OK, so I'm getting around to reading Warren Buffett's letter to Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B) shareholders a bit late. And, no surprise, it was well worth the wait.

My favorite part so far is Buffett's swipe at those who claim they can consistently time the market. This is something I've written about before, in "Who Are History's Great Market Timers?"

Rather than worrying about where the market's headed over the short term, Buffett says he and Charlie Munger focus on just four things:

  1. Maintaining Berkshire's Gibraltar-like financial position, which features huge amounts of excess liquidity, near-term obligations that are modest, and dozens of sources of earnings and cash;
  2. Widening the "moats" around their operating businesses that give them durable competitive advantages;
  3. Acquiring and developing new and varied streams of earnings;
  4. Expanding and nurturing the cadre of outstanding operating managers who, over the years, have delivered exceptional results.

Think of the great managers who created billions in value, from Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Jeff Bezos to Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bill Gates. They all focused on things like this -- and their long-term records (and Buffett's) speak for themselves.

Do you believe there are successful market-timers out there? If so, who are they? Sound off below!

Fool analyst Rex Moore is waaaay behind on his reading. He owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Microsoft. Amazon.com and Berkshire Hathaway are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Berkshire Hathaway and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call on Microsoft. The Fool has a disclosure policy.