Case Studies

A Few Thoughts on Buffett and Great Banks

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I wrote a post about screening for quality bank stocks and another one here about Wells Fargo vs Cheap Community Banks and thought I’d post on some other comments I have here. Some of these thought might sound contradictory (everyone wants to separate stocks into categories based on quality/earnings and cheapness/assets). It’s not black and white, and all we’re really trying to do is figure out what something is worth and pay less for it. As Alice Schroeder has said, […]

Case Studies

Wells Fargo vs. Small Community Banks

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Charlie Munger once said that he compares every possible investment to Wells Fargo… Why buy company X if it’s not as good/cheap as WFC?  For weeks I’ve been slowly and steadily working my way through hundreds of small community bank stock filings looking for bargains. A good friend of mine lately has been the trusty old FDIC website where you can find current/historical financials on banks to your heart’s content… But after a few more hours of sifting through Call Reports […]

Case Studies

Star Manager’s Case Study of a Great Business vs. a Net-Net

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Over the weekend I was reading through some Charlie479 posts on VIC (who I’ll introduce below). He recommended a company called Winmall & Co (WNMLA), a small, illiquid, management-controlled stock in 2001 that was selling for about 43% of net cash. Below is an interesting comment Charlie479 made in response to another comment that basically stated that while the stock is in fact cheap, it wasn’t a great investment because it had been cheap for a long time and could […]

Case Studies

Bill Ackman On His Recent Mistakes

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Bill Ackman is like the New York Yankees, a team that many love to see lose. Ackman is a star fund manager with an outstanding long term track record. He has also been the star in an interesting theater over the past year thanks to two very public investments that did not go his way. I’ve been somewhat surprised by the way that Ackman is portrayed in the public. He has developed into a sort of “hedge fund public enemy number […]

Case Studies

An Ordinary Guy Who Became a Billionaire

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Last week, I came across this video of Stewart Horejsi, one of a small, but growing list of billionaires who have made their fortune solely because of their investment in Berkshire Hathaway. This was a really interesting story about a guy who began buying Berkshire stock in the 1980’s at around $300 per share. There are many other stories of people who became rich by investing with Buffett. Compounding at well over 20% per year for decades will do that […]

Case Studies

Thinking Differently: The Most Important Contrarian Behavior

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“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”  – Wayne Gretzky One of the most important skills that you can develop as an investor is the ability to think differently. This is a broad topic with many interpretations. I often talk about thinking differently here at BHI. When it comes to general philosophy or “investment theory” (as opposed to thinking about individual stock investments), I spend more time thinking about this topic than […]

Case Studies

The Best Way to Improve Investment Skills: “One Case Study After Another”

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I do a lot of case studies. I recommend that any burgeoning value investor do as many case studies as they can, sprinkled in among reading annual reports and other filings. I’ll explain what I mean by this in a moment… first I thought the best investor/teacher of all time could explain the importance of this exercise better than me: “To invest successfully, you need not understand beta, efficient markets, modern portfolio theory, option pricing or emerging markets. You may, […]

Case Studies

Aeropostale (ARO) Might Offer Turnaround Value

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Sometimes in life you’re timing is great. Other times, it can be uncannily poor. But such is life, and such is investing. It keeps things very interesting and fun. Over the past week, I’ve been leisurely reading about teen retailers in general (AEO, ARO, ANF, and others) as the market has done a number on their stock prices over the past few months. I’ve focused in on Aeropostale (ARO), simply because it has been hit the hardest and I wanted […]

Ben Graham

Case Study-The Story of GEICO, Graham, and Buffett

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Geico is a company that is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. It’s an incredibly interesting company to study. I recently read an outstanding presentation on the company by David Rolfe of Wedgewood Partners. This post is my take… a short summary of the story of GEICO from the notes of that presentation. I recommend studying the presentation for more details on the company itself-I learned a lot by doing so. It’s a great case study. Now… for the story, […]