo & Company ................ 380,983 485,624

Leaving aside splits, the number of shares we held in these

companies changed during 1992 in only four cases: We added

moderately to our holdings in Guinness and Wells Fargo, we more

than doubled our position in Freddie Mac, and we established a new

holding in General Dynamics. We like to buy.

除了股票分割,我們1992年在這些主要投資的持股只有四項變動,我們小幅增
加Guinness與Wells Fargo的持股,另外將Freddie Mac的持股增加一倍,
至於通用動力則是全新增加的投資。

Selling, however, is a different story. There, our pace of

activity resembles that forced upon a traveler who found himself

stuck in tiny Podunk's only hotel. With no T.V. in his room, he

faced an evening of boredom. But his spirits soared when he spied

a book on the night table entitled "Things to do in Podunk."

Opening it, he found just a single sentence: "You're doing it."

我們很喜歡買股票,不過賣股票又是另外一回事,就這點我們的步伐就像是一個
旅行家發現自己身處於只有一個小旅館的小鎮上,房間裡沒有電視,面對慢慢無
聊的長夜,突然間他很興奮地發現桌上有一本書名為「在本小鎮可以做的事」,
只是當他翻開書後,裡面卻只有短短的一句話:「那就是你現在在做的這件事」。

We were lucky in our General Dynamics purchase. I had paid

little attention to the company until last summer, when it

announced it would repurchase about 30% of its shares by way of a

Dutch tender. Seeing an arbitrage opportunity, I began buying the

stock for Berkshire, expecting to tender our holdings for a small

profit. We've made the same sort of commitment perhaps a half-

dozen times in the last few years, reaping decent rates of return

for the short periods our money has been tied up.

我們很高興能買到通用動力,之前我並未特別留意這家公司,直到去年夏天該公
司宣佈買回流通在外30%的股權,看到這樣難得的套利機會,我開始替
Berkshire買進這家公司的股票,預期透過公司買回股份可以小賺一筆,在過去
幾年中,我們曾經做了好幾次類似這樣的交易,讓短期投入的資金獲得相當豐厚
的報酬。

But then I began studying the company and the accomplishments

of Bill Anders in the brief time he'd been CEO. And what I saw

made my eyes pop: Bill had a clearly articulated and rational

strategy; he had been focused and imbued with a sense of urgency in

carrying it out; and the results were truly remarkable.

之後我開始研究這家公司,以及Bill Anders在擔任該公司CEO短短期間所做
的事,沒想到讓我眼睛一亮,Bill有一套精心設計的策略,他相當專注於把這項
策略付諸實行,而最後所得到的成果也相當不錯。

In short order, I dumped my arbitrage thoughts and decided

that Berkshire should become a long-term investor with Bill. We

were helped in gaining a large position by the fact that a tender

greatly swells the volume of trading in a stock. In a one-month

period, we were able to purchase 14% of the General Dynamics shares

that remained outstanding after the tender was completed.

過不了多久,我就把短期套利的念頭拋開,決定Berkshire應該成為Bill的長期
投資者,而受惠於買回股份的消息,成交量擴大,我們得以買進大量的部位,在
短短一個月期間,我們一口氣買進通用動力14%的股份,這是在扣除該公司本
身買回的股份之後的比例。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Our equity-investing strategy remains little changed from what

it was fifteen years ago, when we said in the 1977 annual report:

"We select our marketable equity securities in much the way we

would evaluate a business for acquisition in its entirety. We want

the business to be one (a) that we can understand; (b) with

favorable long-term prospects; (c) operated by honest and competent

people; and (d) available at a very attractive price." We have

seen cause to make only one change in this creed: Because of both

market conditions and our size, we now substitute "an attractive

price" for "a very attractive price."

我們在股權投資的策略跟15年前1977年度報告的那套一樣,並沒有多大的變
化,在選擇股票投資所採用的評估方式與買下一整家企業的情況沒什麼兩樣,我
們希望投資的對象(1)是我們所了解的(2)具有長期的遠景(3)由才德兼具的人所
經營(4)非常吸引人的合理價格。但考量目前市場的情況與公司的資金規模,我
們現在決定將"非常吸引人的價格"改成"吸引人的價格"。

But how, you will ask, does one decide what's "attractive"?

In answering this question, most analysts feel they must choose

between two approaches customarily thought to be in opposition:

"value" and "growth." Indeed, many investment professionals see

any mixing of the two terms as a form of intellectual cross-

dressing.

或許你又會問,那麼到底應該如何決定價格夠不夠吸引人呢? 在回答這個問題
時,大部分的分析師通常都會選擇兩種看起來對立的方法,"價值法"與"成長法",
事實上有許多投資專家會將這兩種方法交替運用,就像是輪流換穿衣物一樣。

We view that as fuzzy thinking (in which, it must be

confessed, I myself engaged some years ago). In our opinion, the

two approaches are joined at the hip: Growth is always a component

in the calculation of value, constituting a variable whose

importance can range from negligible to enormous and whose impact

can be negative as well as positive.

我們覺得這種觀念似是而非(為此我個人必須承認,好幾年前我也是採用這種方
法),基本上我們認為這兩種方法本為一體,在計算一家公司的價值時,成長當
然是一件很重要的因素,這個變數將會使得所計算出來的價值從很小到極大,所
造成的影響有可能是正面的,也有可能是負面的。

In addition, we think the very term "value investing" is

redundant. What is "investing" if it is not the act of seeking

value at least sufficient to justify the amount paid? Consciously

paying more for a stock than its calculated value - in the hope

that it can soon be sold for a still-higher price - should be

labeled speculation (which is neither illegal, immoral nor - in our

view - financially fattening).

此外,我們也認為所謂的「價值投資」根本就是廢話,若是所投入的資金不是為
了換取追求相對應的價值的話,那還算是投資嗎? 明明知道所付出的成本已經高
出其所應有的價值,而只是寄望在短期之內可以用更高的價格賣出根本就是投機
的行為,(當然這種行為一點都不會違法,也不違反道德,只是就我們的觀點來
說,只是在玩吹氣球遊戲而已)。

Whether appropriate or not, the term "value investing" is

widely used. Typically, it connotes the purchase of stocks having

attributes such as a low ratio of price to book value, a low price-

earnings ratio, or a high dividend yield. Unfortunately, such

characteristics, even if they appear in combination, are far from

determinative as to whether an investor is indeed buying something

for what it is worth and is therefore truly operating on the

principle of obtaining value in his investments. Correspondingly,

opposite characteristics - a high ratio of price to book value, a

high price-earnings ratio, and a low dividend yield - are in no way

inconsistent with a "value" purchase.

不管適不適當,「價值投資」這個名詞常常被人引用,一般而言,它代表投資人
以較低的股價/淨值比或是本益比或是高的股利收益率買進投資標的,很不幸的
是,就算是具備以上所有的特點,投資人還是很難確保所買到的投資標的確有此
價值,從而確信他的投資是依照取得企業價值的原意在進行;相對地,以較高的
股價/淨值比或是本益比或是低的股利收益率買進投資標的,也不一定就代表不
是一項有「價值」的投資。

Similarly, business growth, per se, tells us little about

value. It's true that growth often has a positive impact on value,

sometimes one of spectacular proportions. But such an effect is

far from certain. For example, investors have regularly poured

money into the domestic airline business to finance profitless (or

worse) growth. For these investors, it would have been far better

if Orville had failed to get off the ground at Kitty Hawk: The more

the industry has grown, the worse the disaster for owners.

