Warren Buffett

  • 27 Mar
    Want To Find Great Investments? Find Mismatches Between Market Perception & Reality

    Want To Find Great Investments? Find Mismatches Between Market Perception & Reality

    • A great company isn’t always a great investment, while a bad company can be a great investment.
    • In this environment, it’s very difficult to find great investments as only 35% of listed companies are creating value for shareholders.
    • The essence of investing is to find mismatches between the market’s perception and the company’s future.

    Introduction

    One of the most famous investing quotes is Buffett’s reflection on owning great businesses:

    “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”

    In the current market, investors seem to focus only on the “wonderful company” part and totally forget the “fair price” part. More →

  • 24 Mar
    Using Intrinsic Value To Measure Portfolio Performance

    Using Intrinsic Value To Measure Portfolio Performance

    • The market is irrational and can’t be used as the only measure of investment performance.
    • Imagine if all the businesses you own suddenly delisted, you’d look at their value in a different way.
    • Intrinsic value is based on the business owner perspective which is essential for reaching healthy long term returns.

    Introduction

    This past Tuesday was a bad day for stocks with both the Dow and the S&P 500 falling more than 1%. This isn’t very significant for now, apart from the fact that it broke the longest run the S&P 500 has ever seen without a 1% decline (64 days in comparison to 34 days in August 1995). However, it’s an excellent introduction to today’s topic on how we measure investment performance. More →

  • 21 Mar
    When It Comes To Retail, Forget Buy & Hold – Buy The Trend

    When It Comes To Retail, Forget Buy & Hold – Buy The Trend

    • Retail is a dangerous business as there is always a new player on the block.
    • Traditional retailers see declining sales and margins while E-commerce retailers see growing sales and declining margins. This is not a good combo for investors.
    • As always, there will be many opportunities to make money, but be sure to know what you’re doing and forget about moats and long term buy and hold investments.

    Introduction

    In Buffett’s biography, The Snowball, retail is described as a marathon business where you have a new, fresh runner joining the race at every mile.

    One of Buffett’s first retail investments was a holding company, Diversified Retailing Company Inc. (DRC), formed by Buffett, Munger, and Gottesman in 1966 with the goal of acquiring retail businesses. Their first acquisition was Hochschild-Kohn, which on paper looked like a great buy due to its substantial discount from book value, good management, unrecorded real estate values, and a significant LIFO cushion. Despite the good fundamentals, they sold three years later at no profit. Selling without losing money might not seem all that bad to you, but it’s a terrible thing for Buffett because it means he has missed opportunities to better allocate capital. More →

  • 07 Mar
    The Superinvestors Of Graham And Doddsville – Is Buffett A Hypocrite?

    The Superinvestors Of Graham And Doddsville – Is Buffett A Hypocrite?

    • According to Warren Buffet in 1984, investing and beating the market is simple: just use value investing and a margin of safety.
    • For this market, value investing is irrelevant. However if things change, value investing will become essential.
    • Spoiler alert: What I’ve written in this article you will either immediately like or totally disregard. Unfortunately, the latter will have a negative impact on your wealth.

    Introduction

    One short, 15-page article holds more investing insight than all the content published by the media in a year. It’s Warren Buffett’s article The Superinvestors of Graham and Doddsville.

    As the article was written in 1984, it gives you the real, non-political and unconstrained Buffett. Today’s Buffet is a hypocrite because he is forced to say index funds are a good investment even though stocks are at valuations he would never approve of. He has become so big that anything opposite to positive statements would lead to a possible market meltdown. Plus, don’t be confused by the fact that he recently bought $12 billion of stocks, as he bought into extremely cheap sectors, you can read more about that here.

    Today, I’ll summarize Buffett’s article and put it into today’s context. More →

  • 01 Mar
    Value That’s Measured In Millions

    Value That’s Measured In Millions

    • My goal for what I write on Investiv Daily is to increase yearly returns by 4 percentage points for those who want to remain invested in the U.S. and diversified across sectors, by 8 percentage points for those who want the same but dare to go international, and by 12 or more percentage points for those who want to look at specific stock investments.
    • History, statistics, the Buffetts of the world, macroeconomics, cycles, etc., show that returns of above 16% on an annualized basis are possible, so why should you settle for average?
    • The current investing environment praises index or average investing. However, I would wait for a complete business and market cycle to pass before praising an investment strategy. It’s fun how quickly people have forgotten about 2001 and 2009.

