> Warren Buffett Blog: 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

GM stock price hurting Warren Buffett

General Motors Company (GM) stock is down 17% Year To Date. This is mostly due to multiple automobile recalls due to faults with ignition switches and related lawsuit claims.

Warren Buffett has been among the biggest supporters of General Motors, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Berkshire owns 40 million shares of the automobile company. 

Others that have been hurt by General Motors’ fall include David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management. Appaloosa owned 14.8 million shares of the company at the end of the third quarter. Kyle Bass owns 5.25 million shares of General Motors through his hedge fund Hayman Capital. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Warren Buffett on Wells Fargo strong deposit base

The biggest single asset that Wells has is its deposit base. They have a consumer-based, tiny-organization-variety bank that’s just substantial.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Buffett adds to investment in Burger King, Tim Hortons

Berkshire Hathaway used a warrant to buy 8.4 million shares of Restaurant Brands International, the parent company for the Burger King and Tim Hortons fast-food chains.

Berkshire paid a penny a share to take a stake of 4.2 percent of the outstanding common stock of Restaurant Brands, the Oakville, Ontario-based fast-food company said today in a regulatory filing. The holding is worth more than $300 million based on today’s closing price in New York.

Buffett got the warrant as part of his agreement to help finance the merger, which was announced in August and completed last week. The contract allowed Berkshire to buy about 1.75 percent of the fully diluted common shares of Restaurant Brands. In addition to the 202 million shares outstanding, the company said today that there are about 265 million units of a partnership that can be exchanged for common stock. 

Buffett’s company also holds $3 billion of preferred shares in Burger King parent company Restaurant Brands and earns 9 percent annual interest on that investment. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Warren Buffett now second richest in the world

Warren Buffett is now the world’s second-richest person after shares of Berkshire Hathaway reached a record high. Buffett beat Mexico's Carlos Slim after seeing his net worth rise to $ 73 Billion which is around $300 million more than Carlos Slim.

Berkshire has soared 27 per cent this year as the dozens of operating businesses that the 84-year-old chairman bought over the past five decades churned out record profit. Berkshire still has around $60 Billion in cash ready to make more investments.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Warren Buffett backs Hillary Clinton with donation

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has donated $25,000 to Ready for Hillary, a super PAC laying the groundwork for Hillary Clinton’s potential White House bid. 

Mr Buffett, known as the 'Sage of Omaha' has long been an outspoken supporter of Mrs Clinton.  Mr Buffett has also said he could not think of "anyone better qualified" than Mrs Clinton to be president, adding last October at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit that he would "bet money" on her winning and that “Hillary is going to win.” He’s also contributed to her past campaigns. But the new donation is the first time he has contributed to a super PAC that can raise or spend unlimited amounts to aid an individual candidate. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Warren Buffett expanding insurance in Asia

A company owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway received a licence to sell non-life insurance coverage in Singapore as it makes a push into Asia.

The carrier will offer commercial property, casualty, financial lines, marine, energy and construction coverage in the nation, according to a statement yesterday from Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance.

Berkshire has brought in Peter Eastwood from American International Group to help expand sales of insurance coverage to businesses. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Characteristics of a successful investor

"The most important quality for an investor is temperament, not intellect. You need a temperament that neither derives great pleasure from being with the crowd or against the crowd."

Monday, December 1, 2014

Warren Buffett investing in Oil via Weatherford international

Berkshire Hathaway company Lubrizol Corporation announced the purchase of Weatherford International in a deal worth around $750 million. The deal represents a play on North American oil drilling at a sensitive time when the opening of new North American oil wells is in question with the sagging price of oil worldwide.

The acquisition is represents a heavy investment in the North American oil drilling industry by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway as the recent rapid drop in oil prices is raising questions on new drilling in the region. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Business and investing are complimentary skills

"I am a better investor because I am a businessman.... and a better businessman because I am an investor."

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Patience for long term investing leads to success

Successful Investing takes time, discipline and patience. No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Howard Buffett son of Warren Buffett sells Omaha home

Howard Buffett recently sold his house at 121 S. 51st St, Omaha, Nebraska. for $320,000 and bought another in the Omaha area at what he said was a “secret location.”

At that price, his annual return would be about 0.7 percent per year, since he bought the house in 2004 for $300,000. The couple, whose main residence is in Decatur, Illinois, had the house up for sale in 2009 for $375,000, but it didn’t sell and they decided to keep it for their visits to Omaha.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Choosing stocks carefully will reap benefits long term

What an investor needs is the ability to correctly evaluate selected businesses. Note that word "selected": You don't have to be an expert on every company, or even many. You only have to be able to evaluate companies within your circle of competence. 

The size of that circle is not very important; knowing its boundaries, however, is vital.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Corporate profits cannot always remain at a high level due to competition in markets

You know, someone once told me that New York has more lawyers than people. I think that’s the same fellow who thinks profits will become larger than GDP. When you begin to expect the growth of a component factor to forever outpace that of the aggregate, you get into certain mathematical problems. 

In my opinion, you have to be wildly optimistic to believe that corporate profits as a percent of GDP can, for any sustained period, hold much above 6%. One thing keeping the percentage down will be competition, which is alive and well.”

Monday, November 17, 2014

Buffett to buy Duracell company that makes batteries

Berkshire Hathaway has announced that it has entered into a “definitive agreement” with Procter and Gamble (P&G) where it will acquire the Duracell battery business from P&G.

