巴菲特历年问答汇总之手把手教你读财报

2017-05-05 19:00 精译求精 阅读 43610

1. What adjustments to reported earnings do you make?你是如何对财报里的盈利对调整的?

巴菲特答:

[Whengoodwill was required to be amortized,] we ignored amortization of goodwill andtold our owners to ignore it, even though it was in GAAP [Generally AcceptedAccounting Principles]. We felt that it was arbitrary.

当商誉需要进行摊销时,我们会忽略掉商誉的摊销,并且告诉我们的股东,不要理这些摊销,即使美国通用会计准则(GAAP)要求对商誉进行摊销。我们感觉这就跟套利差不多。

补充背景资料:

2001年之前,美国的通用会计准则要求企业在收购行为时产生的商誉,必须进行摊销,且摊销年限是40年。巴菲特在1988年的年报中,曾明确支出他认为这种摊销的行为是不合理的。

这里简单解释下什么是商誉。商誉指的并不是企业名声和信誉。只有发生收购行为时,企业才会产生商誉。商誉本质是那些没有反映在企业可识别资产上面的未来预期利润的折现值。

举一个例子,企业A10亿美金收购企业B,企业B的可识别净资产是6亿美金,企业A的收购价格和企业B的可识别净资产之间的差值就是商誉。

企业B的可识别净资产是6亿美金,为什么企业A10亿美金来收呢?

很可能是因为企业B可识别净资产只有6亿美金,但是每年能赚1个亿。

2001年之后,GAAP取消了商誉摊销的规则,但是要求企业每年要对商誉进行一次减值测试。这就是我们如今看到的商誉会计准则。

Wethought crazy pension assumptions caused people to record phantom earnings. So,we're willing to tell you when we think there's data that is more useful thanGAAP earnings.

我们认为疯狂的养老金假设导致企业的利润虚高。所以,当我们发现有一些数据比GAAP的利润更有用时,我会告诉你们。

Notthinking of depreciation as an expense is crazy. I can think of a fewbusinesses where one could ignore depreciation charges, but not many. Even withour gas pipelines, depreciation is real -- you have to maintain them and eventuallythey become worthless (though this may be 100 years).

不把折旧当做费用是极其疯狂的。我可以想起少数企业,这些企业忽略了折旧费用。即使对我们的天然气管道而言,折旧也是真实发生的—你必须去为这些天然气管道进行维护,否则他们就会变得一文不值(即使这可能是100年之后的事)

It[depreciation] is reverse float -- you lay out money before you get cash. Anymanagement that doesn't regards depreciation as an expense is living in a dreamworld, but they're encouraged to do so by bankers. Many times, this comes closeto a flim flam game.

折旧是逆向的浮动,你先把钱花出去再得到现金。任何管理层认为折旧不是费用的,都是活在梦里,但是银行家鼓励管理层这么做。大多数时候,这都是接近于一个胡说八道的游戏。

Peoplewant to send me books with EBITDA and I say fine, as long as you pay cap ex.There are very few businesses that can spend a lot less than depreciation andmaintain the health of the business.

有人想送给我一些关于EBITDA的书籍,我说好的,只要你把资本开支加上去。只有极少数的企业可以花费比折旧小的费用来维持企业健康的运营。

Thisis nonsense. It couldn't be worse. But a whole generation of investors havebeen taught this. It's not a non-cash expense -- it's a cash expense but youspend it first. It's a delayed recording of a cash expense.

这是没有任何意义的(EBITDA)。没有比这个更糟的了。但是整个一代投资者都被教着学这么玩意儿。折旧不是非现金支出,它们就是现金支出,只不过你先把这些钱花掉了。折旧就是延迟的现金开支。

Weat Berkshire are going to spend more this year on cap ex than we depreciate.

我们伯克希尔哈撒韦将会在今年花费掉比折旧更多的资本开支。

2. Recommendation of a book on accounting?能不能推荐一本关于会计的书籍?

巴菲特答:

Ihaven't read an accounting book in years. I think I read Finney[?] in college.I'd suggest reading Berkshire reports and things like magazine articles aboutaccounting scandals. You need to know how figures are put together, but alsohave to bring something else. Read a lot of business articles and annualreports. If I don't understand it [an annual report], it's probably because themanagement doesn't want me to understand it. And if that's the case, usuallythere's something wrong.

我已经有很多年没看过会计书籍了。我认为我在大学时候度过一本Finney写的书籍。我建议你们来阅读博希尔哈撒韦的年报,或者一些关于会计丑闻的文章。你需要知道数字是如何拼凑在一起的,同时你还必须理解点别的。阅读大量的商业杂志和年报会有帮助,如果你无法理解一份年报,很可能是因为管理层不想让我理解,如果情况如此,通常情况下公司要掩盖什么。

[CM:Asking Warren what good books he knows about accounting is like asking him whatgood books he has on breathing. You start with basic rules of bookkeeping, andthen you have to spend a lot of time [to really become knowledgeable]]

查理芒格:问巴菲特他知道哪些关于会计的好书,就像问巴菲特有什么关于呼吸的好书一样。你需要从最基础的记账法开始了解起,然后你需要花很多时间来真正获得这方面的知识。

 

3. What can be done to improve the accuracyof financial statements of financial institutions? What can be done to improvethe integrity of financial statements?

能做什么来提高财务报表的精确性?能做什么来提高财报的真实性?