    Introduction

    You probably know that I’ve been writing here on Investiv Daily for a while now. Apart from the content and commentary that I publish here, I have a very specific goal in mind. My goal is to eliminate the word “average” from your returns and without increasing your risk. More →

  • 21 Feb
    Buffett Put $12 Billion On Stocks, But He Didn’t Buy Into <i>This</i> Market

    Buffett Put $12 Billion On Stocks, But He Didn’t Buy Into This Market

    • Stocks grew on positive sentiment after Buffett disclosed his optimism and spent $12 billion.
    • His purchases included Apple, and an extremely cheap sector.
    • Passive investing without thinking is what allows for such heterogeneity in valuations. For investors like Buffett, it’s easy money.

    Introduction

    At the end of January, market bulls rejoiced when Warren Buffet disclosed in a Charlie Rose interview that he had bought $12 billion of stocks since Trump’s election. Since then, the market has jumped another 3% on positive sentiment as even the greatest low risk investors of them all is buying into this market.

    A few days ago, however, Berkshire Hathaway disclosed—in their obligatory holding statement—what Buffett actually bought. This, of course, hasn’t been as publicized as has the fact that he bought $12 billion of stocks, but as always, journalists prefer to focus more on what’s sexy than on what’s important.

    Let’s see if we can learn something from what the Oracle of Omaha has been buying in this market which is constantly breaching all-time highs. More →

  • 13 Feb
    Sometimes You Shouldn’t Be Like Buffett – Cashing Out Debunked

    Sometimes You Shouldn’t Be Like Buffett – Cashing Out Debunked

    • Don’t look at your portfolio as security for rainy days.
    • Don’t ask the market whether you should cash out, look at your goals and at the companies you own.
    • Standard investment advice has it all wrong.

    Introduction

    99.9% of all content related to investing is focused on returns and how much money can be made. However, what’s equally important, or even more important, is to align your investing returns with your personal life goals.

    I don’t want to be like Buffett and die the richest person in the world. I assume most of you feel the same way. Unfortunately, this creates constant internal or spouse-related battles between investing and spending, greed and fear, security and excitement, which leads to an important question, when and how should you cash out?

    Today, we’ll discuss a few concepts that can help you make investing, cashing out, and spending decisions. More →

  • 27 Jan
    What See’s Candy & WhatsApp Can Teach Us About Creating Shareholder Value

    What See’s Candy & WhatsApp Can Teach Us About Creating Shareholder Value

    • Stock option compensation rewards management if the market does well, business performance is almost irrelevant.
    • BlackRock and Vanguard are becoming more assertive in the implementation of better governance policies. However, it seems it’s only a rhetoric given that they own 9% of corporate America.
    • Two examples show how CEOs can have opposing attitudes toward shareholder value.

    Introduction

    Today, we’ll dig deeper into corporate governance as it’s essential for our long-term investment returns.

    We’ve already discussed how buybacks mostly negatively affect long term shareholder value. But apart from buybacks, there are other interesting, more subtle issues that can help us lower our risks and increase returns.

    We’ll analyze what Larry Fink and William McNabb have to say about corporate governance, and we’ll look at a few examples of how CEOs manage their companies in order to show examples of good and bad practices. More →

  • 16 Jan
    Gruesome Industries For Trading, Not Investing

    Gruesome Industries For Trading, Not Investing

    • Even if the industry has wonderful growth numbers, profitability might remain out of reach.
    • We’ll define and describe the industries long term investors should avoid.

    Introduction

    Most of you are familiar with Warren Buffet’s comment on the airline industry in his 2007 letter to shareholders:

    “The worst sort of business is one that grows rapidly, requires significant capital to engender the growth, and then earns little or no money. Think airlines. Here a durable competitive advantage has proven elusive ever since the days of the Wright Brothers. Indeed, if a farsighted capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk, he would have done his successors a huge favor by shooting Orville down.”

    Now, most connect the above statement only to the airline industry. However, in a deflationary environment where our youngsters expect lots of things for free—think WhatsApp—and extremely low interest rates, there will be more industries where shareholder wealth creation will be difficult to achieve.

    In today’s article, we’ll define and analyze some of these industries. More →

  • 29 Dec
    Is Your Value Being Destroyed? Sven Tells You How To Spot It

    Is Your Value Being Destroyed? Sven Tells You How To Spot It

    • Buybacks and dividends continuously exceed earnings creating a financialized corporate environment and leaving less money for innovation and investments.
    • Such a situation isn’t sustainable in the long term.
    • We’ll close with an example of somebody willing to spend $21.5 billion of shareholders’ money to increase his salary by a few million.

    Introduction

    The end of each quarter is an excellent time to analyze what’s going on with buybacks and dividends. FactSet’s comprehensive analysis of quarterly buybacks and dividends for the S&P 500 is a great place to start.

    It’s of extreme importance to know what it is that management is doing with your money and if they are increasing or decreasing shareholder value. Today, we’ll analyze the situation and give you a few hints to enable you to easily analyze if the managers of the stocks you own add or subtract value with dividends and buybacks. More →

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