In a press statement, the company said, pursuant to the agreement, in exchange for a recapitalised Duracell Company, which will include approximately US$1.7 billion in cash at closing, P&G will receive shares of P&G’s common stock currently held by Berkshire Hathaway having a current value of approximately $4.7 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2015 and is subject to obtaining various regulatory approvals as well as certain other customary closing conditions.

Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway chief executive officer, said that he has “always been impressed by Duracell, as a consumer and as a long-term investor in P&G and Gillette”. Buffett added that Duracell is a leading global brand with top quality products, and it will fit well within Berkshire Hathaway.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Own a good company for long term

If you aren't willing to own a stock for ten years, don't even think about owning it for ten minutes. Put together a portfolio of companies whose aggregate earnings march upward over the years, and so also will the portfolio's market value.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Berkshire Q3 numbers drop not a bad thing

For the Q3 earnings, Berkshire Hathaway’s reported a net profit decline of 9% to $4.6 billion, or $2,811 per Class A share...... compared with $5 billion, or $3,074 per share, a year earlier.

A drop in earnings might sound bad, but the previous year numbers were driven by unusually good investment returns a year ago, when Berkshire Hathaway cashed in on a number of loans in made during the financial crisis, including investments in General Electric, Goldman Sachs, and Mars & Wrigley.

The company ended the quarter with more than $60 billion in cash. Warren Buffett likes to keep $20 billion sitting around as insurance for the insurance businesses. That left more than $40 billion for acquisitions.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Melinda Gates praises Warren Buffett

Warren with friend
"One of the things I was most impressed about when Bill and I met Warren Buffett very early on was he introduced us to his friends. And Warren has the most high quality set of friends you could meet, and these are friends that he has had over his lifetime. And it really got me thinking, “wow, I better cultivate my friends. Warren does little things with his friends, like he will send you an article of something he is thinking about, reading about. That was a way to help me think about my friends." - Melinda Gates (Wife of Bill Gates)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Short Sellers beating Warren Buffett at the moment

When short-sellers take positions opposite from Warren Buffett, it appears to be wise to side with the short-sellers. In the past year, activist short-sellers have clashed with Berkshire Hathaway at three companies: International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (CBI) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM). 

In all three cases, the short-sellers are currently ahead. In addition, Berkshire has suffered losses on its position in Tesco, which prominent hedge funds successfully shorted earlier this year though not in an "activist" fashion. 

However that does not mean Berkshire Hathaway stock is performing poorly. On the contrary Berkshire is having an excellent 2014, with its stock up 18% compared to the S&P 500's 8%. Berkshire and Warren Buffett can stumble just like any of us but they are mere stumbles in the journey, longer term Buffett has proved there is no one better than him in this game.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

IBM stock plunge causes Warren Buffett $1 Billion paper loss

Warren Buffett could lose $1billion due to plummeting IBM stocks this week.

Warren Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway, of which he is CEO, has 70,173,978 IBM shares. 

Buffett risked losing $1,056,118,369 when IBM saw its stock price fall 8.3% before the market opened, CNBC reported Monday morning.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Warren Buffett admits Tesco mistake, reduces holdings

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has dealt Tesco a double blow after dumping more than 245 million of the crisis-hit grocer’s shares just days after branding his holding a ‘huge mistake’.

In a TV interview he had said: ‘I made a mistake on Tesco. That was a huge mistake by me.’

The investment guru, known as the Sage of Omaha, is thought to have lost close to $800million since investing in the troubled supermarket back in 2006.

Buffett’s investment vehicle Berkshire Hathaway was the third-largest shareholder, with a 3.97 per cent stake, but it has reduced this.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Buffett rebranding Auto and Home businesses

Revenues in the Berkshire division that includes the real estate business jumped 26 per cent to $1.2 billion in the first six months of this year, according to a company filing.

Berkshire Hathaway has this year dramatically expanded the use of its own name, rebadging its family of utility companies, U.S. estate agents and a newly acquired car dealership. The Van Tuyl car dealership chain that Berkshire acquired earlier this month - the fifth largest in the U.S., with over $8 billion in annual sales - plans to continue making acquisitions after being rebranded Berkshire Hathaway Automotive, it said at the time of the deal. 

Warren Buffett latest holdings 2014

Company Owned 
Symbol          Percentage    Owned
American Express Company AXP 14.49%
Bank of New York Mellon  BK 2.18%
Chicago Bridge & Iron Company CBI 9.89%
Charter Communications, Inc. CHTR 2.13%
Conoco Phillips COP 0.11%
Costco Wholesale Corporation COST 0.99%
Deere & Company DE 1.11%
NOW Inc DNOW 1.71%
DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc DVA 17.51%
General Electric Company GE 0.11%
Graham Holdings Co GHC 1.86%
General Motors Company GM 2.05%
Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS 2.87%
International Business Machines Corp. IBM 7.03%
Johnson & Johnson JNJ 0.01%
The Coca-Cola Company KO 9.12%
Kraft Foods Group Inc KRFT 0.03%
Liberty Global plc  LBTY 5.90%