同樣的企業成長本身而言,也很難保證就一定代表價值,當然成長通常會對價值
有正面的影響,有時是相當重要的一項前提,但這種影響卻不是絕對,例如投資
人以往將大筆的資金投入到國內的航空業來支持獲利無望(或是悲慘)的成長,對
於這些投資人來說,應該會希望萊特兄弟當初沒有駕著小鷹號成功起飛,航空產
業越發達,這些投資人就越悲慘。

Growth benefits investors only when the business in point can

invest at incremental returns that are enticing - in other words,

only when each dollar used to finance the growth creates over a

dollar of long-term market value. In the case of a low-return

business requiring incremental funds, growth hurts the investor.

成長只有當企業將資金投入到可以增加更多報酬的活動上,投資人才有可能受
惠,換句話說,只有當每投入的一塊錢可以在未來創造超過一塊錢的價值時,成
長才有意義,至於那些需要資金但卻只能創造出低報酬的公司,成長對於投資人
來說反而是有害的。

In The Theory of Investment Value, written over 50 years ago,

John Burr Williams set forth the equation for value, which we

condense here: The value of any stock, bond or business today is

determined by the cash inflows and outflows - discounted at an

appropriate interest rate - that can be expected to occur during

the remaining life of the asset. Note that the formula is the same

for stocks as for bonds. Even so, there is an important, and

difficult to deal with, difference between the two: A bond has a

coupon and maturity date that define future cash flows; but in the

case of equities, the investment analyst must himself estimate the

future "coupons." Furthermore, the quality of management affects

the bond coupon only rarely - chiefly when management is so inept

or dishonest that payment of interest is suspended. In contrast,

the ability of management can dramatically affect the equity

"coupons."

在John Burr Williams 50年前所寫的投資價值理論當中,老早便已提出計算價
值的公式,。我把它濃縮列示如下:今天任何股票、債券或是企業的價值,都將
取決於其未來年度剩餘年限的現金流入與流出,以一個適當的利率加以折現後所
得的期望值,特別注意這個公式對於股票與債券皆一體適用,不過這裡有一點很
重要但卻很難克服差異的差異,那就是債券有債票與到期日可以清楚的定義未來
的現金流入,但是就股票而言,投資者必須自己去分析未來可能得到的票息,更
重要的是管理階層的品質對於債券的影響相當有限,頂多因為公司無能或是誠信
明顯不足而延遲債息的發放,但是對於股票投資者來說,管理階層的能力將大大
影響未來票息發放的能力。

The investment shown by the discounted-flows-of-cash

calculation to be the cheapest is the one that the investor should

purchase - irrespective of whether the business grows or doesn't,

displays volatility or smoothness in its earnings, or carries a

high price or low in relation to its current earnings and book

value. Moreover, though the value equation has usually shown

equities to be cheaper than bonds, that result is not inevitable:

When bonds are calculated to be the more attractive investment,

they should be bought.

根據這種現金流量折現的公式計算,投資人應該選擇的是價錢最低的那一種投
資,不論他的盈餘變化大不大、營收有沒有成長,與現在的盈餘以及帳面價值差
多少,雖然大部分的狀況下,投資股票所算出來的價值會比債券要來多划算,但
是這卻不是絕對,要是當債券所算出來的價值高於股票,則投資人應該買的就是
債券。

Leaving the question of price aside, the best business to own

is one that over an extended period can employ large amounts of

incremental capital at very high rates of return. The worst

business to own is one that must, or will, do the opposite - that

is, consistently employ ever-greater amounts of capital at very low

rates of return. Unfortunately, the first type of business is very

hard to find: Most high-return businesses need relatively little

capital. Shareholders of such a business usually will benefit if

it pays out most of its earnings in dividends or makes significant

stock repurchases.

今天先不管價格多少,最值得擁有的企業是那種在一段長的期間可以將大筆的資
金運用在相當高報酬的投資上,最不值得擁有的企業是那種跟前面那個例子完全
相反的,在一段長的期間將大筆的資金運用在相當低報酬的投資之上,不幸的
是,第一類的企業可遇不可求,大部分擁有高報酬的企業都不需要太多的資金,
這類企業的股東通常會因為公司發放大量的股利或是買回自家公司的股份而大
大地受惠。

Though the mathematical calculations required to evaluate

equities are not difficult, an analyst - even one who is

experienced and intelligent - can easily go wrong in estimating

future "coupons." At Berkshire, we attempt to deal with this

problem in two ways. First, we try to stick to businesses we

believe we understand. That means they must be relatively simple

and stable in character. If a business is complex or subject to

constant change, we're not smart enough to predict future cash

flows. Incidentally, that shortcoming doesn't bother us. What

counts for most people in investing is not how much they know, but

rather how realistically they define what they don't know. An

investor needs to do very few things right as long as he or she

avoids big mistakes.

雖然評估股權投資的數學計算式並不難,但是即使是一個經驗老到、聰明過人的
分析師,在估計未來年度票息時也很容易發生錯誤,在Berkshire我們試圖以兩
種方法來解決這個問題,首先我們試著堅守在我們自認為了解的產業之上,這表
示他們本身通常相當簡單且穩定,如果企業很複雜而產業環境也一直在變,我們
實在是沒有足夠的聰明才智去預測其未來的現金流量,碰巧的是,這個缺點一點
也不會讓我們感到困擾,就投資而言,人們應該注意的,不是他到底知道多少,
而是應該注意自己到底有多少是不知道的,投資人不需要花太多時間去做對的
事,只要他能夠盡量避免去犯重大的錯誤。

Second, and equally important, we insist on a margin of safety

in our purchase price. If we calculate the value of a common stock

to be only slightly higher than its price, we're not interested in

buying. We believe this margin-of-safety principle, so strongly

emphasized by Ben Graham, to be the cornerstone of investment

success.

第二點一樣很重要,那就是我們在買股票時,必須要堅持安全邊際,若是我們所
計算出來的價值只比其價格高一點,我們不會考慮買進,我們相信恩師葛拉罕十
分強調的安全邊際原則,是投資成功最關鍵的因素。

Fixed-Income Securities

固定收益證券

Below we list our largest holdings of fixed-income securities:

下表是我們固定收益證券主要持有的部位:

(000s omitted)

------------------------------------

Cost of Preferreds and

Issuer Amortized Value of Bonds Market

------ ------------------------ ----------

ACF Industries Debentures ...... $133,065(1) $163,327

American Express "Percs" ....... 300,000 309,000(1)(2)

Champion International Conv. Pfd. 300,000(1) 309,000(2)

First Empire State Conv. Pfd. .. 40,000 68,000(1)(2)

Salomon Conv. Pfd. ............. 700,000(1) 756,000(2)

USAir Conv. Pfd. ............... 358,000(1) 268,500(2)

Washington Public Power Systems Bonds 58,768(1) 81,002

(1) Carrying value in our financial statements
(1)是指財務報表上的帳面價值


(2) Fair value as determined by Charlie and me

(2)公平價值是由查理跟我來判斷

During 1992 we added to our holdings of ACF debentures, had

some of our WPPSS bonds called, and sold our RJR Nabisco position.

1992年我們增加了ACF債券的部位,另外華盛頓公用電力系統債券有部份被
贖回,另外RJR Nabisco的部位則已出清。

Over the years, we've done well with fixed-income investments,

having realized from them both large capital gains (including $80

million in 1992) and exceptional current income. Chrysler

Financial, Texaco, Time-Warner, WPPSS and RJR Nabisco were

particularly good investments for us. Meanwhile, our fixed-income

losses have been negligible: We've had thrills but so far no

spills.

