Warren Buffett's compensation in 2015 edges up to $645,762

Warren Buffett's compensation for running Berkshire Hathaway Inc edged up 1 per cent last year to US$470,244 (S$645,762.57), reflecting an increase in the cost of keeping the billionaire safe.

Buffett's salary remained at $100,000, the same amount he has received for more than a quarter century, Berkshire said in a Friday regulatory filing.

The cost of providing home and personal security services for Buffett rose to US$370,244 from US$364,011 a year earlier. Buffett also reimbursed US$50,000 to Berkshire for personal costs.

Buffett often eschews trappings commonly associated with billionaires, and lives in a 10-room home on less than three-quarters of an acre in Omaha.

But he still controls nearly 19 per cent of Berkshire's stock, and 33 per cent of its voting power, according to the regulatory filing.

Buffett is worth US$66.2 billion, Forbes magazine said on Friday.

20 tips from Warren Buffett

  • “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with 130 IQ.”
  • “To invest successfully, you need not understand beta, efficient markets, modern portfolio theory, option pricing or emerging markets. You may, in fact, be better off knowing nothing of these. That, of course, is not the prevailing view at most business schools, whose finance curriculum tends to be dominated by such subjects. In our view, though, investment students need only two well-taught courses – How to Value a Business, and How to Think About Market Prices.”
  • “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”
  • "No advisor, economist, or TV commentator -- and definitely not Charlie nor I -- can tell you when chaos will occur. Market forecasters will fill your ear but will never fill your wallet."
  • “What’s required is thinking rather than polling. Unfortunately, Bertrand Russell’s observation about life in general applies with unusual force in the financial world: “Most men would rather die than think. Many do.”
  • “After all, you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.“
  • “The best thing that happens to us is when a great company gets into temporary trouble…We want to buy them when they’re on the operating table.”
  • Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.”
  • “Your goal as an investor should simply be to purchase, at a rational price, a part interest in an easily-understandable business whose earnings are virtually certain to be materially higher five, ten and twenty years from now. Over time, you will find only a few companies that meet these standards – so when you see one that qualifies, you should buy a meaningful amount of stock."
  • You must also resist the temptation to stray from your guidelines: If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes. "
  • “When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”
  • “I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will.“
  • “Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies. And if they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful.”
  • “The stock market is a no-called-strike game. You don’t have to swing at everything–you can wait for your pitch. The problem when you’re a money manager is that your fans keep yelling, ‘Swing, you bum!’”
  • “Our approach is very much profiting from lack of change rather than from change. With Wrigley chewing gum, it’s the lack of change that appeals to me. I don’t think it is going to be hurt by the Internet. That’s the kind of business I like.”
  • “Long ago, Ben Graham taught me that ‘Price is what you pay; value is what you get.’ Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.“
  • “Our investments continue to be few in number and simple in concept: The truly big investment idea can usually be explained in a short paragraph. We like a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people. When these attributes exist, and when we can make purchases at sensible prices, it is hard to go wrong (a challenge we periodically manage to overcome)."
  • “Rule No. 1: never lose money; rule No. 2: don’t forget rule No. 1″
  • “I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and a better businessman because I am no investor.”
  • “Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre.”

Vice Chairman Charlie Munger, who is also a billionaire, drew a $100,000 salary last year, Friday's filing showed.

Chief Financial Officer Marc Hamburg was the highest paid employee listed, with compensation of US$1.36 million in 2015.

Executives who run some of Berkshire's roughly 90 units make more than Buffett.

Among them is Gregory Abel, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, who made US$40.77 million last year.

Berkshire's filing also said the Nebraska Peace Foundation would propose at the company's April 30 annual shareholder meeting that Berkshire issue a report describing risks it faces from climate change.

The nonprofit group, which owns one Class A share of Berkshire, said such reporting could help Berkshire's insurance units "identify and anticipate gaps and opportunities," and confirm their status as industry leaders.

Berkshire opposes the proposal.

In his annual shareholder letter on Feb. 27, Buffett said it was "highly likely" that climate change posed a "major problem for the planet," but that Berkshire's insurance units would not face big losses.

Climate change should not be on any "list of worries" for Berkshire shareholders, he said.

Forbes' 2017 world billionaires ranking

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