Lee Enterprises, Incorporated LEE 0.17%
Liberty Media Corp LMCA 1.17%
Mastercard Inc MA 0.35%
Moody's Corporation MCO 11.68%
Mondelez International Inc MDLZ 0.03%
Media General, Inc. MEG 5.24%
M&T Bank Corporation MTB 4.08%
National-Oilwell Varco, Inc. NOV 1.70%
Precision Castparts Corp. PCP 1.31%
The Procter & Gamble Company PG 1.95%
Phillips 66 PSX 1.16%
Sanofi SA (ADR) SNY 0.15%
Suncor Energy Inc. (USA) SU 1.12%
Torchmark Corporation TMK 3.24%
United Parcel Service, Inc. UPS 0.01%
U.S. Bancorp USB 4.44%
USG Corporation USG 26.98%
Visa Inc V 0.29%
Viacom, Inc. VIAB 1.80%
Verisk Analytics, Inc. VRSK 0.94%
Verisign, Inc. VRSN 10.39%
Verizon Communications Inc. VZ 0.36%
WABCO Holdings Inc. WBC 6.82%
Wells Fargo & Co WFC 8.88%
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. WMT 1.82%
Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM 0.96%

Holdings are as of June 30, 2014 as reported in Berkshire Hathaway's 13-F filing on August 14, 2014, 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hillary Clinton to be next president of USA

Hillary is going to run. Hillary's going to win. I will bet money on it. I don't do that easily.

She's going to announce it as late as possible.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Warren Buffett surprised by slow home construction numbers

You would think that people would be lining up now to get mortgages to buy a home. It’s a good way to go short the dollar, short interest rates. It is a no-brainer. But so far home construction pickup has been slower than I had anticipated.

Household formation falls off dramatically in a recession, at least initially, but that doesn’t last long. Hormones kick in and in-laws get tiresome, too.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Oncor may get a buyer in Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is among other companies that signed confidentiality agreements to explore bids for Energy Future Holdings Corp.’s Oncor electricity distributor.

Oncor, which operates the largest distribution and transmission business in Texas, delivers electricity to more than 3 million homes and businesses and serves Dallas-Fort Worth. The company is prized because it’s poised to take advantage of population growth in the state and it has said it plans to invest $1 billion annually in power lines through 2018.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How Warren Buffett picks investments

We first have to decide whether we can sensibly estimate an earnings range for five years out, or more. If the answer is yes, we will buy the stock [or business] if it sells at a reasonable price in relation to the bottom boundary of our estimate. 

If however, we lack the ability to estimate future earnings - which is usually the case - we simply move on to other prospects.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Warren Buffett admits he makes mistakes sometimes

Our large buys have generally worked out well and, in a few cases, more than well. I have not, however, made my last mistake in purchasing either businesses or stocks. Not everything works out as planned.

Monday, September 29, 2014

5 Step to focus like Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett’s 5-Step Process for Prioritizing True Success

1. Know what you want – One day a few years back Warren went up to his pilot (we’ll call him Steve) and jokingly said “The fact that you’re still working for me, tells me I’m not doing my job. You should be out going after more of your goals and dreams.” Warren then asked Steve to list the top 25 things he wanted to do in the next few years or even his lifetime. Just jot down anything that comes to mind as being important to you that isn’t currently a part of your life. 

2. Pick your Top 5. Once Steve completed his list, Warren then asked him to review each item and circle the top five that were most important to him. The ones he wanted more than anything. Steve was hesitant because to him they were all massively important. After all, that’s why he wrote them down.

But Warren insisted that he could only pick five. So Steve spent some time with his list and after some deliberation, made five circles. “Are you sure these are the absolute highest priority for you” Warren asked. Steve confidently replied the affirmative.

3. Make your Top 5 Plan. Warren now asked Steve when he planned to get to work on these top 5 and what his approach would be. They spent the next while discussing Steve’s plan (for those of you who missed it, this is where my free Goal Setting and Action Workbook comes in). Steve explained “Warren, these are the most important things in my life right now. I’m going to get to work on them right away. I’ll start tomorrow. Actually, no I’ll start tonight.”

Steve went on the explain his plan, who he would enlist to help him and by when all these items would get done. Warren was starting to get excited. With any luck he would be out of a pilot within weeks…

4. Marry your priorities. Once the Top 5 planning session was over, Warren then asked “but what about these other 20 things on your list that you didn’t circle? What is your plan for completing those?” Steve replied confidently “Well the top five are my primary focus but the other twenty come in at a close second. They are still important so I’ll work on those intermittently as I see fit as I’m getting through my top 5. They are not as urgent but I still plan to give them dedicated effort.”

To Steve’s surprise, Warren responded sternly, “No. You’ve got it wrong Steve. Everything you didn’t circle just became your ‘avoid at all cost list’. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top 5.”

5. Know your ‘Avoid at all Cost List‘ and stick to it. Did #4 surprise anyone? It certainly did me. Warren makes a powerful and somewhat unconventional point here. Most people would suggest ranking their second most important items just below their first. Makes sense at first, but as it turns out, this is the type of behavior that creates some of the most detrimental distractions in making big things happen.

via http://liveyourlegend.net/warren-buffetts-5-step-process-for-prioritizing-true-success-and-why-most-people-never-do-it/

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Warren Buffett explains again the Burger King deal

"There isn’t a whole lot of intellectual property to transfer with hamburgers. This is not a case of trapped cash, it’s not a case of intellectual property. It’s a case of the larger company being in Canada."

Burger King earned net profit of $234 million on revenues of $1.14 billion last year while Tim Hortons made $429 million in net profit on revenues of $3.26 billion over the same period.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Warren Buffett wins sports bet

While at the MGM Grand for the Floyd Mayweather fight, the billionaire investor decided to bet on a sports book for the first time ever.

