A 1977 Warren Buffett Interview From the WSJ Archives

Posted on 5 CommentsPosted in Portfolio Management, Warren Buffett

Someone I’m connected with on Linkedin sent me this old article from 1977 in the Wall Street Journal on Warren Buffett. I thought I’d share it here, along with a few highlights. It’s an article I haven’t seen previously. There isn’t much new here, but I thought it was quick read with a couple passages worth commenting on. One thing I don’t recall Buffett ever describing were the pressures of money management that he felt while running his partnership. This […]

Base Hits vs. Swinging for the Fences

Posted on 18 CommentsPosted in Case Studies, Shareholder Letters & Reports, Think Differently

I just got done reading Jeff Bezos’ annual letter to shareholders, which is outstanding as it always it. As I finished it, I spent a few minutes thinking about it. He references Amazon’s style of “portfolio management”. He doesn’t call it that of course, but this passage got me thinking about it. Since I wrote a post earlier in the week about portfolio management, I thought using Bezos’ letter would allow me to expand on a few other random thoughts. […]

General Thoughts on Portfolio Management and Diversification

Posted on 13 CommentsPosted in General Thoughts, Investment Philosophy, Investment Quotes, Walter Schloss

“Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return. Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.” –Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 Investors have always discussed and debated the merits of diversification—apparently even as far back as the days of King Solomon (although his definition of diversification—7 or 8 “ventures”—might not sit well with modern day portfolio theory and mutual fund managers who often hold 30, 50, or 100 […]

Buffett on Taxes (1965 version)

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in Investment Quotes, Portfolio Management, Warren Buffett

“One of my friends—a noted West Coast philosopher—maintains that a majority of life’s errors are caused by forgetting what one is really trying to do.” – Warren Buffett, 1965 BPL Partnership Letter I’ve read a few things lately discussing the benefits of designing a “tax-efficient” investment strategy. I’ve said this before, but I think there is a significant misunderstanding on the tax benefits of a low-turnover portfolio, and there is an even larger misunderstanding on the concept of turnover itself. […]

Drivers of ROE in the Context of Portfolio Management

Posted on 18 CommentsPosted in Portfolio Management, Think Differently, Warren Buffett

Someone on the Corner of Berkshire and Fairfax board recently posted this comment referencing Buffett’s well-known piece on inflation from 1977. In the article, Buffett describes the variables that drive a company’s return on equity. There are only five ways that a company can improve returns: Increase turnover Cheaper leverage (reduce interest charges) More leverage (increase the amount of assets relative to a given level of equity) Lower income taxes Wider margins Notice three of the five drivers of ROE have […]

Risk and Portfolio Management Similarities between Joel Greenblatt and Stanley Druckenmiller

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in Case Studies, Investment Philosophy, Joel Greenblatt, Portfolio Management, Superinvestors

I have been busy over the past couple of weeks. My wife gave birth to twins about two weeks ago, and now that I am back in the office, I am catching up on some reading. While we were in the hospital for about a week, I did have some time to do some reading, and I have some comments on two annual reports of current holdings of mine—JP Morgan and Markel—which I may turn into brief posts. But briefly, […]

Things You Didn’t Know About Buffett’s Strategy

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in Investment Philosophy, Shareholder Letters & Reports, Superinvestors, Warren Buffett

Last weekend I spent a couple hours reading through Buffett’s old partnership letters (again). I was looking for something specific that I remembered him talking about, but then as I was flipping through them trying to find this comment, I just decided to read them again. I’ve always found it extremely valuable to read Buffett’s letters. Although I’ve read both the partnership letters and the Berkshire letters multiple times, I feel like I pick up something new each time I […]

Portfolio Turnover–A Vastly Misunderstood Concept

Posted on 52 CommentsPosted in Case Studies, Superinvestors, Think Differently

A while back I wrote a post about how the gap between 52 week high and low prices presents an opportunity for investors in public markets. I mentioned that this simple observation (the huge gap between yearly highs and lows) is all the evidence you need to debunk the theory that markets are efficiently priced all the time. I think the market generally does a good job at valuing companies within a range of reasonableness, but there is absolutely no […]

Buffett vs Munger vs Schloss and Thoughts on Portfolio Strategy

Posted on 35 CommentsPosted in How to Improve Results, Investment Philosophy, Portfolio Management, Superinvestors, Think Differently, Walter Schloss, Warren Buffett

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 […]

A Few More General Thoughts on the Miners

Posted on 11 CommentsPosted in General Thoughts, Portfolio Management

I’ve received a lot of emails about the posts I did regarding my thoughts on the precious metal miners. As I mentioned in one of the posts, that industry is one that contains many passionate opinions, on both the bull and the bear side. I have received many questions regarding my opinions on the commodities themselves (gold and silver)… of which I really don’t have one, and also questions about Fed policy among other things… I really didn’t get too […]