Complete-Buffett-Partnership-Letters-1957-70 by Warren Buffet

By Warren Buffet

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If you do this, you cannot run into penalties. In any event, tax liabilities for those who entered the partnership on 1/1/63 will be minimal because of the terms of our partnership agreement first allocating capital gains to those having an interest in unrealized appreciation. 47 As in past years, we will have a letter out about November 1st (to partners and those who have indicated an interest to me by that time in becoming partners) with the amendment to the partnership agreement, commitment letter for 1964, estimate of the 1963 tax situation, etc.

I think you can be quite sure that over the next ten years, there are going to be a few years when the general market is plus 20% or 25% a few when it is minus on the same order, and a majority when it is in between. I haven’t any notion as to the sequence in which these will occur, nor do I think it is of any great importance for the long-term investor. If you will take the first table on page 3 and shuffle the years around, the compounded result will stay the same. If the next four years are going to involve, say, a +40%, -30%, +10% and –6%, the order in which they fall is completely unimportant for our purposes as long as we all are around at the end of the four years.

As can be seen, Harry has converted the assets at a much more favorable basis than was implied by my valuations. This largely reflects Harry's expertise and, perhaps, to a minor degree my own conservatism in valuation. As can also be seen, Dempster earned a very satisfactory operating profit in the first half (as well as a substantial unrealized gain in securities) and there is little question that the operating business, as now conducted, has at least moderate earning power on the vastly reduced assets needed to conduct it.

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