Warren Buffett on Dividends: Ideas from his 2013 Letters to Shareholders 股神巴菲特的股息理论 : 来自2013年致股东信函的思考
Yesterday, Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.B) 2013 letter to shareholders was posted on the company’s website. As a long-term follower of Warren Buffett, I voraciously read through every single word of it. I was particularly excited that Buffett spoke about dividends and dividend paying stocks on several occasions in the letter. His standing on paying dividends have always perplexed investors in Berkshire. In fact, I have even referred to him as a closet dividend investor before. In this article, I am going to post my thoughts on the letter.
昨天在波克夏・哈萨威公司Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.B)网站发发布了2013给股东的信。身为股神巴菲特的长期追随者，我饥渴似的拜读每一字句。让我特别感到兴奋的是股神在信中曾多次谈到股息及配息股。他对配股的立场总是困惑着波克夏的投资者。事实上，我之前甚至称他是位空谈的股息投资客。我将这篇文章分享我对这封信的想法。
At the very bottom of the letter, Warren Buffett discusses why it makes sense for Berkshire Hathaway to continue not paying dividends. In essence, he comes to the conclusion that reinvesting all profits at above average returns will serve shareholders better in the long run, than paying dividends. This reinvestment of capital refers to either direct reinvestment back into the business that generated them or by purchasing new businesses that generate high returns on equity.
This sounds like a reasonable idea, and is one that Buffett has been very successful at since the mid 1960’s One of Buffett’s arguments against paying distributions was that investors, who require income, can easily afford to sell a portion of their shares every year. In his theoretical example, all earnings were reinvested at a constant rate of return, and the stock price always traded at a premium to book value. The main issue I had with his thinking was that in the real world, things are not linear at all. Stock prices fluctuate wildly above and below book values, and reinvested rates of returns are often equally volatile. Overall, Warren Buffett is not interested in distributing profits to shareholders in the form of dividends, because he believes that he would be much better at allocating cash than ordinary shareholders. While plowing all of realized earnings back into the business or in new ventures comes with its own sets of risks and limitations, Buffett has proven his uncanny ability to reinvest successfully. He is after all, the Oracle of Omaha, and the most successful US investor. Unfortunately, he is in his 80s, and is close to retirement. As a result, given the massive scale of Berkshire today, the success of future acquisitions might not lead to similar extraordinary performance. In addition, although keeping all earnings into Berkshire might have worked for Buffett and his followers, there are only a handful of companies which have managed to do the same, and be successful at it. In your typical US Corporation, the overpaid management is greedy for acquisitions and empire building at all costs, since they have very little if any actual stake in the business. Expanding your business is often subject to limitations, as I explained in an earlier article.
这听起来是个合理且是巴菲特从1960中期开始就一直很成功的理念。 巴菲特对于支付分配的其中一个论点是那些需要收入的投资者，可以每年轻鬆负担出售其部分股票。 在他理论中的例子，将所有收益以固定回报率再投资，这些股价价值总是高于帐面值。 我在他的理论中找到主要的问题是，现实生活中，事情不全是直线的。 股价使得帐面价格大起大落，往往投资报酬率也是同样的波动着。 (Fluctuate波动) (volatile :Tending to vary often or widely, as in price:) 易波动的，不稳定的：易于经常或大幅度变化的，如价格： 总体来说，巴菲特对于利润分配给股东分红的形式并不感兴趣，因为巴菲特认为他比一般股东更会分配现金。 即使将所有已实现的收益再投资回本业会是新的企业必有一定的风险与侷限，巴菲特已成功的证明了他不可思议的再投资能力。 正统的财经媒体尊称他为「奥马哈的先知」（The Oracle of Omaha）或「奥马哈的圣人」（The Sage of Omaha）。 他毕竟是「奥马哈的先知」，美国最成功的投资者。 不幸的是，他是在他的80年代，现在已经几乎是半退休状态。 因此，鉴于波克夏今日的大规模，未来收购的成功可能不会带来类似非凡的业绩。 (acquisitions 收购) 此外，虽然为波克夏保留了所有盈利已为巴菲特与他的追随者带来显着效益，但以相同手法操作的公司只有少数获得成功。 典型的美国公司，会不惜一切代价贪婪的超额收购和建造自己的帝国，因为对于所收购的事业，很少握有实际股权。 正如我在稍前的文章中所解释，扩大企业往往受到许多限制。
In essence, Buffett’s Berkshire is acquiring businesses, shares in businesses with its excess cashflows that didn’t need to be invested in its existing subsidiaries. In a previous article I have argued that dividend investors can similarly create their own mini-Berkshire style portfolios, by investing in dividend paying stocks, and reinvesting distributions into attractively-priced shares. Incidentally, the largest four portfolio investments include Wells Fargo (WFC), IBM (IBM), Coca-Cola (KO) and American Express (AXP), all of which pay dividends. In the case of Coca- Cola and IBM, we have companies that have raised them for years if not decades. These businesses and shares generate additional cashflows that need to be reinvested. In his letter he said the following: “Most companies pay consistent dividends, generally trying to increase them annually and cutting them very reluctantly. Our “Big Four” portfolio companies follow this sensible and understandable approach and, in certain cases, also repurchase shares quite aggressively. We applaud their actions and hope they continue on their present paths. We like increased dividends, and we love repurchases at appropriate prices.” Buffett focuses on businesses with the potential to generate growing cashflows over time with limited needs for investment, and then utilizes his experience as a capital allocator to reinvest profits into more income generating assets.
大体而言，巴菲特的波克夏公司收购企业及企业股份，其多余的现金流是没有必要投资于现有的子公司。 在前面的文章中，我一直认为股息的投资者同样可以创建属于自己的迷你版波克夏型式的投资组合，利用投资配息的股票，再分布投资到价格诱人的股票上。 顺便一提，最大的四组合投资包括富国银行（WFC），IBM（IBM），可口可乐（KO）和美国运通（AXP），上述这些股票都会配息。在可口可乐和IBM的案例，我们多年甚至几十年提高对他们的持股。 这些企业和股票所衍生的额外现金流需要被再投资。在他的信中他提到以下的内容 : 大部分的公司奉行稳定配息，并试图逐步提高分红，却很不情愿的削减分红。 我们的”四大”投资组合就遵循了类似可理解的模式，有时候，还非常积极的购回股票。 我们拍手赞成他们现行的策略并希望他们继续保持。我们喜欢配息增加，我们也喜欢以合理的价格买回股票。 巴菲特的重点放在那些可以在有限的投资需求内逐步增加现金流的潜力企业，然后利用他的经验做为资本分配器，再将利润投资到更多的创收资产。