過去幾年來,我們在固定收益證券的表現還不錯,靠著他們不但實現了相當大量
的資本利得(包含1992年的8,000萬)與利息收益,克萊斯勒、Texaco、時代
華納、WPPSS與RJR Nabisco都是相當好的投資,另一方面發生損失的部份也
相當少,雖然過程一度緊張但幸好最後並沒有搞砸。

Despite the success we experienced with our Gillette

preferred, which converted to common stock in 1991, and despite our

reasonable results with other negotiated purchases of preferreds,

our overall performance with such purchases has been inferior to

that we have achieved with purchases made in the secondary market.

This is actually the result we expected. It corresponds with our

belief that an intelligent investor in common stocks will do better

in the secondary market than he will do buying new issues.

雖然我們在吉列特別股的投資還算是成功(在1991年轉換為普通股),但整體而
言,這類協議談判所取得的特別股投資的績效還是略遜於從次級市場所取得的投
資,不過這種結果我們早已預期到,這與我們相信一個智慧型的投資人在次級流
通市場的表現會比初級發行市場來的好的道理是相同的。

The reason has to do with the way prices are set in each

instance. The secondary market, which is periodically ruled by

mass folly, is constantly setting a "clearing" price. No matter

how foolish that price may be, it's what counts for the holder of a

stock or bond who needs or wishes to sell, of whom there are always

going to be a few at any moment. In many instances, shares worth x

in business value have sold in the market for 1/2x or less.

原因與當初設定價格的方式有關,次級市場時常受惠於群眾愚蠢的心理所影響,
總是會有一個重新設定的全新價格,不管價格是多麼的離譜,那都是代表該股票
或債券的持有人想要出脫的價格,不論何時總會有一小部份的股東會有這種念
頭,在很多的情況下,一家具有X價值的股票往往以不到一半半數,也就是1/2X
的價格求售。

The new-issue market, on the other hand, is ruled by

controlling stockholders and corporations, who can usually select

the timing of offerings or, if the market looks unfavorable, can

avoid an offering altogether. Understandably, these sellers are

not going to offer any bargains, either by way of a public offering

or in a negotiated transaction: It's rare you'll find x for

1/2x here. Indeed, in the case of common-stock offerings, selling

shareholders are often motivated to unload only when they feel the

market is overpaying. (These sellers, of course, would state that

proposition somewhat differently, averring instead that they simply

resist selling when the market is underpaying for their goods.)

至於初級發行市場則受到發行公司與大股東所掌控,通常會選擇對他們最有利的
時點發行,當市場狀況不理想的時候,甚至會避開發行,可以理解的是,賣方不
太可能讓你有任何便宜可佔,不管是透過公開發行或私下協議的方式都一樣,你
不可能以一半的價格買到你想要的東西,尤其是在發行普通股時,原有股東惟有
在他們認為市場價格明顯過高時,才有可能大幅出脫其持股,(這些賣方當然會
換另外一種說詞,強調如果市場過於低估其股份時,他們是不可能賤價出售的)。

To date, our negotiated purchases, as a group, have fulfilled

but not exceeded the expectation we set forth in our 1989 Annual

Report: "Our preferred stock investments should produce returns

modestly above those achieved by most fixed-income portfolios." In

truth, we would have done better if we could have put the money

that went into our negotiated transactions into open-market

purchases of the type we like. But both our size and the general

strength of the markets made that difficult to do.

到目前為止,我們透過協議所作的投資,算是勉強達到我們在1989年年報所作
的預期,這些特別股投資應該可以產生比一般固定收益債券還好一點的報酬,不
可諱言若是我們當初不是透過協議而是直接在公開市場上買進類似的投資的
話,我們的表現可能會更好,只是考量到我們的規模太大與市場的狀況,這樣的
做法在執行上有其困難度。

There was one other memorable line in the 1989 Annual Report:

"We have no ability to forecast the economics of the investment

banking business, the airline industry, or the paper industry." At

the time some of you may have doubted this confession of ignorance.

Now, however, even my mother acknowledges its truth.

1989年報還有一段相當令人懷念的話,"我們沒有能力去預測投資銀行業、航
空業或是造紙業的前景",在當時或許有很多人懷疑我們這樣公開的承認有點無
知,不過到如今,連我的母親都不得不承認這項事實。

In the case of our commitment to USAir, industry economics had

soured before the ink dried on our check. As I've previously

mentioned, it was I who happily jumped into the pool; no one pushed

me. Yes, I knew the industry would be ruggedly competitive, but I

did not expect its leaders to engage in prolonged kamikaze

behavior. In the last two years, airline companies have acted as

if they are members of a competitive tontine, which they wish to

bring to its conclusion as rapidly as possible.

就像我們在美國航空的投資,在我們簽發支票的墨水還沒乾之前,產業情況就已
經開始惡化,如同先前所提到的,沒有人強迫我,是我自己心干情願跳下水的,
沒錯,我的確預期到這個產業競爭會變得相當激烈,但我沒想到這個產業的領導
者竟會從事長期自殺性的行為,過去兩年以來,航空業者的行為就好像覺得自己
是公務人員搶著辦退休好領退休金一樣,為求盡快達到目的而不擇手段。

Amidst this turmoil, Seth Schofield, CEO of USAir, has done a

truly extraordinary job in repositioning the airline. He was

particularly courageous in accepting a strike last fall that, had

it been lengthy, might well have bankrupted the company.

Capitulating to the striking union, however, would have been

equally disastrous: The company was burdened with wage costs and

work rules that were considerably more onerous than those

encumbering its major competitors, and it was clear that over time

any high-cost producer faced extinction. Happily for everyone, the

strike was settled in a few days.

在一遍混亂之中,美國航空的總裁-Seth Schofield在重新調整該公司體質之
上,花了不少的工夫,尤其是去年秋天他勇於承擔一次罷工事件,若是處置不當,
再拖延下去很可能讓公司面臨倒閉的命運,而若是屈服於工會抗爭的壓力,則其
下場一樣悲慘,該公司所面對沈重的薪資成本與工會要求比起其他競爭同業來
說,又更繁雜許多,而事實很明顯任何成本過高的業者到最後終將面臨淘汰的命
運,還好罷工事件在發生幾天後圓滿地落幕。

A competitively-beset business such as USAir requires far more

managerial skill than does a business with fine economics.

Unfortunately, though, the near-term reward for skill in the

airline business is simply survival, not prosperity.

對那些為競爭所苦的行業,如美國航空來說,比起一般產業更需要好的管理技
巧,不過很不幸的是,這種技巧所帶來的好處,只不過是讓公司得以繼續存活下
去,並不能讓公司如何地飛黃騰達。

In early 1993, USAir took a major step toward assuring

survival - and eventual prosperity - by accepting British Airways'

offer to make a substantial, but minority, investment in the

company. In connection with this transaction, Charlie and I were

asked to join the USAir board. We agreed, though this makes five

outside board memberships for me, which is more than I believe

advisable for an active CEO. Even so, if an investee's management

and directors believe it particularly important that Charlie and I

join its board, we are glad to do so. We expect the managers of

our investees to work hard to increase the value of the businesses

they run, and there are times when large owners should do their bit

as well.

