[Fox Business] Warren Buffett pays tribute to friend, Charlie Munger as ‘architect’ of Berkshire Hathaway

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Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO Warren Buffett remembered Charlie Munger, the conglomerate’s former vice chairman, as the “architect” of the company and as a formidable partner in his first annual letter to shareholders since Munger’s death.

“Charlie was the ‘architect’ of the present Berkshire, and I acted as the ‘general contractor’ to carry out the day-by-day construction of his vision,” Buffet wrote in the letter to shareholders.

Buffet said that his relationship with his longtime business partner was “part older brother, part loving father.”

“Charlie never sought to take credit for his role as creator but instead let me take the bows and receive the accolades. In a way, his relationship with me was part older brother, part loving father,” Buffet wrote. “Even when he knew he was right, he gave me the reins, and when I blundered he never – never –reminded me of my mistake.”

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“In the physical world, great buildings are linked to their architect while those who had poured the concrete or installed the windows are soon forgotten. Berkshire has become a great company. Though I have long been in charge of the construction crew; Charlie should forever be credited with being the architect,” he added.

In the letter to shareholders, Buffet urged investors to largely ignore bottom line figures but rather focus on Berkshire’s operating earnings that exclude investments.

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“The primary difference between the mandated figures and the ones Berkshire prefers is that we exclude unrealized capital gains or losses that at times can exceed $5 billion a day,” Buffet wrote. “Ironically, our preference was pretty much the rule until 2018, when the “improvement” was mandated. Galileo’s experience, several centuries ago, should have taught us not to mess with mandates from on high. But, at Berkshire, we can be stubborn.”

Buffett also tempered expectations for Berkshire’s stock price, saying the company’s huge size left “no possibility of eye-popping performance.”

“There remain only a handful of companies in this country capable of truly moving the needle at Berkshire, and they have been endlessly picked over by us and by others,” Buffett wrote. “Some we can value; some we can’t.”

The 93-year-old billionaire also assured investors that Vice Chairman Greg Abel, his successor, was “in all respects ready to be CEO of Berkshire tomorrow.”

Buffet’s heartfelt tribute to Munger came after his business partner and friend died in November at age 99.

“Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built to its present status without Charlie’s inspiration, wisdom and participation,” Buffett said in a statement at the time of his passing.

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In addition to being Berkshire’s vice chairman, Munger was a real estate attorney, chairman and publisher of the Daily Journal Corp., a member of the Costco board, a philanthropist and an architect.

Fox News Digital’s Stepheny Price contributed to this report.

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