Multiplying the $159,794 figure by 1.6m shares gets me $262,541,542,000.00.

Here's what I did to try and reproduce that figure (amounts in millions): My attempt

Which is about 10 billion dollars off. Can someone point me in the right direction?

Here's the 2015 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report I'm referring to.

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    It's probably a rounding error. Class A shares outstanding is 1,643,183, per page 38. – quid Feb 25 '17 at 0:37
  • Thanks for the catch! However, it didn't change the numbers too much--I come out to roughly $253bb but Buffett's is still $262.5bb. – platypus Feb 25 '17 at 0:44
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    All of the balance sheet numbers are also rounded to the millions. It's probable that the Buff man has access to unrounded numbers. – quid Feb 25 '17 at 0:53
  • @quid--It's hard to imagine that rounding error to the order of a million would add up to a ten billion dollar difference, right? I don't think there are that many factors in the summation to Total Investments that I linked above such that rounding errors would add up to ten billion dollars. What's more believable is I missed something in the balance sheet. – platypus Feb 25 '17 at 3:44
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    You're right! So page 62 indicates the Kraft Heinz "fair value" at 23,679 for common stock and 8,363 for the preferred for a total "fair value" of 32,042. That's $8,618 more than the "carrying value" (which is what's listed in the balance sheet). There are probably a couple of other variations from the carrying value on these investments combined with some rounding error to come to the number he quotes in his preface letter. – quid Feb 25 '17 at 4:56

Make sure that the Heinz investment is fair value instead of carrying value :)

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  • 1
    It was a fun puzzle! – quid Feb 25 '17 at 21:44

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