在1993年初,美國航空為確保存活以及長遠發展,做了一項重大的決定-接受
英國航空所提出的鉅額的投資,透過這次的交易,查理跟我本人被邀請擔任該公
司的董事,我們同意接受,雖然此舉將使得我要同時擔任五家公司的外部董事,
遠超過我個人認為對公司能做的貢獻,不過即便如此,只要我們的被投資公司以
及其董事認為查理跟我加入其董事會,會對其公司有所幫助,我們還是會欣然接
受,在我們期望旗下事業經理人拼死拼活為我們打拼以增加公司價值之時,身為
公司大股東的我們有時也應該多儘一點自己的本分。

Two New Accounting Rules and a Plea for One More

兩個會計新原則,還有一個亟待增加的原則

A new accounting rule having to do with deferred taxes becomes

effective in 1993. It undoes a dichotomy in our books that I have

described in previous annual reports and that relates to the

accrued taxes carried against the unrealized appreciation in our

investment portfolio. At yearend 1992, that appreciation amounted

to $7.6 billion. Against $6.4 billion of that, we carried taxes at

the current 34% rate. Against the remainder of $1.2 billion, we

carried an accrual of 28%, the tax rate in effect when that portion

of the appreciation occurred. The new accounting rule says we must

henceforth accrue all deferred tax at the current rate, which to us

seems sensible.

一項與遞延所得稅有關的新頒會計原則在1993年開始生效,它取消了先前曾經
在年報中提過會計帳上的二分法,而這又與我們帳上未實現投資利益所需提列的
應付所得稅有關,以1992年年底計,我們這部份未實現高達76億美元,其中
64億我們以34%的稅率估列應付所得稅,剩下的12億美元則以發生時點的28%
估列,至於新的會計原則則要求我們以現行稅率一體估計所得稅,而我們也認為
這樣的做法較合理。

The new marching orders mean that in the first quarter of 1993

we will apply a 34% rate to all of our unrealized appreciation,

thereby increasing the tax liability and reducing net worth by $70

million. The new rule also will cause us to make other minor

changes in our calculation of deferred taxes.

新頒的命令代表我們從1993年的第一季開始我們股票未實現利益就必須以
34%的稅率來估算,因而增加我們所得稅的負債,並使淨值減少7,000萬美元,
新規定也使我們在計算遞延所得稅時,在幾個地方做了點修正。

Future changes in tax rates will be reflected immediately in

the liability for deferred taxes and, correspondingly, in net

worth. The impact could well be substantial. Nevertheless, what

is important in the end is the tax rate at the time we sell

securities, when unrealized appreciation becomes realized.

往後若稅率有做任何變動時,我們的遞延所得稅負債以及淨值也必須馬上跟著做
調整,這個影響數可能會很大,不過不論如何,真正重要的是我們在最後出售證
券而實現增值利益時,所適用的稅率到底是多少。

Another major accounting change, whose implementation is

required by January 1, 1993, mandates that businesses recognize

their present-value liability for post-retirement health benefits.

Though GAAP has previously required recognition of pensions to be

paid in the future, it has illogically ignored the costs that

companies will then have to bear for health benefits. The new rule

will force many companies to record a huge balance-sheet liability

(and a consequent reduction in net worth) and also henceforth to

recognize substantially higher costs when they are calculating

annual profits.

另一項會計原則的重大變動在1993年1月1日開始實行,要求所有企業必須
認列公司員工應計的退休金負債,雖然先前一般公認會計原則也曾要求企業必須
先認列未來必須支付的退休金,但卻不合理地忽略企業未來必須承受的健康保險
負擔,新規定將會使得許多公司在資產負債表上認列一大筆負債(同時也會使得
淨值大幅減少),另一方面往後年度在結算成果時,也會因為須認列這方面的成
本而使得獲利縮水。

In making acquisitions, Charlie and I have tended to avoid

companies with significant post-retirement liabilities. As a

result, Berkshire's present liability and future costs for post-

retirement health benefits - though we now have 22,000 employees -

are inconsequential. I need to admit, though, that we had a near

miss: In 1982 I made a huge mistake in committing to buy a company

burdened by extraordinary post-retirement health obligations.

Luckily, though, the transaction fell through for reasons beyond

our control. Reporting on this episode in the 1982 annual report,

I said: "If we were to introduce graphics to this report,

illustrating favorable business developments of the past year, two

blank pages depicting this blown deal would be the appropriate

centerfold." Even so, I wasn't expecting things to get as bad as

they did. Another buyer appeared, the business soon went bankrupt

and was shut down, and thousands of workers found those bountiful

health-care promises to be largely worthless.

另一方面查理跟我在進行購併時,也會盡量避開那些潛藏高額退休金負債的公
司,也因此雖然Berkshire目前擁有超過22,000名的員工,但在退休金這方面
的問題並不嚴重,不過我還是必須承認,在1982年時我曾經差點犯下大錯買下
一家背有沈重退休金負債的公司,所幸後來交易因為某項我們無法控制的因素而
告吹,而在1982年年報中報告這段插曲時,我曾說:「如果在年報中我們要報
告過去年度有何令人覺得可喜的進展,那麼兩大頁空白的跨頁插圖,可能最足以
代表當年度告吹的交易」不過即便如此,我也沒有預期到後來情況會如此惡化,
當時另外一家買主出現買下這家公司,結果過了沒多久公司便走上倒閉關門的命
運,公司數千名的員工也發現大筆的退休金健保承諾全部化為烏有。

In recent decades, no CEO would have dreamed of going to his

board with the proposition that his company become an insurer of

uncapped post-retirement health benefits that other corporations

chose to install. A CEO didn't need to be a medical expert to know

that lengthening life expectancies and soaring health costs would

guarantee an insurer a financial battering from such a business.

Nevertheless, many a manager blithely committed his own company to

a self-insurance plan embodying precisely the same promises - and

thereby doomed his shareholders to suffer the inevitable

consequences. In health-care, open-ended promises have created

open-ended liabilities that in a few cases loom so large as to

threaten the global competitiveness of major American industries.

最近幾十年來,沒有一家公司的總裁會想到,有一天他必須向董事會提出這種沒
有上限的退休健保計畫,他不須要具有專業的醫學知識也知道越來越高的預期壽
命以及健保支出將會把一家公司給拖垮,但是即便如此,很多經理人還是閉著眼
睛讓公司透過內部自保的方式,投入這種永無止盡的大坑洞,最後導致公司股東
承擔後果血本無歸,就健保而言,沒有上限的承諾所代表的就是沒有上限的負
債,這種嚴重的後果,甚至危急了一些美國大企業的全球競爭力。

I believe part of the reason for this reckless behavior was

that accounting rules did not, for so long, require the booking of

post-retirement health costs as they were incurred. Instead, the

rules allowed cash-basis accounting, which vastly understated the

liabilities that were building up. In effect, the attitude of both

managements and their accountants toward these liabilities was

"out-of-sight, out-of-mind." Ironically, some of these same

managers would be quick to criticize Congress for employing "cash-

basis" thinking in respect to Social Security promises or other

programs creating future liabilities of size.

而我相信之所以會有這種不顧後果的行為,一部份原因是由於會計原則並沒有要
求公司將這種潛藏的退休金負債呈現在會計帳上,相反地,會計原則允許業者採
取現金基礎制,此舉大大地低估了負債,而公司的經營階層與簽證會計師所採取
的態度就是眼不見為淨,而諷刺的是,這些經理人還常常批評國會對於社會保險
採用現金基礎的思惟,根本就不顧未來年度所可能產生的龐大負債。

Managers thinking about accounting issues should never forget

one of Abraham Lincoln's favorite riddles: "How many legs does a

dog have if you call his tail a leg?" The answer: "Four, because

calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg." It behooves managers

to remember that Abe's right even if an auditor is willing to

certify that the tail is a leg.

