A Foolish Take: Is Warren Buffett losing his touch? Not quite.
Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
But Berkshire's success comes at a price. The conglomerate's now-enormous size, combined with its vast and widely diversified stable of subsidiaries, makes it all but impossible for Berkshire to continue growing at such a rapid pace.
A 19% increase in 1995 translated into $3 billion worth of earnings or investment gains. Today, that figure is $54 billion. Even Apple, the most profitable company in America, doesn't generate that much net income.
The result is that, as you can see in the chart, Berkshire's annual returns are almost certainly doomed to more closely approximate the broader market in the years ahead.
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