Buffett laid down his first-ever wager at a Las Vegas sports book with a bet of $550 at the MGM Grand on his alma mater, the Nebraska Cornhuskers. 

Buffett saw the line that had Nebraska favored over Fresno State by just 12½ points. So he put $550 on Nebraska.

The win left Warren Buffett richer by $500.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Warren Buffett on Detroit investment potential

Americans love cars. It all started here [in Detroit]. You can always get people’s eyes to light up when you sell them a new car.”

We’re ready to buy a business here tomorrow, Every city has issues, that’s the time to buy.

Investment was paralyzed. [In 1975 New York was almost Bankrupt]. Look at it today. Great cities will remain great as long as they tackle (their) problems.

Rather be unknown and be the best

Would you like, publicly, to be considered as the best lover in the world, but privately know that you are the worst? Or, would you rather be considered publicly to be the worst lover in the world, when privately you know that you are the best?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Berkshire unit wants to help Marijuana businesses

 Cubic Designs Inc., a small Wisconsin-based unit of Berkshire that makes platforms and installs “free-standing structures in warehouses has reached out to over 1,000 Colorado and Washington pot dispensaries in an effort to help them maximize their functional space for growing and harvesting marijuana.

“Double your growing space,” the flier reads in capital letters, above an image of an indoor facility with rows of plants. Another page says, “Grow your profits.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Charlie Munger on Ben Graham & Buffett

I don’t love Ben Graham and his ideas the way Warren does. You have to understand, to Warren — who discovered him at such a young age and then went to work for him — Ben Graham’s insights changed his whole life, and he spent much of his early years worshiping the master at close range.  But I have to say, Ben Graham had a lot to learn as an investor.  His ideas of how to value companies were all shaped by how the Great Crash and the Depression almost destroyed him, and he was always a little afraid of what the market can do. It left him with an aftermath of fear for the rest of his life, and all his methods were designed to keep that at bay.

I think Ben Graham wasn’t nearly as good an investor as Warren Buffett is or even as good as I am.  Buying those cheap, cigar-butt stocks [companies with limited potential growth selling at a fraction of what they would be worth in a takeover or liquidation] was a snare and a delusion, and it would never work with the kinds of sums of money we have. You can’t do it with billions of dollars or even many millions of dollars.  But he was a very good writer and a very good teacher and a brilliant man, one of the only intellectuals – probably the only intellectual — in the investing business at the time.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Charlie Munger left a great career to join Berkshire

Warren talked me into leaving the law business, and that was a very significant influence on me. I was already thinking about becoming a full-time investor, and Warren told me I was far better suited to that. He was right. I would probably have done it myself, but he pushed me to it. 

I have to say, it isn’t an easy thing to work very hard for many years to build up a significant career, as I had done, and then to destroy that career on purpose. [Mr. Munger left the law firm he founded, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, in 1965 to serve as Mr. Buffett’s right-hand man at Berkshire and to run a private investment partnership.] That would have been a lot harder to do if not for Warren’s influence on me.

It wasn’t a mistake. It worked out remarkably well for both of us and for a lot of other people as well.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Munger praises Warren Buffett's learning capacity

Warren is one of the best learning machines on this earth. The turtles who outrun the hares are learning machines. If you stop learning in this world, the world rushes right by you. 

Warren was lucky that he could still learn effectively and build his skills, even after he reached retirement age. Warren's investing skills have markedly increased since he turned 65.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Reading and thinking was important for Warren Buffett's sucess

I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Charlie Munger notes Buffett's early interest in stocks as key ingredient to success

The first factor is the mental aptitude. Warren is seriously smart. Warren doesn't spend any time on self-pity, envy, etc.

Then there's the good effect caused by his doing this since he was 10 years old. It's very hard to succeed until you take the first step in what you're strongly interested in. There's no substitute for strong interest and he got a very early start.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Warren Buffett says Burger King acquisition is not tax related

Warren Buffett has defended his involvement in a tax inversion deal that will transfer Burger King’s headquarters to Canada as part of its $11.4bn acquisition of coffee and doughnuts chain Tim Hortons.

Mr Buffett, whose conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway will provide $3bn of financing for the deal, said Tim Hortons’ strong roots in Canada and limited presence in the US was the main reason for moving the combined company’s headquarters north of the border, rather than tax.

“Tim Hortons earns more money than Burger King does. I just don’t know how the Canadians would feel about Tim Hortons moving to Florida. The main thing here is to make the Canadians happy.”

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Warren Buffett helps Burger King

Warren Buffett is putting up some of the cash for Burger King's $11 billion deal to buy Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons. As part of the deal, the combined company's headquarters will be in Toronto, instead of BK's current home base of Miami, which could help it save money in U.S. taxes. 

As part of the deal, Berkshire Hathaway will provide $3 billion in exchange for preferred shares in the new company. The coupon on those shares: a hefty 9 percent. 

Burger King also expects the debt for the deal to have a junk rating, indicating higher borrowing costs. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Berkshire increasing Cash Positions compared to most individual investors

Individual investors have been cutting back on cash in portfolios, the exact reverse of what Warren Buffett has been doing at Berkshire Hathaway.

Who do you think has got it right?

