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jerryking : warren_buffett   34

He Grew Up on a Farm. Now, He Helps Protect Them.
Oct. 3, 2019 | The New York Times | By Norman Mayersohn.

Books: Warren Buffett biography, “Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist,”

Few livelihoods offer as many paths to failure as agriculture. Throughout history, farmers have been at the mercy of nature — be it weather, pests or crop diseases — even as the survival of people and livestock depended on their success...... Thomas Njeru, is a co-founder and the chief financial officer of Pula, a four-year-old microinsurance firm that serves 1.7 million smallholder farms of 0.6 acres or less in 10 African countries and India. Microinsurance — think of it as an offshoot of the microloan programs that kick-start businesses in impoverished areas — provides protection for low-income individuals who do not have access to conventional coverage....Pula, based in Nairobi, Kenya, partners with government agencies and loan providers to cover the cost of the insurance, which is included in the price of seed and fertilizer; there is no direct charge to the farmer. Among the coverages Pula provides is weather index insurance to cover failures of seed germination, using satellite data to determine whether there has been sufficient rainfall. Longer-term coverage, called yield index insurance, compensates farmers with replacement supplies in the event of a poor harvest......People in Africa don't invest in agriculture because the chance of them losing their money due to the vagaries of the weather is huge.........Pula’s mission is to give farmers confidence by providing risk mitigation. Our solutions protect a farmer’s investment by pairing it with insurance. We build business cases to persuade Fortune 500 companies, seed and fertilizer suppliers, lending institutions, and governments in Africa, that embedded insurance will help deliver better results for both businesses and food security....The sad reality is that farmers are one drought or one disease outbreak away from sliding into absolute poverty......the penetration of agriculture insurance in Africa is less than 1 percent. The reason is that insurance companies’ business models are not set up to serve the unique needs of smallholder farmers......scaling Pula’s business model to the point that insured seed and fertilizer become ubiquitous in the market......The average annual insurance premium per farmer is about $3 to $5. This includes the cost of product development, pricing, underwriting, claim adjustment and, of course, the claim costs. We use artificial intelligence, mobile-based registration systems, remote sensing and automation tools...Agriculture insurance is a cemetery of pilots and trials..
Africa  agriculture  behavioral_change  books  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  crop_insurance  farming  insurance  Kenya  low-income  microfinance  mobile_applications  poverty  precarious  Pula  seeds  smallholders  start_ups  risks  risk-mitigation  Warren_Buffett  weather 
october 2019 by jerryking
JAB’s Peter Harf: hire ambitious talent and give them a mission
February 16, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Leila Abboud and Arash Massoudi.

JAB oversees its portfolio of coffee, beverages, and casual dining companies. .....When everything was going wrong last year at Coty, the cosmetics company backed by investment group JAB Holdings, Peter Harf reacted with characteristic ruthlessness, replacing Coty’s chief financial officer and chief executive, and taking back the Coty chairmanship from his longtime associate, Bart Becht. Describing last year’s share price decline of more than 60% as “unacceptable” for JAB and its co-investors, Mr Harf says the situation “had to have serious consequences” even for his inner circle......Harf believes that identifying talented people — and incentivising them through performance-based pay — have been key to his success over his nearly 40-year career..... just as important to Harf is knowing when to jettison those who are no longer serving the mission he has overseen since he was 35: growing the wealth of Germany’s reclusive Reimann family who are behind JAB....Harf's vision was for JAB to be modelled on Berkshire Hathaway, the investment conglomerate built by his idol, Warren Buffett. Success would come not only from backing the right leaders but by patiently building brands, embarking on deals and taking companies public to cash in on bets....Harf felt he had assembled a dream team: “My mantra has always been that I need to hire people who are better than me. Lions hire lions and sheep hire other sheep.”

Three questions for Peter Harf
(1) Who is your leadership hero?

“Warren Buffett. Hands down. All this stuff that I intend to do to make JAB into a long-term investment vehicle, he does it to perfection. He’s the greatest investor in the world, and I want to be like him. If we invest as well as Warren, we’ve won. Very simple.”

