It was a banner 2013 for Berkshire Hathaway, which posted earnings of nearly $20 billion.  Berkshire is heavily levered towards U.S. economic growth and the conglomerate saw strong gains throughout just about all of its operating entities.  Berkshire has increasingly shifted to an owner of large operating businesses, as opposed to being seen as more of an investment portfolio as it was viewed in the past.  It is my belief that because of the high quality of these operating businesses, the multiple that Berkshire should trade at should be higher than it has been historically.  Warren Buffett’s annual shareholder letter was excellent again this year and should be mandatory reading for any investor.