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Funds That Buy Like Buffett, 2014

These funds emulate the Oracle of Omaha in many ways.

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The  Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B) shareholder meeting on May 3 in Omaha means that Warren Buffett will be in the spotlight again. There hasn't been much drama at Berkshire over the past year, which is just the way Buffett likes it. The firm's per-share book value grew 18.2% in 2013, which looks pretty good in absolute terms but is well below the 32.4% book-value growth of the S&P 500 benchmark. This was the fourth year out of the past five that Berkshire's growth has lagged that of the S&P 500, but it has always tended to lag the broader market in strong bull markets like we've seen during the recovery following the 2007-09 financial crisis. Before this five-year stretch, Berkshire's book-value growth had only trailed the S&P 500's in six out of 44 years.

Buffett explains all this and much more in this year's Berkshire shareholder letter, which you can read here. He discusses the acquisitions that Berkshire has made in the past year, including Nevada utility NV Energy and half of H. J. Heinz (a deal that had just been announced at the time of last year's letter). He sings the praises of Todd Combs and Ted Wechsler, the portfolio managers who now each runs a portfolio of $7 billion for Berkshire. He discusses at length two of the major types of businesses that Berkshire owns--insurance and regulated, capital-intensive businesses--and adds some thoughts on his investing philosophy.

David Kathman does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.