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Mr Buffett is famous for NOT making very much in the way of predictions about the broad market or about Berkshire.

However, apparently he did let one "slip" some time ago.

Snips from a thread in May 2009, about a year after the prediction was made.
https://boards.fool.com/ragu-ltweb-said-at-the-2008-am-that-...

"WEB said at the 2008 AM that he thought Berkshire would likely be worth around $600 billion 12 years from then.
If WEB's estimate is right, that implies an annual compounded rate of return from now of about 13.8% at today's prices.
...
This was towards the end of the afternoon session. The question revolved around concerns about a
sufficiently motivated buyer taking control of Berkshire after WEB passed on. WEB commented that his
block would be sold over a 12 year period following his death by which time Berkshire would be worth
somewhere between $600-700 billion (I picked the lower number in my previous post which handily beats
the 8% the OP thought was the upper limit for estimated returns over the long term).
Using $700 billion increases the estimated returns to 15.5% compounded for the next 11 years..."


12 years after the spring 2008 statement would be spring 2020.
So, Mr Buffett's prediction was off by a year: it took 13 years instead of 12.
The company's market cap exceeded $600bn for the first time only this year. March 8, to be exact.
We're still in his target range, with today's figure at $627bn and peak to date at $675bn hit on May 10.

(had there been no buybacks the target would have been a bit sooner...we've spent $36bn to buy back 7.0% of the shares, which reduces the market cap.
The market cap was $564bn by January 2020, only 35.4bn short, so on a "cash adjusted basis" the forecast was better)

Another excuse, if one were looking: P/B had averaged 1.622 in the five years up to that forecast date. (it was 1.733 the day of the meeting).
Had that old 1.622 remained the norm, the $600bn market cap would have been exceeded in November 2018, well ahead of schedule.

But of course that didn't happen.
Ragupati's estimated rate of return was therefore a bit high, as we still haven't seen the $700bn number.
Rather than 15.5%/year price return mentioned, we've seen 13.6%/year ending both the day the $600bn was cracked and ending today.
13.6% is certainly nothing to sneeze at.

Jim
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