經理人在思索會計原則時,一定要謹記林肯總統本身最常講的一句俚語:「如果
一隻狗連尾巴也算在內的話,總共有幾條腿﹖ 答案還是四條腿,因為不論你是
不是把尾巴當作是一條腿,尾巴永遠還是尾巴!」,這句話提醒經理人就算會計
師願意幫你證明尾巴也算是一條腿,你也不會因此多了一條腿。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The most egregious case of let's-not-face-up-to-reality

behavior by executives and accountants has occurred in the world of

stock options. In Berkshire's 1985 annual report, I laid out my

opinions about the use and misuse of options. But even when

options are structured properly, they are accounted for in ways

that make no sense. The lack of logic is not accidental: For

decades, much of the business world has waged war against

accounting rulemakers, trying to keep the costs of stock options

from being reflected in the profits of the corporations that issue

them.

提到公司主管與會計師鴕鳥心態,最極端的例子就是發行認股權這檔子事,在
Berkshire 1985年的年報中,我曾經對於認股權的濫用表示過個人的看法,但
是即便是認股權規劃得當,在許多方面這種做法還是顯得相當沒有道理,然而缺
乏邏輯絕對不是第一次,幾十年來,企業界就不斷地向會計原則制定者進行攻
擊,意圖將發行認股權的相關成本排除在企業的損益表之外。

Typically, executives have argued that options are hard to

value and that therefore their costs should be ignored. At other

times managers have said that assigning a cost to options would

injure small start-up businesses. Sometimes they have even

solemnly declared that "out-of-the-money" options (those with an

exercise price equal to or above the current market price) have no

value when they are issued.

通常企業主管會辯稱很難衡量選擇權的價值,也因此其成本應該可以被忽略,有
時經理人也會說若認列這方面的成本,將不利於新成立公司的發展,有時他們甚
至義正詞嚴地指出處於價外(亦即行使的價格等於或是高於現在的股價)的選擇
權在發行時並沒有價值。

Oddly, the Council of Institutional Investors has chimed in

with a variation on that theme, opining that options should not be

viewed as a cost because they "aren't dollars out of a company's

coffers." I see this line of reasoning as offering exciting

possibilities to American corporations for instantly improving

their reported profits. For example, they could eliminate the cost

of insurance by paying for it with options. So if you're a CEO and

subscribe to this "no cash-no cost" theory of accounting, I'll make

you an offer you can't refuse: Give us a call at Berkshire and we

will happily sell you insurance in exchange for a bundle of long-

term options on your company's stock.

很奇怪的是機構投資人協會這時也插進來表示不同的意見,他們認為選擇權不應
當被視作為一種成本,因為從頭到尾公司根本就不需要從口袋裡掏出一毛錢,我
認為這樣的理由等於是給了所有美國企業大幅改善帳面獲利的難得良機,例如他
們可以以選擇權的方式來支付公司的保險費,所以如果由你來擔任CEO,同時
充分地運用這種不付現金就沒又支出的會計理論,我絕對可以提出一個你無法拒
絕的條件,打個電話到Berkshire給我們,我們很願意以取得貴公司長期認股權
的代價,接受你們的保單。

Shareholders should understand that companies incur costs when

they deliver something of value to another party and not just when

cash changes hands. Moreover, it is both silly and cynical to say

that an important item of cost should not be recognized simply

because it can't be quantified with pinpoint precision. Right now,

accounting abounds with imprecision. After all, no manager or

auditor knows how long a 747 is going to last, which means he also

does not know what the yearly depreciation charge for the plane

should be. No one knows with any certainty what a bank's annual

loan loss charge ought to be. And the estimates of losses that

property-casualty companies make are notoriously inaccurate.

公司股東們必須了解當公司將某些有價值的東西交給別人,實際上就已經發生成
本了,而不是等到現金付出去時才算,還有一點,如果有人說因為所付出的實在
是難以準確衡量,因此就可以不須認列成本,這實在是既愚蠢又讓人啼笑皆非的
說法。會計這檔子事本來就充滿的不確定性,有哪一個經理人或是會計師可以正
確的預估一架波音747客機的壽命到底有多久,那麼難道他就不能估列這架飛
機一年所需分擔的折舊費用有多少嗎? 何況像是產險業的損失估計更是有名的
不準。

Does this mean that these important items of cost should be

ignored simply because they can't be quantified with absolute

accuracy? Of course not. Rather, these costs should be estimated

by honest and experienced people and then recorded. When you get

right down to it, what other item of major but hard-to-precisely-

calculate cost - other, that is, than stock options - does the

accounting profession say should be ignored in the calculation of

earnings?

所以難道這類重大的成本項目,就可以因為一句難以估計而加以省略嗎? 當然不
行,相反地這些成本應該由誠實有經驗的人加以估算並認列在帳上,而說到這
裡,沒有其他任何成本,會像員工認股權成本金額既高影響更重大的了,難道會
計師在計算年度損益時真的可以將這個項目刻意省略不計嗎?

Moreover, options are just not that difficult to value.

Admittedly, the difficulty is increased by the fact that the

options given to executives are restricted in various ways. These

restrictions affect value. They do not, however, eliminate it. In

fact, since I'm in the mood for offers, I'll make one to any

executive who is granted a restricted option, even though it may be

out of the money: On the day of issue, Berkshire will pay him or

her a substantial sum for the right to any future gain he or she

realizes on the option. So if you find a CEO who says his newly-

issued options have little or no value, tell him to try us out. In

truth, we have far more confidence in our ability to determine an

appropriate price to pay for an option than we have in our ability

to determine the proper depreciation rate for our corporate jet.

更何況,選擇權也不是那麼地難以估計,雖然授與經理人的選擇權,因為加了許
多限制條款,而使得計算的難度增加,所代表的價值也略微減少,但卻從不表示
他們就完全沒有價值,事實上,如果我們旗下的經理人願意,我也可以提供給他
們有限制的認股權作為報酬獎勵,而在發行的那天,雖然行使的價格遠高於現在
的市價,但Berkshire還是必須因此付出一大筆金額,好讓他們能在未來年度行
使這項認股權,所以如果若你遇到任何一位總裁跟你說他發行的認股權一點價值
都沒有的話,告訴他來找我們試一試,事實上比起決定企業專機每年的折舊費
用,對於認股權的評價我們覺得有信心多了。

It seems to me that the realities of stock options can be

summarized quite simply: If options aren't a form of compensation,

what are they? If compensation isn't an expense, what is it? And,

if expenses shouldn't go into the calculation of earnings, where in

the world should they go?

總而言之,個人對於認股權的看法可以歸納為以下簡單幾點。如果認股權不算是
對經理人的一種報酬的話,那麼它又算是什麼? 而如果一家公司可以不必把報酬
列為是一種費用的話,那麼它又算是什麼? 又如果一家公司可以不必把費用列入
盈餘計算的話,那麼它到底又跑到哪裡去了呢?

The accounting profession and the SEC should be shamed by the

fact that they have long let themselves be muscled by business

executives on the option-accounting issue. Additionally, the

lobbying that executives engage in may have an unfortunate by-

product: In my opinion, the business elite risks losing its

credibility on issues of significance to society - about which it

may have much of value to say - when it advocates the incredible on

issues of significance to itself.

會計學者以及證管會應該對於選擇權會計長期受到企業牽制而感到羞愧,此外企
業長期不遺餘力的遊說也會產生相當不良的副作用,個人認為,企業人士竟會為
了一己之私利而干冒為社會儘一份心力、失去重大議題公信力的風險。

Miscellaneous

其他事項

We have two pieces of regrettable news this year. First,

Gladys Kaiser, my friend and assistant for twenty-five years, will

give up the latter post after the 1993 annual meeting, though she

will certainly remain my friend forever. Gladys and I have been a

team, and though I knew her retirement was coming, it is still a

jolt.

