Warren Buffett’s mistake of 2016 cost Berkshire Hathaway $11-bn loss; again out of $100-bn wealth club

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Updated: March 13, 2021 5:39 PM

Warren Buffett became the sixth member of the $100 billion club, after his total wealth crossed $100 billion during the week, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.

Warren Buffett, Berkshire HathawayThe reason why Berkshire’s class A stock is trading at such a tremendous price point is that Berkshire Hathaway's Class A shares have not gone through any stock splits in the history of the company. Image: Reuters

Warren Buffett became the sixth member of the $100 billion club, after his total wealth touched $100.4 billion during the week, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. As of today (March 13, 2021), the total net worth of the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, stands at $99.4 billion. So far this year, Buffett has added $11.7 billion to his total wealth. Last month, the ace investor revealed about his one single biggest mistake that cost his company, Berkshire Hathaway, nearly $11 billion.

Warren Buffett’s $11 billion mistake

In a letter to Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholders, Buffett said he made a mistake in buying Precision Castparts Corp, a worldwide manufacturer of complex metal components and products for critical industrial and aerospace applications, in 2016. The company had to write down nearly $11 billion, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the aviation sector. Buffett said that he was too optimistic about PCC’s normalised profit potential. “Last year, my miscalculation was laid bare by adverse developments throughout the aerospace industry, PCC’s most important source of customers,” he said.

Buffett, in his letter to the shareholders, also said that the final component in GAAP figure, that ugly $11 billion write-down, was almost entirely the quantification of a mistake he made in 2016. “That year, Berkshire purchased Precision Castparts (PCC), and I paid too much for the company,” he said. “I believe I was right in concluding that PCC would, over time, earn good returns on the net tangible assets deployed in its operations. I was wrong, however, in judging the average amount of future earnings and, consequently, wrong in my calculation of the proper price to pay for the business,” the ace investor said.

Warren Buffet ahead of Mukesh Ambani, Steve Ballmer, Larry Page, Sergey Brin

In the list of top 10 richest people in the world, Warren Buffet is ahead of India’s richest person Mukesh Ambani, Former CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer, Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway share price surged over 2 per cent this week.

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