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Elsewhere in his letter, Buffett said a lack of "sensible" purchase prices had prevented Berkshire Hathaway from making acquisitions in 2017.

Buffett concluded with a little advice to fellow investors: 'Though markets are generally rational, they occasionally do insane things, ' he wrote.

Buffett got a $29 billion boost to net earnings in the fourth quarter from the tax code changes. Careful decisions and an aversion to debt and speculation has gotten the firm this far - and that's the course it'll stay on, he said.

The company's often-impressive pace of acquisitions had slowed past year, he noted, when the prices asked for businesses 'hit an all-time high, ' amid what he called 'a purchasing frenzy'.

"Though markets are generally rational, they occasionally do insane things", said Buffett, adding that investors need "an ability to both disregard mob fears or enthusiasms and to focus on a few simple fundamentals" even if makes them "look foolish".

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"If Wall Street analysts or board members urge that brand of CEO to consider possible acquisitions, it's a bit like telling your ripening teenager to be sure to have a normal sex life".

Treasury yields have been rising since the start of the year, stemming from brewing inflationary pressures and massive bond supply to help fund US President Donald Trump's tax overhaul.

Known to fans as "the Oracle of Omaha", Buffett, 87, has suggested USA stocks are probably the best bet over time, encouraging people to make easy choices and stick with them, eschewing high-fee fund managers, for instance.

Buffett gave the final details of a 10-year long bet he made against hedge funds in 2007. "Fees never falter", he wrote.

As for other Berkshire operations, Buffett this year is refraining from going through them on an individual basis.

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Speculation about Buffett's successor has swirled for years.

Buffett closed out his annual letter with a shout out for the two men, who were both elected to Berkshire's board of directors last month. Jain will run all of Berkshire's insurance businesses; Abel will run all of its non-insurance businesses.

Said Buffett in Saturday's annual letter: "You and I are lucky to have Ajit and Greg working for us".

The investor shared the data which revealed Berkshire Hathaway's stock declined by a range of 37 percent to 59 percent multiple times over the last five decades.

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