The objective of this assignment is two-fold. First, I want you to learn something valuable about business. I then want you to tell me what you learned. As many of you know, Warren Buffett is a highly successful investor. His ability to generate outsized investment returns transcends that of his peers by a significant margin. Had you invested $10,000 in his firm Berkshire Hathaway in 1980, you would have about $850,000 today. Buffett is unique not only in his investment success, but also in his approach to communicating with shareholders. Each year he writes his infamous “Chairman’s Letter,” which he addresses to his shareholders, who show up in mass at the company’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2016, 35,000 people attended the annual meeting, filling up all the local hotels. At most large public companies, fewer than 100 people attend the annual meeting.
This assignment starts by you reading Buffett’s 2016 Chairman’s Letter from the beginning to the end. You will be glad you did—it offers a rare glimpse into the mind of a modern-day business titan.
The letter is available here:
(Note how technically savvy the company’s website is.)
Please write about any two topics in the letter that you find interesting. Then write about five accounting-related topics that Buffett speaks to in the letter. Since the letter cites more than five accounting issues, you may pick any five issues that you like the best. Your selections can be very basic or more complex—it is up to you. In your writing, explain Buffett’s motivation for discussing each accounting issue you select. Also briefly provide your opinion on whether you think his views make sense. There is no length requirement or limit for this assignment, although I think it would be fine to write one paragraph for each topic you choose to discuss (for a total of seven paragraphs).

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