February 26, 2011 / 8:44 PM / 8 years ago

FACTBOX-Select quotes from Buffett's annual letter

NEW YORK, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Warren Buffett, the 80-year-old “Oracle of Omaha” and billionaire investor, released his closely watched annual letter to shareholders on Saturday. [ID:nN26170376]

Following are select quotes from the 26-page letter:

ON INVESTING IN BURLINGTON NORTHERN FOR GROWTH:

“The railroad will need to invest massively to bring about this growth, but no one is better situated than Berkshire to supply the funds required. However slow the economy, or chaotic the markets, our checks will clear.”

ON DOMESTIC OPPORTUNITIES:

“Money will always flow toward opportunity, and there is an abundance of that in America.”

“The prophets of doom have overlooked the all-important factor that is certain: Human potential is far from exhausted, and the American system for unleashing that potential - a system that has worked wonders for over two centuries despite frequent interruptions for recessions and even a Civil War - remains alive and effective.”

“Now, as in 1776, 1861, 1932 and 1941, America’s best days lie ahead.”

ON ACQUISITIONS:

“Charlie (Munger) and I hope that the per-share earnings of our non-insurance businesses continue to increase at a decent rate. But the job gets tougher as the numbers get larger. We will need both good performance from our current businesses and more major acquisitions. We’re prepared. Our elephant gun has been reloaded, and my trigger finger is itchy.”

ON HOUSING:

“A housing recovery will probably begin within a year or so. In any event, it is certain to occur at some point.”

“[A] house can be a nightmare if the buyer’s eyes are bigger than his wallet and if a lender - often protected by a government guarantee - facilitates his fantasy. Our country’s social goal should not be to put families into the house of their dreams, but rather to put them into a house they can afford.”

ON CASH AND INTEREST RATES:

“At yearend we held $38 billion of cash equivalents that have been earning a pittance throughout 2010. At some point, however, better rates will return. They will add at least $500 million - and perhaps much more - to our investment income. That sort of increase in money-market yields is unlikely to come soon.”

ON HIRING A YOUNG, NEW INVESTMENT MANAGER, TODD COMBS:

“Our goal was to find a 2-year-old Secretariat, not a 10-year-old Seabiscuit. (Reporting by Ben Berkowitz; Editing by Jackie Frank)

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