I've now been a Berkshire shareholder for a few days over thirteen years. My first shares purchased on 2/15/2000, which I still hold, have provided a total return of 229%, or 9.6% annualized. During the same holding period SPY has provided a total return of 28%, or 1.9% annualized. Book value at 12/31/99 was $37,987 and my guess for Book value at 12/31/12 is $113,000 which is a compound rate of 8.75% so the majority of my return on this initial position is attributable to Berkshire's progress in book value (and intrinsic value) while a small amount involves a minor expansion in the P/B ratio (fwiw, most of my other positions suffer from a contraction in P/B from time of purchase till now). Over the past 13 years we have seen, among countless other events: * Collapse of the dot com boom and associated stock market crash. * Terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 * Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan * Real estate bubble and collapse * Near total collapse of the worldwide financial system * Most serious recession since the Great Depression * A second stock market crash in less than a decadeSo I'd say Berkshire's results are pretty good overall. Thanks Warren and Charlie!
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