(3) What was your first leadership lesson?

One of my biggest role models was Bruce Henderson, the founder of Boston Consulting Group. When I worked for him, I prepared a three-page analysis about a problem. It had 10 bullet points as the conclusion. He dismissed it as way too complicated and said: “Don’t try to field every ball.” He meant that if you wanted to be a good leader, you have to be able to focus on the important stuff first.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The trouble often starts when leaders start listing five or seven or 11 priorities. As Jim Collins, the author of the best-selling management books “Good to Great” and “Built to Last,” is fond of saying: “If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any.”
BCG  Berkshire_Hathaway  beverages  casual_dining  coffee  commitments  CPG  dealmakers  deal-making  departures  exits  family_office  family-owned_businesses  HBS  hiring  investors  JAB  Keurig  lifelong  mission-driven  private_equity  portfolio_management  ruthlessness  talent  troubleshooting  Warren_Buffett 
february 2019 by jerryking
When Charlie Munger Calls, Listen and Learn
Jan. 25, 2019 | WSJ | By Jason Zweig.

Mr. Munger was calling to say that he had read the novel Mr. Taylor was about to self-publish, “The Rebel Allocator.” He was “surprisingly engaged,” recalls Mr. Taylor, 37, who had sent the book to Mr. Munger without much hope the great investor would read it. Mr. Munger proceeded to reel off roughly 20 minutes of unsolicited, detailed advice, mostly about plot and character.

In an interview, Mr. Munger tells me he tends to “skim” or “at least give some cursory attention” to any book that mentions Berkshire Hathaway......“The Rebel Allocator” is the opposite of most business novels. Here, the rich capitalist isn’t an evil genius using genetic engineering to hijack the brains of newborn babies. Instead, he is a hero: an investing mastermind who regards allocating capital as a noble calling that improves other people’s lives.

In the novel, a business student named Nick is on a field trip with his MBA class when he meets a 77-year-old billionaire, Francis Xavier, a restaurant mogul also known as “the Rebel Allocator” and “the Wizard of Wichita.”

Blunt and bristly, with zero tolerance for stupidity, Mr. Xavier spouts proverbs and zingers. A mash-up of Mr. Munger and Mr. Buffett, he often invokes their ideas.

Taking a shine to Nick, Mr. Xavier asks him to write his biography. Like many young people today, Nick wonders if becoming a billionaire is inherently immoral when poverty is still widespread.

Mr. Xavier teaches Nick what separates great businesses from good and bad ones. He uses three drinking straws, labeled “cost,” “price” and “value,” to demonstrate: When a business can charge a higher price than its goods or services cost, the difference is profit. When the value its customers feel they get is greater than price, that difference is brand or pricing power—the ability to raise prices without losing customers.

As Mr. Xavier moves the straws around, Nick learns that investing decisions can make the world a better place: “Good capital allocation means doing more with less to create happier customers,” says Mr. Xavier. “Profit should be celebrated as a signal that an entrepreneur provided value while consuming the least amount of resources to do so.”
asset_management  Berkshire_Hathaway  books  capital_allocation  Charlie_Munger  fiction  intrinsic_value  investing  investors  Jason_Zweig  novels  Warren_Buffett 
january 2019 by jerryking
How a Former Canadian Spy Helps Wall Street Mavens Think Smarter
Nov. 11, 2018 | The New York Times | By Landon Thomas Jr.

* “Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones,” by James Clear. “
* “The Laws of Human Nature,” an examination of human behavior that draws on examples of historical figures by Robert Greene.
* “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Bets When you Don’t Have All the Cards” by Annie Duke,
* “On Grand Strategy,” an assessment of the decisions of notable historical leaders by the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer John Lewis Gaddis

Shane Parrish has become an unlikely guru for Wall Street. His self-improvement strategies appeal to his overachieving audience in elite finance, Silicon Valley and professional sports.....Shane Parrish is a former cybersecurity expert at Canada’s top intelligence agency and an occasional blogger when he noticed something curious about his modest readership six years ago: 80 percent of his followers worked on Wall Street......The blog was meant to be a method of self-improvement, however, his lonely riffs — on how learning deeply, thinking widely and reading books strategically could improve decision-making skills — had found an eager audience among hedge fund titans and mutual fund executives, many of whom were still licking their wounds after the financial crisis.