Cash at Berkshire Hathaway stood at just over US$55 billion as of June 30, 2014 an all-time high and two-and-a-half times the level he has said in the past he likes to keep on tap to meet extraordinary claims at his insurance businesses. That’s also up more than 50 per cent from a year ago.

Mr Buffett’s green pile is in sharp contrast to individual American investors, who have cut cash in portfolios to 15.8 per cent, a 14-year low, according to the July asset allocation survey from the American Association of Individual Investors.

via http://www.thenational.ae/business/markets/warren-buffetts-55bn-cash-hoard-bucks-trend

Monday, August 25, 2014

China car maker BYD backed by Warren Buffett shares drop

Chinese car maker BYD Co Ltd , backed by Warren Buffett, saw its shares drop as much as 9 percent in Hong Kong before bouncing back after the company posted worse-than-expected first-half results and warned profit may fall by as much as a fifth in the first nine months of the year.

BYD said that its net profit during the first six months fell 15.5 percent to 360.7 million yuan ($59 million) from 426.9 million yuan a year earlier, dragged down by a 27 percent slump in vehicle sales volume.

The car maker currently has around a 37 percent share of China's new energy vehicle market, and said it expects to further strengthen its position in the second half of the year with new models and expanded production capacity. 

BYD and other Chinese carmakers such as Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd and Chery Automobile Co Ltd are losing market share to foreign rivals Volkswagen AG , General Motors Co and Ford Motor Corp as competition grows in the lower-end of China's auto market.

One bright spot in BYD's first-half results was the explosive growth in its business selling vehicles powered by new forms of new energy, principally electric cars. That division saw revenue surge more than 10-fold to 2.7 billion yuan on the back of government incentive policies.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Berkshire buys Charter Communication stake and Verisign, USG, IBM

Warren Buffett's company has revealed a new stake in Charter Communications and made several other tweaks to its $108 billion U.S. stock portfolio.

Berkshire said it owned 2.3 million shares of cable television provider Charter at the end of June.

Berkshire also bought more shares ofVerisign, USG and IBM during the second quarter.

It reduced its stakes in DirecTV, Liberty Media and National Oilwell Varco. It also eliminated an investment in Starz.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Buffett buys Verizon, reduces stake in GM

Warren Buffett bought 11 million shares of Verizon in the first quarter of 2014. The stock rose and he added more, almost 4 million more, in Q2. 

Verizon may be in for a growth spurt, but it seems more likely that Buffett is simply putting his money where he usually does: in a company with a dominant position in its sector, positioned for growth over the long haul.

General Motors and Cadillac

And he’s got a lot more money to put into Verizon, too. Because though Warren Buffett is very happy with his new Cadillac, he has sold off 10 million shares of GM in 2014, and reduced his GM holdings by 25%.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Warren Buffett on Short Term market forecasters

We've long felt that the only value of stock forecasters is to make fortune tellers look good. 

Even now, Charlie and I continue to believe that short-term market forecasts are poison and should be kept locked up in a safe place, away from children and also from grown-ups who behave in the market like children.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Berkshire Shares top $200,000

Shares of billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway topped the $200,000 level for the first time ever in today’s trading session.

Berkshire’s class-A shares were up $1,535, or 0.7%, to $200,885 today - Thursday August 14, 2014.

Buffett has been giving away big parts of his Berkshire stock to charity over the past 8 years, but he still owned 321,000 Class A shares as of mid-July. That stock is now worth $64.2 billion.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How Warren Buffett learnt to invest with patience

Warren Buffet’s father was a stockbroker and as a child, Warren Buffet would visit and get the stock prices.  He then at age of 11 bought three shares of Cities Service Preferred at $38 per share.  

The stock, however, quickly dropped to $27.

Buffett held on until they climbed back up to $40. Then he sold them at a small profit. He later regretted the decision when Cities Service shot up to nearly $200 a share, and still cites this experience as an early lesson in patience in investing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

BNSF was Berkshire's largest purchase ever

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is owner of the biggest player in hauling Bakken oil by rail: Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF). And within Berkshire Hathaway's impressive portfolio — BNSF was the "largest purchase in Berkshire's history." Last year, BNSF had revenues totaling more than $22 billion.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Berkshire Q2 profit soars 41% in 2014

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc said second-quarter profit soared 41 percent to a record high, reflecting substantial investment gains and improved results in manufacturing, service and retail businesses.

Berkshire owns more than 80 businesses in sectors including insurance, railroads, energy, chemicals, food and clothing. Berkshire's diversification helped in the quarter. While profit fell 8 percent in insurance, the company's best known business sector, earnings from other businesses grew 20 percent.

Berkshire's cash stake surged to $55.46 billion from $48.95 billion at the end of March.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Warren Buffett praises Ace Greenberg

Ace Greenberg does almost everything better than I do: bridge, magic tricks, dog training, arbitrage - all of the important things in life.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Warren Buffett on NetJets

The story of Mr. Warren Buffett and NetJets goes like this: He purchased his first NetJets share in 1995 and was so impressed with the charter jet service, which pioneered the concept of fractional aircraft ownership, that he bought the company three years later. 

He and his family have flown more than 5,000 hours on NetJets to date. That is the equivalent to flying 24 hours a day for seven months.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Warren Buffett on building wind farms

We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

National Indemnity strikes deal with Buffett

Last week Berkshire’s Omaha-based National Indemnity Co. agreed to take over as much as $6.5 billion in Liberty Mutual Holding Co.’s liabilities for insurance policies covering asbestos, environmental and workers’ compensation risks, in exchange for a premium of about $3 billion.