今年我們有兩件遺憾的消息,首先Gladys Kaiser我個人的朋友同時也是我25
年的助理決定在1993年股東會後,辭去後面那項職務,雖然她永遠都是我的好
朋友,長久以來Gladys與我已培養出相當好的團隊默契,雖然我老早就知道她
準備退休的計畫,但一時之間我還是不太能夠接受這項事實。

Secondly, in September, Verne McKenzie relinquished his role

as Chief Financial Officer after a 30-year association with me that

began when he was the outside auditor of Buffett Partnership, Ltd.

Verne is staying on as a consultant, and though that job

description is often a euphemism, in this case it has real meaning.

I expect Verne to continue to fill an important role at Berkshire

but to do so at his own pace. Marc Hamburg, Verne's understudy for

five years, has succeeded him as Chief Financial Officer.

第二去年九月Verne McKenzie辭去在本公司長達30年的財務長職位,早期
Verne曾擔任巴菲特合夥企業的簽證會計師,不過他將以顧問的名義繼續留在
Berkshire,雖然在大部分的情形下,這種顧問名義只是形式性的,但Verne卻
是真的會在Berkshire扮演重要的角色,只是會稍做調整以符合他本身的步調,
而跟在Verne已有五年之久的Marc Hamburg,將會接替Verne擔任Berkshire
財務長的位置。

I recall that one woman, upon being asked to describe the

perfect spouse, specified an archeologist: "The older I get," she

said, "the more he'll be interested in me." She would have liked

my tastes: I treasure those extraordinary Berkshire managers who

are working well past normal retirement age and who concomitantly

are achieving results much superior to those of their younger

competitors. While I understand and empathize with the decision of

Verne and Gladys to retire when the calendar says it's time, theirs

is not a step I wish to encourage. It's hard to teach a new dog

old tricks.

我一直記得有個女人曾經被問到什麼樣的男人是最理想的終身伴侶,她回答說:
「考古學家!因為我越老,他就越對我有興趣。」我想她也應該會喜歡我的品味,
對於Berkshire這群老早就超過他們退休年齡的資深經理人,我特別珍惜,因為
相較之下他們遠比那些年輕許多的同儕表現要出色的多,不過我還是相當尊重
Verne與Gladys決定退休的想法,時間到了就必須休息,當然我也絕對不鼓勵
其他人這樣做,因為實在很難教新狗老把戲。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I am a moderate in my views about retirement compared to Rose

Blumkin, better known as Mrs. B. At 99, she continues to work

seven days a week. And about her, I have some particularly good

news.

對於退休年齡的看法比起B太太我可算是溫和的多,現年99歲的她還是一樣每
週工作七天,提到她我有一項好消息要報告。

You will remember that after her family sold 80% of Nebraska

Furniture Mart (NFM) to Berkshire in 1983, Mrs. B continued to be

Chairman and run the carpet operation. In 1989, however, she left

because of a managerial disagreement and opened up her own

operation next door in a large building that she had owned for

several years. In her new business, she ran the carpet section but

leased out other home-furnishings departments.

大家應該記得當B太太家族在1983年買NFM 80%的股權賣給Berkshire時,
B太太還是繼續留下來擔任負責人並經營地毯生意,然而在1989年,她因為管
理意見與其他家族成員不合而決定在隔壁自己再開一家店,在那裡她親自經營地
毯生意,至於傢具的部份則租給其他傢具百貨業者經營。

At the end of last year, Mrs. B decided to sell her building

and land to NFM. She'll continue, however, to run her carpet

business at its current location (no sense slowing down just when

you're hitting full stride). NFM will set up shop alongside her,

in that same building, thereby making a major addition to its

furniture business.

不過去年底,B太太決定把這家店連同土地全部賣回給NFM,但她還是會繼續
在原來的地方經營她的地毯生意(在這樣的情況下,她還是一點都沒有停下來的
意思),NFM將會在她店的旁邊增設傢具部門以擴大營運。

I am delighted that Mrs. B has again linked up with us. Her

business story has no parallel and I have always been a fan of

hers, whether she was a partner or a competitor. But believe me,

partner is better.

我很高興B太太可以再度與我們合夥做生意,她成功的故事實在是前所未有,而
我本人也是她忠實的支持者,不管她是我們的夥伴或是競爭對手,當然最好是能
成為夥伴。

This time around, Mrs. B graciously offered to sign a non-

compete agreement - and I, having been incautious on this point

when she was 89, snapped at the deal. Mrs. B belongs in the

Guinness Book of World Records on many counts. Signing a non-

compete at 99 merely adds one more.

有鑑於上次她89歲時,我在簽約時疏忽掉,這一次經過B太太的首肯,同意簽
下競業禁止的條款了,B太太有好幾項記錄可以名列金氏世界記錄之中,在99
歲簽下競業禁止條款,只不過是再增添一項罷了。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Ralph Schey, CEO of Scott Fetzer and a manager who I hope is

with us at 99 also, hit a grand slam last year when that company

earned a record $110 million pre-tax. What's even more impressive

is that Scott Fetzer achieved such earnings while employing only

$116 million of equity capital. This extraordinary result is not

the product of leverage: The company uses only minor amounts of

borrowed money (except for the debt it employs - appropriately - in

its finance subsidiary).

Ralph Schey-史考特飛茲的總裁,也是另一位我希望他能夠一直工作到99歲
的經理人,在去年擊出了滿貫全壘打,總計去年創造出1.1億美元的稅前獲利,
更令人印象深刻的是史考特飛茲總計也不過用了1.16億美元的資本,就締造出
這樣驚人的盈餘數字,而且這樣的結果並沒有靠任何的財務槓桿,整個公司只有
少量的借款(扣除旗下的財務金融子公司所運用的借款不算)。

Scott Fetzer now operates with a significantly smaller

investment in both inventory and fixed assets than it had when we

bought it in 1986. This means the company has been able to

distribute more than 100% of its earnings to Berkshire during our

seven years of ownership while concurrently increasing its earnings

stream - which was excellent to begin with - by a lot. Ralph just

keeps on outdoing himself, and Berkshire shareholders owe him a

great deal.

史考特飛茲現在在存貨與固定資產上的投資比起當初我們在1986年買下該公
司時還要少,這代表著公司不但可以將我們擁有該公司七年的期間,所賺到的盈
餘全部分配給我們,同時還能繼續保持獲利能力大幅度的成長,Ralph不斷地超
越自我,而Berkshire欠他的也越來越多。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Those readers with particularly sharp eyes will note that our

corporate expense fell from $5.6 million in 1991 to $4.2 million in

1992. Perhaps you will think that I have sold our corporate jet,

The Indefensible. Forget it! I find the thought of retiring the

plane even more revolting than the thought of retiring the

Chairman. (In this matter I've demonstrated uncharacteristic

flexibility: For years I argued passionately against corporate

jets. But finally my dogma was run over by my karma.)

眼尖的讀者應該會發現,1992年420萬美元的營業費用,比起1991年的560
萬還要少的多,或是各位會以為是我把企業專機-無可辯解號給賣掉了,別做夢!
除非我退休,否則別想打這架飛機的主意,(對於這點我個人展現了前所未有的
彈性,早年對於企業專機我曾大力反對,不過到最後我的理念還是屈服在個人的
因果報應之下)。

Our reduction in corporate overhead actually came about

because those expenses were especially high in 1991, when we

incurred a one-time environmental charge relating to alleged pre-

1970 actions of our textile operation. Now that things are back to

normal, our after-tax overhead costs are under 1% of our reported

operating earnings and less than 1/2 of 1% of our look-through

earnings. We have no legal, personnel, public relations, investor

relations, or strategic planning departments. In turn this means

we don't need support personnel such as guards, drivers,

messengers, etc. Finally, except for Verne, we employ no

consultants. Professor Parkinson would like our operation - though

Charlie, I must say, still finds it outrageously fat.