His website, Farnam Street, urges visitors to “Upgrade Yourself.” In saying as much, Mr. Parrish is promoting strategies of rigorous self-betterment as opposed to classic self-help fare — which appeals to his overachieving audience in elite finance, Silicon Valley and professional sports. ....Today, Mr. Parrish’s community of striving financiers is clamoring for more of him. That means calling on him to present his thoughts and book ideas to employees and clients; attending his regular reading and think weeks in Hawaii, Paris and the Bahamas; and in some cases hiring him to be their personal decision-making coach......“We are trying to get people to ask themselves better questions and reflect. If you can do that, you will be better able to handle the speed and variety of changing environments.”....Parrish advises investors, to disconnect from the noise and to read deeply......Few Wall Street obsessions surpass the pursuit of an investment edge. In an earlier era, before computers and the internet, this advantage was largely brain power. Today, information is just another commodity. And the edge belongs to algorithms, data sets and funds that track indexes and countless other investment themes.......“It is all about habits,” “Setting goals is easy — but without good habits you are not getting there.”......“Every world-class investor is questioning right now how they can improve,” he said. “So, in a machine-driven age where everything is driven by speed, perhaps the edge is judgment, time and perspective.”
books  brainpower  Charlie_Munger  coaching  commoditization_of_information  CSE  cyber_security  decision_making  deep_learning  disconnecting  financiers  gurus  habits  investors  judgment  life_long_learning  overachievers  personal_coaching  perspectives  Pulitzer_Prize  questions  reading  reflections  self-betterment  self-improvement  slight_edge  smart_people  Wall_Street  Warren_Buffett 
november 2018 by jerryking
An unusual family approach to investing
May 30, 2018 | FT | John Gapper.

JAB’s acquisition of Pret A Manger resembles private equity but with a long-term twist.

Warren Buffett’s definition of Berkshire Hathaway’s ideal investment holding period as forever. ....Luxembourg-based JAB, owned by four heirs to a German chemical fortune, takes a family approach to investing. It is unusual in that this holding company seeks to retain its portfolio companies for at least a decade. These include Panera Bread, Krispy Kreme and Keurig Green Mountain coffee, which it merged with Dr Pepper Snapple in an $18.7bn deal in January 2018. This week JAB acquired the UK sandwich chain Pret A Manger for £1.5bn, continuing its buying spree of cafés and coffee, mounting a challenge to public companies such as Nestlé.

**These companies are acquired not to be traded but to be invested in and expanded.**

JAB is an innovative combination of ownership and investment in a world that needs challengers to stock market ownership and private equity. It is family controlled, but run by veteran professional executives. When it invests in companies such as Pret A Manger, it deploys not only the Reimann family’s wealth but that of other entrepreneurs and family investors.......Some of the equity for its recent deals, including Panera and Dr Pepper, came from funds raised by Byron Trott, the former Goldman Sachs investment banker best known for being trusted by the banker-averse Mr Buffett. Mr Trott’s BDT banking boutique specialises in advising founders and heirs to corporate fortunes, including the Waltons of Walmart, and the Mars and Pritzker families.

This is investment, but not as most of us know it. By definition, the world’s companies are mostly controlled by founders and their families — only a minority become big enough to be floated on stock markets and need to disclose much of their workings to outsiders. Family fortunes also tend to remain as private as possible: there is little incentive to advertise how much wealth one has inherited......As [families'] fortunes grow in size and sophistication, more of the cash is invested in other companies rather than in shares and bonds. That is where JAB and Mr Trott come in.