The transaction means National Indemnity, part of Berkshire’s insurance operation headed by Ajit Jain, would manage claims for damage that will stretch far into the future, and in the meantime use the $3 billion for other investments.

Berkshire made a similar agreement with American International Group in 2012, receiving $1.68 billion and taking over potential asbestos claims up to $3.5 billion.

For Liberty Mutual, based in Boston, the transfer of risk to Berkshire “eliminates a substantial source of uncertainty,” said Liberty Mutual Chairman and CEO David Long.

Berkshire will accept that uncertainty and, with its long-range financial view, expects to make a profit when all the claims end and investment results are added up.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Warren Buffett buys new Cadillac

Billionaire Warren Buffett wrote a letter to Mary Barra praising his car-buying experience at Huber Cadillac in Omaha. 
Buffett with GM sales girl who delivered the car

It is reported Warren Buffett sent his daughter, Susie Buffett, to the dealership to make the purchase. The saleswoman recommended that Warren Buffett buy the XTS sedan he picked, not the CTS coupe that Barra had recommended.

Buffett joked that the reason the saleswoman recommended the sedan is that his daughter described the 83-year-old investor who runs Berkshire Hathaway as "hopelessly over-the-hill."

Buffett’s 2006 Cadillac DTS, with 19,000 miles on it, will go to Girls Inc. as a fundraiser. When he bought the 2006 model, he donated his 2001 Lincoln Town Car, with 14,000 miles on it, to Girls Inc., too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Warren has donated 2.8 Billion worth of dollars to Bill Gates foundation

Warren Buffett donated a record $2.8 billion in securities to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four Buffett family foundations, bringing his total contributions to the foundations over the past eight years to $18.7 billion.

In 2007 Buffett pledged nearly all his wealth to the foundations through annual contributions of his stock in Berkshire Hathaway Inc., or from his estate after he dies. As chairman and CEO, he built the Omaha conglomerate into the nation’s fourth-largest corporation over the past 55 years.

The latest contributions: $2.13 billion to the Gates Foundation, $213 million to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and $149 million each, or $447.6 million total, to foundations headed by his children, Susan, Howard and Peter.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Warren Buffett on Charles Munger advise

More than 50 years ago, Charlie [Munger] told me that it was far better to buy a wonderful business at a fair price than to buy a fair business at a wonderful price. Despite the compelling logic of his position, I have sometimes reverted to my old habit of bargain-hunting, with results ranging from tolerable to terrible.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

One of Buffett's largest position is in Exxon Mobil

Exxon Mobil is now believed to be Warren Buffett’s seventh largest stock investment.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy is owner of everything from utilities to gas pipelines to the $15 billion worth of solar and wind investments, already making it Berkshire's biggest commitment to any industry save insurance.

Berkshire’s growing energy portfolio includes NV Energy, the largest utility in Nevada, for which it paid nearly $6 billion last year.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Warren Buffet shares book with Bill Gates

Bill Gates has revealed his favorite business book and probably his inspiration for success. The book is called Business Adventures and it’s by a man named John Brooks. Brooks contributed to the New Yorker for years and decided to compile all of his stories about Wall Street and American business into one anthology, which ended up being Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ favorite business book of all time.

The book was originally lent to Bill Gates by fellow billionaire Warren Buffett, an investor who also considered Business Adventures to be his favorite book on the topic. It may come as a surprise to learn that the book isn’t a guide on how to get rich, but being Bill Gates’ favorite book might make people wonder if there’s anything in Business Adventures that helped Gates find his success.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Warren Buffett praises Carol Loomis of Fortune who is retiring as his oldest newsletter editor

In January 1954, a bright-eyed 24-year-old from Cole Camp, Missouri, walked into Fortune magazine's offices at Rockefeller Center in New York. Armed with a college journalism degree and work experience writing for a Maytag company magazine, she took an entry-level job assisting Fortune's male writers.

The young woman, Carol Loomis, navigated the magazine's "Mad Men"-like culture, on one occasion slapping a married colleague whom, she delicately recalled, "had an agenda." She proved herself as a reporter but had to battle gender stereotypes. In 1970, she fought her way into an Economic Club of New York dinner after its director said he did not want "any frivolous little Smith girls looking for a free dinner and the chance to spend an evening with 1,200 men in black tie."

"She has an analytical mind, and she keeps learning," said Warren E. Buffett, the billionaire investor and a close friend. "We males never do that. We quit at about 15. We just think we know it all. At 85, she is interested in learning more."

On Monday, Fortune will publish her final article before she retires, a piece about one of the world's most powerful financiers, Laurence D. Fink of BlackRock.

Loomis is perhaps best known as Buffett's Boswell. She has been Fortune's resident expert on Buffett since meeting him in 1966, and each year edits the annual shareholder letter of Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway - an unusual role for a financial journalist. The two speak nearly every business day and are frequent bridge partners, playing mostly over the Internet.

She will have more time now for bridge. At her age, she said, it was becoming too difficult to jump on a plane and take extended trips to write the deeply reported, lengthy magazine features that she worked on throughout her career.

"I began to realize that some of the things that a Fortune writer needs to do, just take for granted, become a little bit harder at this age," said Loomis, seated in a Fortune conference room Wednesday. "I didn't want to be a Fortune writer who was constrained in any way."

