Warren Buffett rips hedge funds for 'huge' fees, defends immigration

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns more than 90 companies, including railroad, clothing, furniture and jewelry firms. The funds are one of Berkshire's biggest investors.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate - which owns The Press of Atlantic City - released its latest results Saturday along with Buffett's annual letter to shareholders.

"Our expectation is that investment gains will continue to be substantial - though totally random as to timing - and that these will supply significant funds for business purchases", Buffett wrote in the letter.

Buffett has often said he believes most stock investors are better off with low-priced index funds than paying higher fees to managers who often underperform.

Buffett said that if the dividend rate on Bank of America common stock, now at 30 cents annually, rises above 44 cents before 2021, Berkshire would anticipate making a cashless exchange of its preferred shares into common.

Berkshire said it earned $6.29 billion, or $2.55 per Class B share. The Company conducts insurance businesses on both a primary basis and a reinsurance basis, a freight rail transportation business and a group of utility and energy generation and distribution businesses.

The reinsurance business is run by Ajit Jain, widely considered a potential successor for Buffett, 86, as Berkshire's chief executive. Net earnings attributable to Berkshire shareholders totaled $24.07 billion, versus $24.08 billion in 2015. If there were ever to be another Ajit and you could swap me for him, don't hesitate. Berkshire said those operating earnings totaled $1.78 per Class B share.

Berkshire's airline investments suggest that Buffett has overcome his two-decade aversion to the sector after an unhappy - though, he has said, profitable - investment in US Air Group.

"One word sums up our country's achievements: miraculous", Buffett said.

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