Entrepreneurs and their families tend to be fascinated by their own enterprises and bored by managing their wealth. But they want to preserve it, and they often like the idea of investing it in companies similar to their own — industrial and consumer groups that need more capital to expand. It is not only more interesting but a form of self-affirmation for the successful....Being acquired by JAB is appealing. The group turns up, says it will not take part in an auction but offers a good price (it bought Pret for more than its former owner Bridgepoint could get by floating it). It often keeps the existing executives, telling them they have to plough their own money into the company, and invests in long-term growth provided the business is efficiently run.

This is more congenial than heading a public company and contending with a huge variety of shareholders, including short-term and activist investors. It is also less risky than being bought by 3G Capital, the cost-cutting private equity group with which Mr Buffett teamed up to acquire Kraft Heinz. While 3G is expert at eliminating expenses it is less so at encouraging growth.
coffee  dynasties  high_net_worth  holding_periods  investing  investors  JAB  long-term  Nestlé  Pritzker  private_equity  privately_held_companies  Unilever  unusual  Warren_Buffett  family  cafés  Pret_A_Manger  3G_Capital  discretion  entrepreneur  boring  family_business  heirs 
may 2018 by jerryking
BlackRock’s Larry Fink Wants to Become the Next Warren Buffett
Feb. 7, 2018 | WSJ | By Sarah Krouse.

BlackRock’s new vehicle, known within the firm as a “long-term private capital” vehicle, is part of that push to emphasize alternative investments. The firm already manages $145 billion in higher-fee investment strategies that include private equity and hedge funds of funds, real assets and private credit. But it doesn’t have a buyout fund of its own.
BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  asset_management  Warren_Buffett  long-term  investors  investing 
february 2018 by jerryking
Toys ‘R’ Us versus Amazon: No contest
September 17, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | BARRIE MCKENNA.

It's a new era all right...The industry is grappling with the relentless onslaught of Amazon and Alibaba, excess retail space, the retreat of department-store mall anchors and intense price competition. Meanwhile, consumers are shifting their spending from things to experiences, including entertainment and dining-out
The harsh reality for Toys "R" Us and other big-box stores is that they aren't indispensable any more as North Americans discover new and different ways to shop. You don't have to schlep to a suburban shopping strip to find the newest Lego set, video game or electronic gadget. Order it online, and you can have it delivered to your door, often for free the next day, at the best price available anywhere.

....retail experts have warned that a tipping point was coming for the industry as more and more shopping moved online. This looks like the year.....Analysts predict that a record 9,000 retail stores will close across the U.S. in 2017. That would eclipse 2016, when roughly 6,200 stores closed....
Retailers have been filing for protection from creditors at a faster pace this year than at any time since the 2008-09 recession. Toys "R" Us joins a long list of famous retail casualties of 2017 in Canada and the U.S., including Sears Canada, The Limited, Wet Seal, BCBG, Payless Shoes, Sports Authority, Gymboree, Aéropostale and American Apparel. And there are still three-plus months to go.....The rise of Amazon is proof that consumers are embracing new ways of buying. The company's North American sales grew five-fold to $80-billion (U.S.) between 2010 and 2016. Half of U.S. households now subscribe to Amazon Prime, a fee-based service that offers free two-day shipping, music and video streaming plus other perks......What's alarming isn't so much the share of shopping that has moved online, but the speed at which it's moved.

Warren Buffett sold off nearly $1-billion worth of Walmart stock earlier this year, explaining that traditional retailing is "too tough" a business in the age of Amazon. "The world has evolved, and it's going to keep evolving, but the speed is increasing," Mr. Buffett said.

Amazon and China's Alibaba won't be the only winners in this new era. A vast array of other businesses feed off the online industry, including shippers and logistics companies, plus a vast network of technology companies, including store platforms (Shopify), analytics companies and app makers.
Amazon  Alibaba  e-commerce  store_closings  Barrie_McKenna  retailers  bricks-and-mortar  toys  Toys_"R"_Us  bankruptcies  brands  Amazon_Prime  home-delivery  accelerated_lifecycles  Warren_Buffett  Wal-Mart  big-box 
september 2017 by jerryking
Boost your sales with tips from Warren Buffett
DECEMBER 18, 2012 | The Globe and Mail | by HARVEY SCHACHTER, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett
By Tom Searcy and Henry DeVries
(McGraw-Hill, 217 pages, $24.95)

The authors recommend a process they call "the triples" that will help you make the case for your product or service:

Triple 1: The prospect's three problems

First, find out – and write down – the three biggest problems the prospect faces in the area your product or service can help. This aligns you with the buyer's interests.

