Warren Buffett Secrets newsletter now bi-montlhy
Warren Buffett Secrets newsletter now bi-monthly
Beginning with this issue, the Warren Buffett Secrets newsletter will be emailed twice a month. In addition to providing you with more news on Warren Buffett and related subjects, this change will allow us to, from time to time, provide more detailed reports, where we feel it warranted..
Charitable donations by the rich and famous
USA Today reports that BusinessWeek magazine has listed Americas top charity donors from 1998 to 2003. They include 22.9 billion dollars (almost 50 per cent of their net worth) from Bill and Melissa Gates, and 230 million dollars (about 1 per cent of net worth) from Warren and Susan Buffett.
The article does point out that Buffetts charitable donations have been regularly made for over 50 years.
Buffetts solution to the trade deficit
According to a report in the Pittsburg Tribune-Review, Warren Buffett believes that American exporters should get an import certificate in return. That is, for each dollar's worth of goods or services you export, you can bring in a dollars worth of foreign goods or services. So, if an importer (foreign or American) did not have enough dollars in import certificates, he or she would have to buy them from someone who did. This would create a perfect trade balance.
While we very much admire the investment policies of the Sage, this all sounds, if correctly reported, a bit bizarre to us. Far better for American exporters to take advantage of the declining dollar to improve productivity and develop new markets.
Special offer from the Wall Street Journal
Investment services give detailed data on listed companies but do not have the currency of publications like the Wall Street Journal, which provides up to date and breaking information vital to investors. It is strong on current affairs as well, albeit This seems to us a very good offer and represents big savings to new subscribers.
The Wall Street Journal is currently offering four weeks free delivery on print subscriptions. The subscription, costing $99 all up, lasts for 26 weeks, plus four extra free weeks. This seems to us a very good offer, and represents big savings to new subscribers.
Subscribe to The Wall Street Journal and get 4 weeks free
The Chinese Buffett
According to the Asia Times, the Chinese counterpart of Warren Buffett is a Hong Kong investor named Li Ka-Shing, who recently took a major position in China Life. This action prompted such a rush into that companys shares by the investing public that application forms for the investment ran out and some brokers suspended operations.
Buying companies with a battle cry
According to Marshall Loeb of CBS MarketWatch, quoting John Emmerling, investors could do worse than investing in companies with what he calls a battle cry. This is a motivating statement that tells management, employees, customers and any other stakeholders just what the company is about. He likens them to such simple and historical battle cries as Remember the Alamo and General Macarthurs I shall return.
Examples given include:
Home Depot - "You can do it. We can help."
The article points out that Berkshire Hathaway has no corporate battle cry but the Sage of Omaha has written several slogans for subsidiaries such as Borsheims Fine Jewellery If you dont know jewellery, know the jeweller.
According to the Globe and Mail, it is of concern that investor focus on short-term results is behind the increasing practice of some companies to discontinue quarterly earnings estimates and concentrate on annual earnings projections. Companies to adopt this practice include Coca Cola, BCE and Berkshire Hathaway.
For the full article, go here.
According to the Detroit News Business, quoting Warren Buffett, foreigners own 2.5 trillion dollars more in American assets than Americans own in foreign assets.
This very interesting analysis of the US twin debt problems can be found here.
Berkshire Hathaway and Marine One
Sikorsky Aircraft has announced an All American team to compete for the supply of a new fleet of Presidential helicopters against European suppliers. The backers include Rockwell Collins and Berkshire Hathaway. We wonder about the likelihood of the European bid succeeding if it includes German and French interests in view of the falling out between the US and former allies over the Iraqi war.
According to the International Herald Tribune, the homebuilding industry has some interesting investment propositions. Berkshire Hathaway, by the way, recently acquired, Clayton Homes, a company in this sector. For the full article, go here..
The rich and the poor
Times Union has come up with some interesting statistics such as:
For the full story, go here.
Omaha The capital of value investing
Seemingly, Omaha Nebraska has more than one sage of value investing. It is also the home of Wally Weitz, the manager of the $4.12 billion Weitz Value fund. The fund averaged over 9 per cent return over the last five years, as compared to the 2.8 per cent showed by the Standard and Poor in the same period.
According to the New York Times, Weisz runs a concentrated portfolio (including a substantial holding in Berkshire Hathaway), quotes Warren Buffett frequently, while decrying any comparisons.
Warren even paid homage to Weisz by turning up at a recent Annual General Meeting wearing a plaid shirt, apparently Weiszs trademark apparel.
An update on Petro China
BP is selling its 2 per cent stake in this Chinese company at a discount to the share price because it wants to rid itself of various minority interests in ventures. This company is owned 90 per cent by the Chinese Government. Of the remaining 10 per cent, Buffett interests hold 13.35 per cent (1.34 per cent of the total).
Whether this will put pressure on Petro China shares, or provide an investment opportunity, is uncertain.
New at Warren Buffett Secrets
Best wishes from all of us at Warren Buffett Secrets.