How A German Business May Have Snookered Berkshire Hathaway & Buffett

Within a few weeks after Berkshire Hathaway purchase of what appeared to be a solid German pipe making business, a whistleblower’s tip ended up uncovering fake sales and profit data and hacked computer systems. This according to an article in The New York Times. “What looked like a profitable German manufacturer of specialized pipes for the oil and gas industry was, in fact, nearly bankrupt,” the article reports. The acquisition of the company, “Wilhelm Schulz,… Read More

Buffett’s Berkshire buys Dominion Energy

In its first major acquisition since the coronavirus pandemic struck, Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to purchase natural gas transmission and storage assets of Dominion Energy for $4 billion, according to an article in CNBC. Including the assumption of debt, the article reports, the deal totals almost $10 billion: “For Dominion, the move is part of its transition to a pure-play regulated utility company that focuses on clean energy production from wind, solar, and natural gas.”… Read More

Excess Returns, Ep. 31: Can You Quantify Warren Buffett?

In this episode, we are going to try something a little different. Our goal at Validea is to capture quantitative strategies that work over the long-term. To do that, we go through books and academic papers to find factor-based models with results to back them up. We are going to periodically do some episodes for the podcast where we do a deep dive into these strategies and look at the factors behind them. In the… Read More

Berkshire’s Big Weakness Revealed in Crisis

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway “has always defied neat categorization,” but his quiet market response to the recent crisis has “fueled questions about what shareholders actually get when they invest in Berkshire.” This according to a recent article in Bloomberg. The article notes that Berkshire has lagged the broader market over the past five years partly because the conglomerate’s mammoth size (market value of $441 billion) means that Buffett needs “bigger buyouts or larger stock purchases… Read More

Buffett and Munger on When to Sell

A YouTube video posted by the Investor Center shows Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger answering a question about when to sell a stock at the 1998 Berkshire Hathaway shareholder’s meeting. According to Buffett, “The best thing is to buy a stock you never want to sell.” That said, he explained that Berkshire will trim holdings in a business if “we need money for other things,” or if “we believe valuations between different kinds of markets… Read More

Seven Mind-Blowing Charts from the COVID-19 Crisis That Deserve Your Attention

By Justin Carbonneau (@jjcarbonneau) They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The pictures and charts outlined below may actually be worth much more: 30 million unemployed. $7 trillion on the Fed’s balance sheet. Just how much the Amazons, Googles and Large Cap technology stocks have delivered over other areas of the market like value. A 250% increase and a 50% decrease in Internet search trends and behavioral shifts. 40 years of falling interest… Read More

Why has Warren Buffett Gone Quiet in the Market?

Last year, Warren Buffett resisted pressure to buy back Berkshire Hathaway stock, pay a dividend or “be more aggressive with investments,” a strategy that seems to be paying off. This according to a recent Barron’s article.  “Instead, Buffett let cash build on Berkshire’s balance sheet,” the article notes. “With some $128 billion in cash and equivalents on hand, he stood poised to capitalize as the markets imploded in March.” The 89-year-old investing legend has been… Read More

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Sells Part of Delta and Southwest Stakes

Regulatory filings show that last week, Berkshire Hathaway sold nearly 13 million of its Delta shares (for about $314 million) and about 2.3 million in Southwest shares (for about $74 million). This according to a recent CNBC article. Berkshire—among the biggest shareholders of the four largest U.S. airlines, offered no reason for the sale but the article noted that they came “as the coronavirus pandemic drives the airline industry into perhaps its biggest crisis ever.” It… Read More

A Look at Warren Buffett’s Portfolio Might Make You Feel Better

“If you stick around long enough, you’ll see everything in markets,” said Warren Buffett earlier this month in an interview with Yahoo Finance. This according to a recent article in MarketWatch. And conditions have only gotten worse since then, the article reports, noting that the stock market “continues to spin out of control in both directions.” Although Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is sitting on a pile of cash that “has him prepared to pick up the… Read More

Buffett: Negative Rates Are More Puzzling Than Scary

The prospect of negative interest rates confounds Warren Buffett but doesn’t frighten him, according to a recent Bloomberg article. “U.S. policy makers have been seeking to grapple with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, “ the article notes, citing the Fed’s cutting of its benchmark rate to zero earlier this month. In his annual shareholder letter (released in February), Buffett contended that equities would outperform long-term, fixed-rate instruments in the long run if current… Read More