Triple 2: Your three-part solution

Now think carefully about how you can solve each problem. As you write it out for the client, remember that generic language such as "improved," "better," and "big difference" are not that compelling. Use actual numbers and refer to specific pressure points to focus on the outcomes your prospect can expect.

Triple 3: Your three references

The third step is to identify at least three references you can share who have experienced similar outcomes when using your products and services. This may be sensitive, given confidentiality and competitive issues. But the authors stress: "The most effective way to get the attention of prospects is to drop the names of others just like them."

The authors urge you to become a student of psychology and develop profiles of members of the prospect's team. Try to determine each person's fears, since those qualms may send your pitch into the ditch. Determine each person's point of view about your solution, as well as any other personal trait or event that might be of importance. At the same time, study the team dynamics, from where people sit around the table to who they defer to.

The most dangerous person will be "the eel." The authors insist that "in every deal, and at every prospect's table, there is always an eel – a person who is against the deal. Always. Eels have a tendency to hang out in the shadows. They are hard to get to, and they usually talk you down when you're not around."

Usually eels are driven by fear that they don't want to acknowledge, so instead they insist they are against the deal on principle. They are dangerous, and must be identified early. Then you can try to co-opt them, taking the eel's ideas and baking them into your proposal.
aligned_interests  books  deal-making  eels  enterprise_clients  Harvey_Schachter  indispensable  JCK  management_consulting  obstacles  pitches  problems  problem_solving  psychology  references  salesmanship  solutions  tips  think_threes  Warren_Buffett 
august 2017 by jerryking
Giving Away Your Billion
JUNE 6, 2017 | The New York Times | David Brooks.

Recently Brooks has been reading the Giving Pledge letters. These are the letters that rich people write when they join Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge campaign. They take the pledge, promising to give away most of their wealth during their lifetime, and then they write letters describing their giving philosophy......Most of the letter writers started poor or middle class. They don’t believe in family dynasties and sometimes argue that they would ruin their kids’ lives if they left them a mountain of money. Schools and universities are the most common recipients of their generosity, followed by medical research and Jewish cultural institutions. A ridiculously disproportionate percentage of the Giving Pledge philanthropists are Jewish.......What would David Brooks do if he had a billion bucks to use for good? He’d start with the premise that the most important task before us is to reweave the social fabric. People in disorganized neighbourhoods need to grow up enmeshed in the loving relationships that will help them rise. The elites need to be reintegrated with their own countrymen. .....Only loving relationships transform lives, and such relationships can be formed only in small groups. Thus, I’d use my imaginary billion to seed 25-person collectives around the country.....The collectives would hit the four pressure points required for personal transformation:

Heart: By nurturing deep friendships, they would give people the secure emotional connections they need to make daring explorations.

Hands: Members would get in the habit of performing small tasks of service and self-control for one another, thus engraving the habits of citizenship and good character.

Head: Each collective would have a curriculum, a set of biographical and reflective readings, to help members come up with their own life philosophies, to help them master the intellectual virtues required for public debate.

Soul: In a busy world, members would discuss fundamental issues of life’s purpose, so that they might possess the spiritual true north that orients a life.
social_fabric  David_Brooks  philanthropy  moguls  high_net_worth  Warren_Buffett  elitism  collectives  personal_transformation  plutocracies  plutocrats  disorganization  daring  relationships  emotional_connections  soul  North_Star  virtues  engaged_citizenry  civics  Jewish  biographies  friendships  self-reflective  giving 
june 2017 by jerryking
20 Years On, Amazon and Jeff Bezos Prove Naysayers Wrong - The New York Times
Andrew Ross Sorkin
DEALBOOK MAY 15, 2017

Twenty years ago this week, Amazon.com went public........Here we are, 20 years later, and Mr. Bezos has an authentic, legitimate claim on having changed the way we live.

