Charlie Munger

Buffett 1972 Letter to See’s Candies

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I recently came across a letter that Buffett sent to Chuck Huggins, the CEO of See’s Candies in 1972 (thanks to Marcelo Lima at Heller House for posting it). See’s is a case study that has been dissected from every angle, but this was a letter I hadn’t seen before, so I thought some notes I wrote while reading it. In the letter, Buffett attempts to give some general advice on the distribution, merchandising, and marketing of the chocolates. The […]

Charlie Munger

Thoughts on Cost of Capital and Buffett’s $1 Test – Part 1

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“I’ve never heard an intelligent discussion about ‘cost of capital’.” – Charlie Munger I read something a few weeks back that referenced some comments that Charlie Munger once made on the topic of cost of capital. Maybe these comments will be yet another unintelligent discussion of cost of capital, but I thought I’d share some notes I wrote down this past week as I gave this concept some more thought. This post will touch on Buffett’s $1 test, which is […]

Charlie Munger

Berkshire Meeting Notes – Daily Improvement, Business Evolution, and Investment Strategy

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Last week I headed to Omaha to attend Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting. Nowadays, there is less of a reason to attend the meeting in person because it is available to watch online, but I love attending the event for all of the peripheral meetings that occur. It was a great weekend, and I got to connect with a few Saber Capital clients, as well as some good friends that I don’t see very often. No matter how long you’ve been […]

General Thoughts

Analyst Ratings and the Institutional Imperative

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Buffett talks a lot about the concept he calls the “institutional imperative”. In his 1989 shareholder letter, when he was describing his mistakes of the first 25 years managing Berkshire, he outlines what he means by this (emphasis mine): “My most surprising discovery: the overwhelming importance in business of an unseen force that we might call “the institutional imperative.” In business school, I was given no hint of the imperative’s existence and I did not intuitively understand it when I […]

Uncategorized

Buffett’s Three Categories of Returns on Capital

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“A truly great business must have an enduring “moat” that protects excellent returns on invested capital.” –Warren Buffett, 2007 Shareholder Letter A reader recently sent me the following clips from the 2007 Shareholder Letter that pertains to a topic that we’ve discussed quite a bit here: the concept of return on capital, why it’s important, and how to think about it. For those interested, you could review all the previous posts on the concept of ROIC here. Basically, I just […]

Portfolio Management

A 1977 Warren Buffett Interview From the WSJ Archives

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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 […]

Case Studies

Buffett’s Investment in Dempster Mill–A Cigar Butt

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I came across a case study that discusses Dempster Mill recently. I thought I’d post a brief summary of some notes I jotted down while reading it. Dempster Mill is a company that Buffett bought in the early 1960’s when operating his partnership. The company manufactured farm equipment, specifically windmills and water irrigation systems. It was a difficult business because the farm equipment it made was not much different than its competitors’ products, and because of these commodity-like economics, the […]

General Thoughts

Warren Buffett 1998 Talk at University of Florida

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I spent some time traveling in the car last week. Whenever I am driving by myself, I always listen to something—usually related to business or investing. I keep a long list of videos of interviews or talks that I can pick from whenever I am in the car. On this particular short trip, I had got through two different videos. I listened to this talk from 2012 where Jeff Bezos talks about Amazon Web Services—the cloud computing services business that […]

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 […]

General Thoughts

Long-term Thinking and Back to Basics

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When markets are tumbling, it’s time to get excited about stocks. This is often talked about, but rarely practiced. J. Paul Getty once said the key to getting rich is simple: “Buy when everyone else is selling and hold when everyone else is buying”. For the value investing community, Buffett’s famous “Be greedy when others are fearful” basically is the same gist. Commonly referenced and preached, but far less often practiced. I am lucky to have a great client base at […]