She was introduced to Buffett by her husband, John, a retired partner at First Manhattan, the New York investment manager.

Now that she is officially retired, Loomis said she hoped to first catch up on the lunches she missed while finishing her article on Fink and BlackRock. She also needs to find a place for the nine boxes of reporter's notes cluttering her garage. And she looks forward to playing more golf and bridge.

Loomis also plans to continue her regular conversations with Buffett and assist him with his writings. After editing the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letter for nearly 40 years, she likes to remind Buffett that he still needs her help. She said that dangling participles and the passive voice were persistent problems.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The secret to Warren Buffett's success

We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Warren Buffett on diversifying investments

Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Should not always give the rich more money

The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we'll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Warren Buffetts Hero is Chuck Feeney

Warren Buffett's role model is Chuck Feeney, a former billionaire who gave away his entire fortune.

“Chuck has set an example,” Buffett said while presenting Feeney with the Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Philanthropy. “It’s a real honor to talk about a fellow who is my hero and Bill Gates’ hero. He should be everybody’s hero.”

Chuck Feeney cofounded Duty Free Shoppers and made a fortune selling cigarettes, booze and bags to travelers. In 1984, he secretly transferred his 38.75% ownership of Duty Free to what became the Atlantic Philanthropies, his foundation. By the time Atlantic Philanthropies shuts down in 2016, it will have given away $7.5 billion to promote education, human rights, science and healthcare around the world. 

No one has ever given away the entirety of such a large fortune while they were still alive.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Buffett to continue investing in energy sector

We’ve poured billions and billions and billions of dollars in retained earnings, and several billion of additional equity [into the energy business]. And we’re going to keep doing that as far as the eye can see.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What Warren would do if he were President of USA

Well, if I were in charge of running the United States for the next 500 years, I would want the ability to produce energy in a way that would take care of national defense under all circumstances. Because I would not want to be dependent on the rest of the world in that respect.

But if otherwise I could use up, you know, as important an item to the planet as energy and use the other guy's, and like I said, if I have responsibility for hundreds and hundreds of years, I would use the other guy's and trade him little pieces of paper for it. But I would always want to have an up-to-date national defense.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Warren Buffett on business and Berkshire results

What we see is just steady, but far from spectacular, gains and that’s been going on now for five years. And autos are getting very strong now, they’ve really come back. Housing looked like it was catching a big tailwind, and it’s still doing OK, but it’s disappointing.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Buffett: Stocks vs Dollars

Well, the option is to own equities or own fixed dollars. I think it's clear you own equities. I do not think they're in crazy territory. But most of the time stocks have been in a zone of reasonableness over my lifetime. I think they're in the zone of reasonableness now. And certainly if you said to me it's either going to have to be long the 30-year bond and short an index fund for 30 years or vice versa, it would be long index fund. I would be long in stocks. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Berkshire board terrific

[In] Berkshire we look for directors that were shareholder-oriented, business-savvy, and interested in Berkshire. And we think those criteria make sense. Other people have a whole bunch of different checklists. But we have a group of directors that get paid virtually nothing, and they have to — their interest has to come about because they find the place interesting, and in many cases because they have huge investments. And they made those investments themselves. Nobody gave them shares. So it's a very unusual board. But it's a terrific board.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Warren Buffett praises Brian Moynihan

I think Brian Moynihan is doing a terrific job. He's got a lot of problems to deal with, not of his making. He's just methodically worked his way through. And one of the problems is when he thinks he's worked his way through, there's a few more.

He's done the right things. He's simplified the bank dramatically, brought down the balance sheet. He's brought it back to the fundamentals. Bank of America has a wonderful deposit franchise, and it will do well over time. When I first bought the stock, when I was talking to Brian, I said you have a long period ahead of you. You'll work through all of this. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Buffett on Nebraska Furniture Mart and its dominance

Nobody is going to be able to compete with the Nebraska Furniture Mart. I mean, this store does more home furnishing business than any store in the country. And what are we in, I don't know, the 50th market in the country? 

This store does $450 million annually. It's doing $40 million during the Berkshire shareholders week. But there's no store that remotely can offer the variety. There's no store that can undersell us.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Warren Buffett praises Mary Barra

Mary, I think she's terrific. She loves cars. I told her she was a car guy. Just all the way through, and she knows cars. Every aspect of it that you get into, she knows the impact, the trade-offs involved between weight and style and price. 

I mean, she just has cars down forward and backward. And she loves General Motors. Her father was there a long period of time. She's made for the job.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Warren Buffett on human behaviour

I've been involved with a couple situations where a proposal to buy a company has come to the board and been shot down. What happens in that case is one person finally pipes up. 

It's a little like the kid saying the Emperor is wearing no clothes and everybody will come on board. But the first person to speak is like belching at the dinner table. And then sometimes other people start belching and the move away from you. Depends on the situation, but there are some people that have bravery to be followers in a situation like that but not to initiate it. You've seen that in other aspects of human behavior.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bufffett praises Berkshire way of management

Our approach makes sense: great managers, great businesses, conservatively capitalized. Capitalism is about allocating capital, and we can do that without tax consequences. We can take money from See's and move it to the place of best return, as the situation says, be it wind farms or whatever. And nobody is better to do that than Berkshire. But, it needs to be done with business-like principles, not stock promotion. You can see what happened with Tyco.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Warren Buffett 2014 lunch auction

For anyone interested in a private luncheon with Warren Buffett, your yearly chance has once again arrived. The 15th annual Glide Foundation Warren Buffet lunch auction begins June 1, 2014 and ends Friday, June 6 at 7:30 pm PDT. The auction has raised over $15 million for the charity since it started in 2000.