其實公司營業費用的減少主要是因為1991年的費用特別高的緣故,當時因為一
次性地提列早期1970年代紡織事業與環境相關的費用所致,而現在一切回復正
常,所以我們稅後的費用佔帳列稅後盈餘的比率不到1%,佔年度透視盈餘的比
率更低於0.5%,在Berkshire我們沒有法律、人事、公關或是營運企劃部門,
這同時也代表我們不需要警衛、司機或是跑腿的人,最後除了Vernre以外,我
們也沒有任何的顧問,Parkinson教授一定會喜歡我們的營運模式,雖然我必須
說查理還是覺得我們的組織過於龐雜。

At some companies, corporate expense runs 10% or more of

operating earnings. The tithing that operations thus makes to

headquarters not only hurts earnings, but more importantly slashes

capital values. If the business that spends 10% on headquarters'

costs achieves earnings at its operating levels identical to those

achieved by the business that incurs costs of only 1%, shareholders

of the first enterprise suffer a 9% loss in the value of their

holdings simply because of corporate overhead. Charlie and I have

observed no correlation between high corporate costs and good

corporate performance. In fact, we see the simpler, low-cost

operation as more likely to operate effectively than its

bureaucratic brethren. We're admirers of the Wal-Mart, Nucor,

Dover, GEICO, Golden West Financial and Price Co. models.

在某些公司,營業費用可能佔營業利益10%以上,這種十分法不但對於盈餘有
相當的影響,同時對企業價值也有很大的傷害,比起一家總部費用佔其盈餘的
1%的公司來說,投資人可能因為企業總部額外的費用,立即就要遭受9%以上的
損失,查理跟我這麼多年觀察下來的結果,企業總部的高成本與公司的績效改善
之間可以說是完全沒有關係,事實上我們認為組織越簡單、成本越低的公司運作
起來會比那些擁有龐大官僚組織的公司更有效率的多,就這點而言,我們相當佩
服Wal-Mart、Nucor、Dover、GEICO與Golden West等公司。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Late last year Berkshire's stock price crossed $10,000.

Several shareholders have mentioned to me that the high price

causes them problems: They like to give shares away each year and

find themselves impeded by the tax rule that draws a distinction

between annual gifts of $10,000 or under to a single individual and

those above $10,000. That is, those gifts no greater than $10,000

are completely tax-free; those above $10,000 require the donor to

use up a portion of his or her lifetime exemption from gift and

estate taxes, or, if that exemption has been exhausted, to pay gift

taxes.

去年底Berkshire的股價正式超越10,000美元大關,有許多股東反應高股價讓
他們產生相當的困擾,因為他們每年必須分出部份股份,卻發現Berkshire的股
份價值超過10,000美元年度贈與稅上限的門檻,因為超過上限代表捐贈人必須
使得個人終身捐贈的上限額度,而且若是再超過的話,就必須要繳贈與稅。


I can suggest three ways to address this problem. The first

would be useful to a married shareholder, who can give up to

$20,000 annually to a single recipient, as long as the donor files

a gift tax return containing his or her spouse's written consent to

gifts made during the year.

對於這個問題,我個人提出三種解決的方案,第一對於已婚的股東,可以與配偶
共同利用20,000美元的額度,只要在申報年度贈與稅時,附上配偶的同意書即
可。

Secondly, a shareholder, married or not, can make a bargain

sale. Imagine, for example, that Berkshire is selling for $12,000

and that one wishes to make only a $10,000 gift. In that case,

sell the stock to the giftee for $2,000. (Caution: You will be

taxed on the amount, if any, by which the sales price to your

giftee exceeds your tax basis.)

第二不論結婚與否,股東可以考慮以較低的價格進行轉讓,例如假設Berkshire
的股價為12,000美元,則股東可以考慮用2,000元的價格進行移轉,則其間
10,000美元的差價則視同贈與,(但是大家還是必須注意,若是價差超過你本身
累積的免稅額度時,還是要被課贈與稅)。

Finally, you can establish a partnership with people to whom

you are making gifts, fund it with Berkshire shares, and simply

give percentage interests in the partnership away each year. These

interests can be for any value that you select. If the value is

$10,000 or less, the gift will be tax-free.

最後,你可考慮與你要贈與的對象成立合夥關係,以Berkshire的股份參與合
夥,然後每年再將部份權益慢慢移轉給合夥人,金額的大小可以由你自行決定,
只要每年不超過10,000美元的上限,即可免課贈與稅。

We issue the customary warning: Consult with your own tax

advisor before taking action on any of the more esoteric methods of

gift-making.

不過照慣例我們還是要提出警告,在從事比這些例子更極端的交易之前,最好還
是跟你的稅務顧問諮詢一下比較妥當。

We hold to the view about stock splits that we set forth in

the 1983 Annual Report. Overall, we believe our owner-related

policies - including the no-split policy - have helped us assemble

a body of shareholders that is the best associated with any widely-

held American corporation. Our shareholders think and behave like

rational long-term owners and view the business much as Charlie and

I do. Consequently, our stock consistently trades in a price range

that is sensibly related to intrinsic value.

在1983年的年報中,我們曾經提到對於股票分割我們持保留的態度,畢竟我們
相信我們以股東利益為優先的政策,也包含不分割股份在內,使得我們得以組成
一群全美國企業中,最優秀的股東陣容,我們的股東不論是在想法或是做法上,
都是長期穩健的投資人,同時與查理跟我一樣看重公司,也因此Berkshire的股
價也才能一直與公司本身的實質價值保持一致。

Additionally, we believe that our shares turn over far less

actively than do the shares of any other widely-held company. The

frictional costs of trading - which act as a major "tax" on the

owners of many companies - are virtually non-existent at Berkshire.

(The market-making skills of Jim Maguire, our New York Stock

Exchange specialist, definitely help to keep these costs low.)

Obviously a split would not change this situation dramatically.

Nonetheless, there is no way that our shareholder group would be

upgraded by the new shareholders enticed by a split. Instead we

believe that modest degradation would occur.

此外,我相信Berkshire股份的週轉率比起其他公開發行的公司來說,要低的許
多,股權交易所產生的摩擦成本,或是我們稱之為持有股權主要的稅負,在
Berkshire身上幾乎是看不到,(在紐約證券交易所負責我們股份交易的營業員
-Jim Maguire藉由其搓合市場的能力使得我們的交易成本進一步下降),而很顯
然地,股份分割對於交易成本的降低貢獻著實有限,而且股份分割也不可以使我
們的股東陣容水準進一步提高,相反的我們認為因為股份分割而被引吸上門的新
股東可能會使得我們的股東水準變得更低。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

As I mentioned earlier, on December 16th we called our zero-

coupon, convertible debentures for payment on January 4, 1993.

These obligations bore interest at 5 1/2%, a low cost for funds

when they were issued in 1989, but an unattractive rate for us at

the time of call.

