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, […]

How to Improve Results

Buffett vs Munger vs Schloss and Thoughts on Portfolio Strategy

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I was having a conversation about Munger’s philosophy vs Schloss’ philosophy and had a few thoughts (and below I’ll compare their performance results against Buffett’s)… I often like to look at long term past performance of investors (10 years or longer) to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of their investment approach. I’ve often discussed on this site the many value investors out there with average returns. I used to ask myself ‘how can their returns be average when they clearly […]

Mohnish Pabrai

Mohnish Pabrai Lecture at Columbia University-My Notes

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Mohnish Pabrai is one of my favorite current value investors to follow. He has one of the best track records over the past 15 years. One of the reasons I like him is that he came to the hedge fund world from the business world. He never worked on Wall Street, and I don’t believe he has an MBA. He worked as an entrepreneur, starting his own company in his 20’s, and then selling it a few years later, pocketing […]

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, […]

General Thoughts

How To Determine a Good Investment

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I just wrote this post on my investment process and the idea of using screens. I found it interesting that Buffett doesn’t even consider screens as a tool. I think most of the reasoning is that he doesn’t use technology much, but other reasons include the sheer size of his investment portfolio and the fact that since the 1980’s he has become much more of a business investor interested in the qualitative aspects of a business. He is much more […]

How to Improve Results

Think Differently: Buying Cheap Stocks is Difficult

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“If you want to have a better performance than the crowd, you have to do things differently from the crowd.” –John Templeton The above quote is one of my all time favorites. It’s a ubiquitous concept: we hear it all the time…. buy what others are selling, buy fear, sell euphoria, etc… The quote represents obvious importance. But the interesting thing is that although it’s an oft used phrase, it is practiced much less often than you might realize. Taking a […]

Investment Quotes

Buffett on Farmland & Exxon Mobil vs. Gold

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Gold and silver prices are crashing this morning and I was reading some news on my Twitter feed I noticed someone link to a post at Ivanhoff.com called Warren Buffett on Gold. Ivanhoff had a nice summary from Buffett’s 2011 Berkshire Shareholder Letter that contains one of my favorite description of gold’s value and how to think about the investment case for the yellow metal. Here is Buffett on how you should think about gold: “Today the world’s gold stock […]

Ben Graham

Some Thoughts on My Investment Approach

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I’ve been having numerous email conversations with readers about my investment philosophy and overall approach to investing. To understand my investment philosophy, you have to first understand the basic investment principles from the four investors who I’ve learned the most from: Ben Graham, Walter Schloss, Joel Greenblatt, and Warren Buffett. My investment approach is a confluence of ideas that primarily stem from those four investors. Graham is the foundation. Schloss and Greenblatt add important ideas and strategies to Graham’s foundation. Buffett […]