Warren Buffett

  • 14 Apr
    Debunking Bad Investment Advice: Don’t Buy That Wonderful Brand At Just Any Price

    Debunking Bad Investment Advice: Don’t Buy That Wonderful Brand At Just Any Price

    • As wonderful as a company may be, the price paid for it is the determining factor for investment returns.
    • Many companies with great brands have seen their stock prices appreciate while their fundamentals stagnate.
    • Buffett has mostly bought at wonderful prices. Keep that in mind when investing.

    Introduction

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

    Many asset managers and financial advisors have Buffett’s quote on their promotional materials and web pages. However, more arguments can be made against the above statement than for it. We’ll go through some examples to help prevent you from falling into the trap of paying what the market thinks is a fair price for companies that might not be that wonderful after all. More →

  • 31 Mar
    Don’t Give Up On Stock Picking. Do It The Right Way.

    Don’t Give Up On Stock Picking. Do It The Right Way.

    • Passively managed funds are extremely dangerous as their positive performance is self-reinforcing due to the huge positive net inflows.
    • But don’t jump to actively managed funds as, on aggregate, they will always underperform the market in the long term because they are the market.
    • The only solution is to invest like a business owner. You can do this by investing yourself or by finding an active manager who has the same principles.

    Introduction

    A recent Wall Street Journal article described how BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) is switching to robots from using humans to improve its stock picking for its actively managed funds. BLK’s reasoning is that its stock picking unit lagged in performance and has had many withdrawals that cut assets under management to $275 billion from $317 billion in the last three years despite the S&P 500 surging 27% in the same period. The hope is that robots will perform better at lower cost. More →

  • 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 →

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