Investment Ideas & Company Research

Berkshire Hathaway is Safe and Cheap

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I own Berkshire Hathaway stock. In fact, it’s a stock I bought recently for the first time ever, despite following it for years. I think earlier this year it became (and to a large extent still is) far too cheap. It’s not a stock that I think has huge upside, but it is a stock that I think has no downside. (That said, I do think there is enough upside to get plenty excited). In proper investment parlance, the risk/reward […]

Case Studies

Comments on Mistakes and Buffett’s Original Berkshire Purchase

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I was reading through the 2014 (last year’s) Berkshire Hathaway annual report and 10-K looking for a few things, and happened to reread Buffett’s letter from last year. I wrote a post a couple weeks ago concerning buybacks and Outerwall, and how a company that is buying back stock of a dying business is not a good use of capital. I noticed a passage in last year’s letter that is relevant to the topic—Buffett himself was attracted to buybacks on a […]

Charlie Munger

Some Thoughts on the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

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I had a great time in Omaha this past weekend. I got to meet with a couple clients, reconnect with some like-minded value investors, and meet some new friends as well. And of course, being in the same building with two of the greatest investment minds in history is something special. I wanted to make just a few comments on a couple things in my notes from the weekend. This is by no means a comprehensive summary—and there are many […]

Industry-Insurance

Markel (MKL): A Compounding Machine

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“Our financial goals are to earn consistent underwriting profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value” – Markel 2013 Annual Report Markel is an outstanding business currently in its 85th year of operations. It is an excellent insurance company with a history of underwriting profits. It is also a superb investment company with a history of above average investment returns. Markel had an outstanding year in 2013, basically doubling the size of its insurance business and investment portfolio in […]

Investment Philosophy

Buffett on How to Think About Stocks

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“Investment is most intelligent when it is most businesslike”. – Ben Graham, The Intelligent Investor This is the time of year that I always look forward to for a variety of reasons. Spring is near in my area of the United States, college basketball tournaments will be captivating audiences around the country, the azaleas will soon be in full bloom at Augusta National Golf Club (the site of my favorite golf major), and my personal favorite: the slew of annual […]

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 […]