In order to be able to bid on the auction, you’ll need to fork over a minimum of $25,000. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Warren Buffett on HFT

It's[High Frequency Trading] not a liquidity provider. It may create more volume. But that's not the same as being a liquidity provider. To the extent that it's front-running, I think society generally has been against front-running for good reasons and where it's — in the old-fashioned front-running, they had rules against it.

Here they gained a natural advantage by speed just by figuring out how the system worked and then getting there first, and that adds nothing to GDP or anything, a real output of goods and services. On the other hand, the market isn't regulated. And for the small investor, they've never had it so good. And high-frequency trading I don't think costs them a penny probably. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Warren Buffett base salary

Buffett for many years has had one of the lowest base salaries of a CEO of a company listed in the S&P 500. His base salary is $100,000. Buffett's salary for leading Berkshire hasn't changed in more than 25 years. 

Warren Buffett's vast majority of wealth comes from ownership stake, not salary as CEOs

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Warren Buffett helps the needy

When Warren Buffett announced in 2006 that he would give away his billions, he was flooded with individual requests for help that still flow in today.

Instead of tossing the letters aside, Buffett packages them up and sends them to his big sister Doris. With the help of seven women, her Sunshine Lady Foundation scrutinizes each request to find people who have come upon bad luck through no fault of their own.

"She just believes that a lot of people got short straws in life, and she wants to help them," - Warren Buffett

via - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/27/warren-buffet-philanthropy_n_5397530.html?utm_hp_ref=politics&ir=Politics

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Warren Buffett latest investment changes

For Quarter 1 of 2014, Berkshire Hathaway's US long stock portfolio increased from $104.84B to $105.77B. 

The majority of existing positions were were left unchanged, however there were some incremental purchases and a few sells. Buffett continues to hold a very concentrated portfolio. The top-five positions account for 65.89% of the portfolio. 

The largest position remained the same as last quarter - Wells Fargo & Company at a whopping 21.73% of the US long portfolio -

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Warren Buffett on stock predictions and forecasting

Forecasts may tell you a great deal about the forecaster, they tell you nothing about the future. If that is the case, what is the point of financial punditry at all? 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Warren Buffett business acquisition quote

We want businesses to be one that we can understand, with favorable long-term prospects, operated by honest and competent people, and available at a very attractive price.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Buffett admits his weakness in personnel changes

A pure weak point is, I'm slow to make personnel changes. There will be times when what you might call our lack of supervision of our subsidiaries means we'll miss something.

We had a guy, we loved the guy, and it wasn't killing us in our business, and how long before we went to somebody else. We've waited too long on one manager sometimes

Monday, May 12, 2014

Berkshire could acquire Intero Real Estate in California

Berkshire Hathaway is close to acquiring Intero Real Estate Services, the Silicon Valley residential brokerage powerhouse, according with industry sources familiar with the transaction.

Terms of the Intero deal were still sketchy, but Berkshire Hathaway has been beefing up its position in residential brokerage through a new brand called Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, and is aiming to take it national. According to Bloomberg, Berkshire's HomeServices has bought eight brokerages in the past two years.

Intero, founded in 2002 and based in Cupertino, CA expanded quickly and today has more than 60 offices with a combined sales volume of $8.7 billion in 2013. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Warren Buffett thanks Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner

In 2008, our [economy and financial] system was saved by a few people. We would be living in a much different country today had it not been for Hank and Ben Bernanke and I would say Tim Geithner, too.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Buffett interested to see how the Fed exits from QE

Warren Buffett on his concerns for the Fed's exit from QE monetary stimulus

Well, I said it's a really interesting movie because the stakes are high and we don't know the ending. But I would say that's still the situation. But so far we haven't seen any big problems associated with it.

I don't know how it comes out. That's why I find it so interesting.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Warren Buffett on outsourcing

It has just gotten way out of hand because tax rates are so low in certain countries. 

And there are some companies, particularly when you are dealing with intellectual property, where you can set up a rationale to say your earnings are taking place in Ireland or Bermuda or something like that, when they are really originating in large part here. Those companies pile up huge cash balances overseas, and then they say, Give us a tax free period and we will bring it back. But that would of course just induce them to do more of that over there once they find out they can get away with it. It's a crazy situation, but it has developed over the years. That part of the tax code has really got to be looked at hard at some point.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Warren Buffett dedicated to Berkshire

I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire's tax rate. For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That's the only reason to build them. They don't make sense without the tax credit.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Easy for politicians to not raise taxes

The solution is to either change the promises or tax more. But the trouble is for any given politician he's only going to be there for a year or two. His best solution is to do nothing because he will be gone. And it isn't the kind of problem that you wake up tomorrow and causes the lights to go out or the streets to not get shoveled. It is the easiest problem in the world to postpone.

In Omaha, I would not like to change the promises that have been made to the people who work publicly. So I think we should probably tax more. But that won't work in many municipalities or states. The problems are too big relative to the tax base. You can't tax enough in Detroit to pay the pensions that have been promised. They have gone too far.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Warren Buffett CNBC interview April 2014: Index investing

Warren Buffett video interview from CNBC about long term investing and future for investing through Index Funds.