Annual must-read

Warren Buffett just published Berkshire Hathaway's annual letter to shareholders, probably the most read such letter in all the world. It's probably the only annual report that people read even though they don't own a single share of the company (by the way, a single share of Berkshire Hathaway A Shares (BRKa) costs $71,600. I don't think it's ever split.
It's a great read. How many CEOs admit their mistakes, or accept blame for poor performance? It's tough to blame Buffett for the poor year that Hathaway had--after all, a bulk of their losses resulted from insurance claims for Sept. 11.
Some interesting comments from Buffett on the stock market:
"We made few changes in our portfolio during 2001. As a group, our larger holdings have performed poorly in the last few years, some because of disappointing operating results. Charlie and I still like the basic businesses of all the companies we own. But we do not believe Berkshire's equity holdings as a group are undervalued.
Our restrained enthusiasm for these securities is matched by decidedly lukewarm feelings about the prospects for stocks in general over the next decade or so. I expressed my views about equity returns in a speech I gave at an Allen and Company meeting in July (which was a follow-up to a similar presentation I had made two years earlier) and an edited version of my comments appeared in a December 10th Fortune article. I'm enclosing a copy of that article. You can also view the Fortune version of my 1999 talk at our website
Charlie and I believe that American business will do fine over time but think that today's equity prices presage only moderate returns for investors. The market outperformed business for a very long period, and that phenomenon had to end. A market that no more than parallels business progress, however, is likely to leave many investors disappointed, particularly those relatively new to the game.
Here's one for those who enjoy an odd coincidence: The Great Bubble ended on March 10, 2000 (though we didn't realize that fact until some months later). On that day, the NASDAQ (recently 1,731) hit its all-time high of 5,132. That same day, Berkshire shares traded at $40,800, their lowest price since mid-1997."

Just do it, please

I wanted to check out the new Air Jordans. Problem? Niketown is probably the slowest, most unreliable online store I've ever shopped at. I don't think I've gotten a single page to load completely yet. If you somehow manage to buy something from this site, please let me know. It reminds me of Sony's online store in that they're incredibly image heavy yet no one page every loads every image successfully. Both companies have great brand names and a lock on production of their products. It's a shame they can't figure out how to launch a halfway decent online store.