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Why does the 2020 Annual Report Not List the Owners Manual?


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Anyone know why? When did Buffett stop including this in the annual report? Was this the first year? 

I'll click on older versions now and try and figure out when they discontinued it.

I don't understand how that helps current future shareholders to erase those partnership guidelines unless he is leaving it out to give Todd and Tedd the freedom to create their own partnership guidelines when Buffett and Munger pass? That still doesn't answer the question why now as they could both (hopefully) live another 5 years or more.

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2018 annual report  was the first AR (at least since 1984) that did not include Owner's manual. Interestingly, it was also the first AR where Buffett discontinued the use of gain in book value as a proxy for gain in intrinsic value and explicitly stated so in the 2018 letter.


I don't know why Buffett discontinued the Owner's Manual section but here is my guess: Owner principle #9 showed an earnings retention test and it was based on the book value of Berkshire which no longer made sense in 2018 given that he specifically stated in the letter that book value became increasingly out of touch with reality. The retention test became even less meaningful once buybacks began in earnest at significant premiums to book value. 


Buffett could have chosen to modify the principle #9 though he already modified it once before. And perhaps he did not have an easy test (other than comparing Berkshire LT stock performance to S&P 500 index) for shareholders to independently verify whether earnings retention made sense. 

Edited by Munger_Disciple
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