OT Graham Holdings AR

Love this quote by Tim O’Shaughnessy in the GHC Annual Report:

“We did not participate in any SPACs, purchase any crypto “currencies“ or invest in any meme stonks. If our lack of investment in these innovations bothers you, you’ve probably found the wrong annual letter. Our imagination may be too limited.

We’re not flashy, but we believe we have made steady progress on growing the value of the business for shareholders…”

Common stockholders equity per share up 19% in 2021 however easier comp to most years of course.


Your quote from GHC intrigued me. So I went to the website and read the whole letter. An excellent letter along the lines of BRK and MKL annual shareholder letters.

I then found the investor day (Dec 9, 2021) materials and found this gem about their pension funds.

A key component of our strong balance sheet is the Company’s significantly overfunded pension
plan. Importantly, the cost of pension benefits has been self-funded by the plan. GHC has not
made any meaningful cash contribution to its pension fund since the 1980s and it is unlikely
that it will make any cash contribution in the foreseeable future – this puts us in a highly
enviable position. Our future operations should greatly benefit from this as we expect to
provide attractive retirement benefits to our employees going forward, just as we have for
decades. Current management deserves no credit for this. All the credit goes to Katharine
Graham and the wisdom she had to ask Warren Buffett for his advice, and take it, back in 1978.
Mr. Buffett recommended that we invest our pension assets in equities and hire smart advisors
to manage those funds – and that is exactly what Mrs. Graham did in hiring Ruane, Cunniff &
Goldfarb and First Manhattan, both of which have put forth remarkable investment
performance for our pension fund for over 40 years.

The pension funds continue to be managed by
Ruane and First Manhattan, along with more recent diversification with investments managed
by Durable Capital, and investments in Berkshire Hathaway stock, a U.S. stock index fund and
short-term fixed-income securities. As of September 30, 2021, the Company had $3.2 billion in
pension assets and roughly $1.1 billion in pension obligations. This has taken the plan from 1.8
times overfunded at the end of 2015 to approximately 2.9 times overfunded at the end of the
third quarter of 2021.


So Buffett’s great legacy will not only be Berkshire Hathaway, but his example now being followed in companies such as GHC, two generations later.