Business Strategy and Outlook| Greggory Warren, CFA |
We continue to believe that Berkshire, owing to its diversification and its lower overall risk profile, offers one of the better risk-adjusted return profiles in the financial-services sector (and remains a generally solid candidate for downside protection during market selloffs). We continue to be impressed by Berkshire's ability in most years to generate high-single- to double-digit growth in book value per share, comfortably above our estimate of its cost of capital. We also believe that it will take some time before the firm finally succumbs to the impediments created by the sheer size and scale of its operations, and that the ultimate departure of Warren Buffett and Charles Munger will have less of an impact on future operating results than many investors believe. We view Berkshire's decentralized business model, broad business diversification, high cash-generation capabilities, and unmatched balance sheet strength as true differentiators for the firm.