The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which senior analyst Anand Chokkavelu, CFA, discusses topics across the investing world.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is a sprawling conglomerate. But at its core, it's an insurance company. Because of this, its earnings can be quite misleading. Like with banks, the balance sheet plays a much bigger role. Anand shares an example Buffett himself gave on why Berkshire's earnings can't be taken at face value.

Anand Chokkavelu, CFA, owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Berkshire Hathaway. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.