Buffett’s Secret to Investing Success

A recent article in Forbes outlines what Warren Buffett frequently cites as the central themes of his investing approach—which can be found in two of his favorite books: The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham, and General Theory by John Maynard Keynes. The article breaks down the three themes as follows: Investment vs. Speculation: Graham’s book differentiates between investing, which consists of “buying stocks for less than they are fundamentally worth,” and speculation, which is “trying… Read More

Value Investor Channels Buffett

A recent Barron’s article profiles value investor Fred Copper, lead manager of the Columbia Overseas Valuefund, who has learned that the best way to beat his benchmark (the MSCI EAFE Value index) is to “not invest like it.” Copper has adopted a more flexible definition of value than some of his peers, based on his belief that traditional style benchmarks for value funds include a significant amount of cyclicality–meaning they include stocks that are sensitive… Read More

How Did Berkshire Hathaway Look in 1975?

A recent Morningstar article offers an overview of Berkshire Hathaway stock performance since 1975 and whether it would have been attractive to an investor in the early days based on five- and ten-year historical returns. Regarding the second five-year period, the article asserts, “Boy, did things change,” adding, “In real terms, that whippersnapper Warren Buffett turned $10,000 of January 1971 money into just under $7200. The Oracle of Omaha indeed! More like the Numbskull of… Read More

Buffett Winding Down Derivatives

Warren Buffett is facing the expiration of equity-index put options that the Berkshire Hathaway CEO initiated between 2004 and 2008 “to bet that stock prices would rise in the long run”, according to a recent article in Bloomberg. The options, tied to four major equity indexes, are reported to have added a total of $2.4 billion in earnings from 2008 to 2017. They began expiring in June, and the last of them will unwind by… Read More

The Future of Berkshire Without Buffett

Barron’s recently invited readers to submit letters they might write to Warren Buffett. One, which they published in June (by writer Andrew Bary), suggested that Berkshire shareholders might derive some comfort from knowing a bit more about Berkshire’s succession plan. “After 53 years at the helm,” wrote Bary, “isn’t it time to share the limelight with your likely successor and with Berkshire’s many managers? Investors would get to know them better and gain confidence that… Read More

Everyone Makes Mistakes, Including Warren Buffett

In last month’s Wall Street Journal, columnist Jason Zweig recently wrote, “If I had to write one sentence that is true always and everywhere, it would be this: Smart investors did stupid things again today.” Zweig outlined a series of investing mistakes, including Warren Buffett’s 1993 purchase of Dexter Shoe Co. using over 25,000 shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock. By 2007, Zweig notes, Buffett said the company was “a worthless business.” But neither Buffett nor… Read More

Dimon and Buffett: Short-Termism is Hurting Economy

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett joined forces to pen a recent Wall Street Journal article that warns against short-termism. “Every generation of Americans has the responsibility to leave behind a stronger, more prosperous society than the one it found,” they write. “The nation’s greatest achievements have always derived from long-term investments.” The article argues that, to this end, public companies should consider dispensing with providing quarterly earnings-per-share guidance (a view… Read More

Bidder Wins Lunch with Warren Buffett for $3.3 million

The annual charity auction for lunch with Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett raised $3.3 million from an anonymous bidder, up from $2.6 million last year. This according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. The event has raised more than $25 million for the San Francisco charity Glide (a cause favored by Buffett’s first wife Susie), which offers free meals, health care and other services to the city’s low-income and homeless people. The… Read More

Buffett’s Proposed $3 Billion Uber Deal Crumbled

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett reportedly proposed investing $3 billion in Uber Technologies earlier this year, but disagreements over terms took the deal off the table. This according to a recent article in Bloomberg. The proposed agreement, the article reports, offered terms similar to those presented to Goldman during the financial crisis– a convertible loan that would protect Buffett’s investment should Uber hit hard times, along with significant upside if the ride-hailing company continued to… Read More

Oracle of Oxford is In the Red

A recent Bloomberg article reports that British “master” stock-picker and Buffett disciple Neil Woodford, whose flagship fund had outperformed his peers in 2015, is now “in the red and his slump is deepening.” The drop in Woodford’s 6.7 billion-pound ($9.3 billion) main fund extended this year’s decline to more than 7 percent, “one of the worst performances among competitors,” according to the article. In a video posted on his firm’s website, however, Woodford quickly reassured… Read More