These are my highlights from Warren Buffett's annual letter

Warren Buffett

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In his annual letter to shareholders, Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett makes the case for sticking with "big, "easy" decisions" and reaffirms that Berkshire is ready and willing to take on a big deal-if the price is right.

As Mr Buffett says: "Wall Street prospered ... many investors experienced a lost decade".

And he estimated the chances of a "mega-catastrophe" this year - one causing losses of at least $400 billion - at 2%.

His latest newsletter reports that Berkshire's net earnings a year ago rose from US$24.07 billion to US$44.94 billion.

Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.A ) could engage in share buybacks if the company can't find other ways to deploy the $116 billion in cash it has lying around, according to media reports.

The venture is initially being guided by three senior executives from the companies: Berkshire's Todd Combs; Marvelle Sullivan Berchtold, a managing director at JPMorgan who previously worked at drugmaker Novartis; and Beth Galetti, a senior vice president for human resources at Amazon. Buffett didn't discuss many details of the plan Monday.

Buffett is arguably the most important person in the United States banking industry.

The Dropbox IPO filing is here
If the point of comparison is Box, then Dropbox is staring at a downround IPO that would value the company at under $7 billion. In its regulatory filing , Dropbox reported 2017 revenue of $1.11 billion, up 31 percent from $844.8 million a year earlier.

In an interview with CNBC, Buffett said that if he had to pull all his money in one stock, he would choose Apple's. "The question is whether we can come up with something better".

One thing that always strikes me when Warren Buffett talks about Berkshire is how much of a salesman he is.

Buffett revealed in his letter that Berkshire was sitting at year end on a $7.25 billion paper profit on what has become a 3.3% stake in the iPhone maker, worth $28.2 billion.

Thakkar of PPFAS MF said the drawdown reference was more in relation to the leverage that people undertake while acquiring stocks.

Buffett explained that float comes with risk bearing responsibilities, saying, "The downside of float is that it comes with risk, sometimes oceans of risk".

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.

"We are at a huge competitive disadvantage in American business" relative to other industrialized countries because of the costs, Buffett said. Berkshire Hathaway is the biggest owner of Bank of America and Wells Fargo stock, not a majority owner.

Beside investments, Berkshire owns more than 90 different businesses in a variety of industries, including BNSF railroad, Geico insurance and several electric utilities and manufacturing firms.

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