巴菲特答:

WB:It is a very tough thing. I still lean strongly towards fair valueaccounting—it is hard to use, but should we use cost? I think there are moretroubles when you start openly valuing things at prices that don’t matterinstead of best estimates, even if inaccurate. I would stick with financialsreporting assets at fair value. When you get into CDO-squared [CollateralizedDebt Obligation-Squared], the documentation is enormous. If you read a standardresidential security prospectus it consists of thousands of mortgages, thendifferent tranches. Then, you take a CDO and you take junior tranches on awhole bunch of juniors— put them together, and diversified in theory—a bigerror to start with. That was nuttiness squared. You had to read 15,000 pagesto understand a CDO and 750,000 pages to evaluate one single security in aCDO-squared. To let people use the 100 cents they paid as the stated valueversus the 10 cents it trades at in the market is an abomination. Fair valuediscipline, mild as it may be, may keep managements from doing some stupidthings. I lean toward the market value approach. When you get towards complexinstruments, I don’t know how you value it. Charlie, back at Salomon, I thinkyou found one mismarked by $20 million, right?

这是一个非常难的事情。我至今依旧强烈倾向于公允价值法,公允价值法虽然不太好实践但是因为如此我们就要用历史成本法吗?我认为当你对某些东西估值时不使用最好的估测方法(指的是公允价值法),是会导致非常多问题的,即使这些估测方法不太精确。我一直认为资产负债表中的资产应该使用公允价值法。如果你研究债务抵押债券平方,这些数据是极其庞大的。如果你阅读一个标准的住房债券说明书你会看到几千份抵押贷款,然后他们会被分层。

Then,you take a CDO and you take junior tranches on a whole bunch of juniors— putthem together, and diversified in theory—a big error to start with. That wasnuttiness squared. You had to read 15,000 pages to understand a CDO and 750,000pages to evaluate one single security in a CDO-squared. Fair value discipline,mild as it may be, may keep managements from doing some stupid things. I leantoward the market value approach. When you get towards complex instruments, Idon’t know how you value it. Charlie, back at Salomon, I think you found onemismarked by $20 million, right?

然后你拿起一个债务抵押债券(CDO),同时你取出来低层级债券,把这些债券混合在一起,然后分散化—一个巨大的错误从这里就开始了。这是疯狂的平方。你需要阅读15千页的文件来理解一个债务抵押债券(CDO),你需要阅读75千页来对CDO-Squared(按揭抵押债券平方)中的一个证券进行评估。公允价值法的的纪律性可以帮助管理层做一些非常纯的事情。我更偏向于使用市场价值法(公允价值法)。当你面对复杂的金融衍生品时,我不知道你将会如何对它估值。查理芒格,在所罗门时,发现了一个负债产品有将近2000万美金的误差。

CM:A lot goes on in the bowels of American industry which is not pretty. A lot ofpeople got overdosed on Ayn Rand. They would hold that even an axe murderer ina free market is a wise development. I think Alan Greenspan did a good job onaverage, but he overdosed on Ayn Rand, in that whatever happens in a freemarket is going to be all right. We should prohibit some things. If we hadbanned the phrase, “this is a financial innovation which will diversify risk,”we would have been far better off.

在很多美国行里发生的事没那么光彩。有很多人管分沉溺于艾茵兰德(艾茵兰德是20世纪著名的哲学家,小说家,在她的哲学和小说里强调个人主义,理性的利己主义,以及彻底自由的市场经济)。他们认为在自由市场即使有巨斧杀手也是明智的发展。我认为格林斯潘在大多数时候做了不错的工作,但是过分沉迷于艾茵兰德,相信了无论在自由市场中发生了什么都是没问题的。我们应该禁止这样的事情。如果我们能拒绝下面这句话“这是金融创新,这会导致我们分散化风险,我们能比现在做的好太多了。

 

4. Would you comment on companies you sayuse questionable accounting practices to make their operations look good?

你可以点评下那些用有问题的会计准则来让自己公司运营状况看起来不错的公司吗?

巴菲特答:

Wefollow a policy of ““criticize bypractice, and praise by name.”” Youcould say we hate the sin, but love the sinner. So I can’’t really name names of companies that I think are doingthis kind of thing; I’’ve foundthat if you go around criticizing others, pretty soon the criticism comes backon you.

我们遵循一个原则:表扬时点名,批评时只讲坏行为(不点名)。你可以说我们恨罪责,但是“喜欢犯罪的人。我们不能把那些我认为正在操纵利润的企业公布出来。我已经发现,如果你批评其他人,很快职责会回过头来找你。

[CM:I don’’t think they want names - I think she’’s asking about the practice in general.

查理芒格:我不认为他们想要名字。我觉得她是想知道一些常见的坏行为。

That’’s different, then. The practices relate to accountingcharges, done to smooth out earnings and make future earnings look good. It hasbecome totally fashionable among managements to play with the timing ofexpenses.

这就不同了。常见的操纵会计利润的管理是平滑利润,从而使未来的利润看起来不错。操纵费用识别的时间,已经在管理层中非常流行了。

Optionsexpense recording has become optional as well; I haven’’t seen tons of firms jumping on the chance to recordstock compensation expense. And I think it’’s deceptive to see it presented in the footnotes, theway it’’s reported, because of the assumptionscompanies are using in valuing the options.

管理层的期权费用也成了选择性记录的费用了。我已经发现了很多公司没有去记录自己公司的期权费用。我认为把这部分利润放到脚注上是欺诈性行为,而这正是这些费用的记录方式。

Thethinking of these executives goes like this: ““ Why should I penalize my shareholders for not doingsomething that others will do to help theirs?”” And the bad practices become the norm.

一些管理层的想法如下:“为什么我要把管理层期权费当做正常的费用来惩罚我的股东,而让那些不这么做的人帮助他们的股东?”因此,坏的行为变成了普遍现象。