Among Berkshire Hathaway's top holdings, Apple is valued at $28.2 billion on 166.71 million shares, which puts it just behind Wells Fargo at $29.3 billion on 482.54 million shares.
"So $14 billion, roughly, was a reduction in the amount of tax that when we sell those securities we will pay".
"I think nearly anybody can draw [on the] lessons from Warren's achievement at Berkshire".
"If Wall Street analysts or board members urge that brand of CEO to consider possible acquisitions, it's a bit like telling your ripening teenager to be sure to have a normal sex life", Buffett wrote in his annual letter to shareholders.
"Concurrently, much - indeed, perhaps most - of the p/c world would be out of business", he wrote, referring to property and casualty insurers.
Buffett, with net worth estimated at $86 billion by Forbes, said it is a "terrible mistake" for investors with long-term horizons - among them, pension funds, college and endowments and savings-minded individuals - to measure their investment "risk" by their portfolio's ratio of bonds to stocks.
Buffett told his shareholders they are in good hands going forward with Berkshire crop of insurance managers. "The managers of our various insurance companies supply the brains and Berkshire provides the capital".
Buffett said it would not be hard to "shave" off 3 or 4 percentage points, contrasting the situation to 1960, when he said healthcare costs accounted for just 5 per cent of GDP, or $170 per person.
While few details were provided, shares of several insurers and pharmacy benefits managers fell on the news because investors anxious how the venture might disrupt the industry.
Mr Buffett even managed to more than double the value of the $1m stake, that has now gone to a charity, by switching it from zero coupon bonds to Berkshire "B" shares halfway through the bet. "The question is whether we can come up with something better". For the full-year 2017 insurance investment income passed $3.9 billion for the firm, up approximately $300 million on the prior year. The $29 billion "was delivered to us in December when Congress rewrote the U.S. Tax Code".
This company offers excess-of-loss and quota-share reinsurance coverages through several units including National Indemnity Co.
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as California wildfires, were key culprits, and the $3bn pre-tax cost for the hurricanes disappointed some analysts due to their size.
Insurance and reinsurance premium float continues to build at Berkshire Hathaway and investing that float drives significant income, $1 billion in the fourth-quarter alone. Taken together, those businesses can add substantially to Berkshire's earnings. BH Primary produced pre-tax underwriting gains of $719 million in 2017, $657 million in 2016 and $824 million in 2015.