先前曾經提到過,在12月16日我們宣佈將於1993年1月4號將先前所發行
的零息可轉換債券贖回,這些債務在1989年發行的時候,所背負的資金成本大
約在5.5%左右,在當時算是相當低的利率,但時至今日這樣的利率水準並不吸
引人,所以我們決定將他們給贖回。

The debentures could have been redeemed at the option of the

holder in September 1994, and 5 1/2% money available for no longer

than that is not now of interest to us. Furthermore, Berkshire

shareholders are disadvantaged by having a conversion option

outstanding. At the time we issued the debentures, this

disadvantage was offset by the attractive interest rate they

carried; by late 1992, it was not.

這些債券其持有人可選擇在1994年9月以5.5%的利率要求公司贖回,此外
Berkshire有可轉換的權利流通在外,對其他股東而言,實在不是件有利的事,
當然當初債券發行時,其利率水準相對對我們有利。

In general, we continue to have an aversion to debt,

particularly the short-term kind. But we are willing to incur

modest amounts of debt when it is both properly structured and of

significant benefit to shareholders.

總的來說,我們還是盡量避免舉債,尤其是短期的借款,不過若是規劃得當且對
於股東有利的話,我們也不排斥承擔少量的債務。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

About 97% of all eligible shares participated in Berkshire's

1992 shareholder-designated contributions program. Contributions

made through the program were $7.6 million, and 2,810 charities

were recipients. I'm considering increasing these contributions in

the future at a rate greater than the increase in Berkshire's book

value, and I would be glad to hear from you as to your thinking

about this idea.

大約有97%的有效股權參與1992年的股東指定捐贈計劃,總計約760萬美
元捐出的款項分配給2,810家慈善機構,目前我正考慮是否該提高提撥捐贈的
比率使得其超越Berkshire本身淨值增加的幅度,同時我也很願意聽到各位對於
這件事情的看法。

We suggest that new shareholders read the description of our

shareholder-designated contributions program that appears on pages

48-49. To participate in future programs, you must make sure your

shares are registered in the name of the actual owner, not in the

nominee name of a broker, bank or depository. Shares not so

registered on August 31, 1993 will be ineligible for the 1993

program.

我們敦促新加入的股東,仔細閱讀年報上有關股東捐贈計畫的詳細內容,如果在
未來年度內,你想要參加這類的計畫,我們強烈建議你將股份登記在自己而不是
受託人的名下,必須在1993年8月31日之前完成登記,才有權利參與1993
年的捐贈計畫。

In addition to the shareholder-designated contributions that

Berkshire distributes, managers of our operating businesses make

contributions, including merchandise, averaging about $2.0 million

annually. These contributions support local charities, such as The

United Way, and produce roughly commensurate benefits for our

businesses.

Berkshire除了透過股東指定捐贈計畫對外捐贈之外,我們旗下事業的經理人每
年也會透過公司對外捐贈,包含商品在內每年平均金額約在150萬美元左右。
這些捐贈主要是贊助當地像是聯合勸募等慈善團體,所得的效益應該與我們所捐
出的相當。

However, neither our operating managers nor officers of the

parent company use Berkshire funds to make contributions to broad

national programs or charitable activities of special personal

interest to them, except to the extent they do so as shareholders.

If your employees, including your CEO, wish to give to their alma

maters or other institutions to which they feel a personal

attachment, we believe they should use their own money, not yours.

然而不管是旗下事業或是母公司的經理人在利用Berkshire的資金對外捐贈給
全國性組織或特別利益團體時,都是以站在股東利益立場所應該做的,相對地若
是你的員工也包含CEO在內,想要與其校友會或其他人建立個人關係的,我們
認為他們最好是用自己的錢,而不是從你的口袋裡掏錢。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

This year the Annual Meeting will be held at the Orpheum

Theater in downtown Omaha at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, April 26, 1993.

A record 1,700 people turned up for the meeting last year, but that

number still leaves plenty of room at the Orpheum.

今年的股東會預計在1993年4月26日,星期一早上9點30分在位於奧瑪哈
市中心的Orpheum中心召開,去年股東會參加人數又創新高突破1,700人,
不過會場還是剩下很多座位。

We recommend that you get your hotel reservations early at one

of these hotels: (1) The Radisson-Redick Tower, a small (88 rooms)

but nice hotel across the street from the Orpheum; (2) the much

larger Red Lion Hotel, located about a five-minute walk from the

Orpheum; or (3) the Marriott, located in West Omaha about 100 yards

from Borsheim's, which is a twenty minute drive from downtown. We

will have buses at the Marriott that will leave at 8:30 and 8:45

for the meeting and return after it ends.

我們建議大家最好先向以下旅館預訂房間(1)Radisson-Redick旅館-就位在
Orpheum中心對街擁有88個房間的一家小旅館(2)較大一點的Red Lion旅館
-離Orpheum中心約五分鐘路程,或是(3)Marriott位在奧瑪哈西區,離波仙珠
寶店約100公尺,開車到市中心約需20分鐘,屆時將會有巴士接送大家往返
股東會會場。

Charlie and I always enjoy the meeting, and we hope you can

make it. The quality of our shareholders is reflected in the

quality of the questions we get: We have never attended an annual

meeting anywhere that features such a consistently high level of

intelligent, owner-related questions.

查理跟我一向都很喜歡開股東會,我也希望大家能夠來參加,我們股東的素質可
由大家所提出的問題看得出來,我們參加過很多股東會,但從來沒有別的公司的
股東像Berkshire的股東一樣由高智慧水準與經營者榮枯與共的股東組合。

An attachment to our proxy material explains how you can

obtain the card you will need for admission to the meeting. With

the admission card, we will enclose information about parking

facilities located near the Orpheum. If you are driving, come a

little early. Nearby lots fill up quickly and you may have to walk

a few blocks.

後面附有股東會開會投票的相關資料,跟各位解釋如何拿到入場所許的識別證,
由於開會當天會場不好停車,如果你開車過來,記得早一點到,否則附近的車位
很快就會停滿,你可能就必須要停遠一點,再走路過來。

As usual, we will have buses to take you to Nebraska Furniture

Mart and Borsheim's after the meeting and to take you from there to

downtown hotels or the airport later. I hope that you will allow

plenty of time to fully explore the attractions of both stores.

Those of you arriving early can visit the Furniture Mart any day of

the week; it is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays and

from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Sundays. While there, stop at the See's

Candy Cart and find out for yourself why Charlie and I are a good

bit wider than we were back in 1972 when we bought See's.

一如往年,會後我們備有巴士帶大家到內布拉斯加傢具店與波仙珠寶店或是到飯
店與機場,我希望大家能有多一點的時間好好探索這兩家店的奧妙,當然早幾天
到的股東也可利用假日逛逛傢具店,星期六從早上10點到下午5點30分,星
期日則從中午開到下午5點30分,到那裡時記得到喜斯糖果攤逛逛,你就知道
為何我跟查理在1972年買下喜斯之後,腰圍會有如此大的變化了。

Borsheim's normally is closed on Sunday but will be open for

shareholders and their guests from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, April

25. Charlie and I will be in attendance, sporting our jeweler's

loupes, and ready to give advice about gems to anyone foolish

enough to listen. Also available will be plenty of Cherry Cokes,

See's candies, and other lesser goodies. I hope you will join us.

波仙星期天通常不開門營業,但在股東會期間特別為股東與來賓開放,4月25
日星期天從中午開到下午6點,當天查理跟我都會帶著放大鏡出席,預備提供
任何人都知道的,如何鑑定寶石的基本常識,現場還備有櫻桃可樂、喜斯糖果及
其他紀念品,我希望大家都能夠來參加。

Warren E. Buffett

March 1, 1993 Chairman of the Board

華倫.巴菲特

董事會主席

1993年3月1日
創作者介紹

市場求生手冊

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