He has changed the way we shop. He has changed the way companies use computers, by moving much of their information and systems to cloud services. He’s even changed the way we interact with computers by voice: “Alexa!”......he has bought — and fixed — The Washington Post,.........Most executives are worried about the next quarter, but Mr. Bezos is worried about what will happen years from now. That is a competitive advantage that many chief executives could learn from.

“If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people,” Mr. Bezos told Wired in 2011. Here, he was expressing the view that some chief executives think in three-year cycles — a relatively generous assessment, given that most top executives don’t last many more years than that.

“But,” he continued, “if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that.”....Is Mr. Bezos an easy boss? Hardly. He is unbelievably demanding. ......I’m supposed to hate Mr. Bezos. After all, he has pressured publishers, cut their margins and practically put old-school bookstores out of business. As if to rub it in, he’s now introducing bricks-and-mortar Amazon bookstores.

But to take that view would be to misunderstand what innovation looks like. It upends industries — witness the current carnage in the retail industry, which has been outmoded by Amazon and all the companies trying to copy it.

“Amazon is not happening to book selling,” Mr. Bezos explained, defending his role in a 2013 interview with Charlie Rose. “The future is happening to book selling.” And the future is now happening to retail stores and even supermarkets — Mr. Bezos’ next conquest. And the future is clearly happening to enterprise computing.
Andrew_Sorkin  Jeff_Bezos  Amazon  WaPo  newspapers  e-commerce  anniversaries  moguls  trailblazers  time_horizons  cloud_computing  Alexa  long-term  Warren_Buffett  innovation 
may 2017 by jerryking
The ‘Warren Buffett of Brazil’ Behind the Offer for Unilever
FEB. 17, 2017 | The New York Times | by LIZ MOYER.
Profile of Jorge Paulo Lemann.

Mr. Lemann, 77, a Harvard-educated former Brazilian tennis champion, ranks 19th on the Forbes list of world billionaires, with a fortune estimated at $29 billion. He and his partners at 3G have developed over the years what many call a playbook for extracting costs from companies by eliminating frivolities like corporate-owned aircraft and expensive office space, revamping management and slashing jobs.

They instill strict austerity that forces managers to justify expenses beyond basic operating needs. Their model makes expansion overseas crucial for increasing returns.

They have also focused on major consumer brands rather than on diversifying......Mr. Lemann and Mr. Buffett share a similar investment philosophy: patience. Instead of selling his portfolio after he has cut and remodeled companies, Mr. Lemann has used Anheuser-Busch InBev and now Kraft Heinz as base camps for further global expansion.
3G_Capital  private_equity  Brazilian  patience  Unilever  Kraft_Heinz  Harvard  moguls  high_net_worth  cost-cutting  Warren_Buffett  playbooks 
february 2017 by jerryking
Why Warren Buffett Keeps Framed Reminders of Awful Moments in Economic History
Olivia B. Waxman
Jan 26, 2017

"I wanted to put on the walls days of extreme panic in Wall Street just as a reminder than anything can happen in this world," he says in this clip provided exclusively to TIME, from the upcoming HBO documentary Becoming Warren Buffett. "It's instructive art."
Warren_Buffett  Berkshire_Hathaway  web_video  panics  economic_history  art  unpredictability  unthinkable  imagination  uncertainty  HBO  documentaries  artifacts  reminders 
february 2017 by jerryking
To Be a Great Investor, Worry More About Being Wrong Than Right - MoneyBeat - WSJ
By JASON ZWEIG
Dec 30, 2016

The stunning surprises of 2016 should have taught all of us that the unexpected will happen. To be a good investor, you have to be right much of the time. To be a great investor, you have to recognize how often you may be wrong. Great investors like Warren Buffett practice trying to disprove their investing assumptions to determine whether they are correct.

Techniques to combat these cognitive biases:

Shun peer pressure from social media or the Internet. If you reveal your opinion to a group that has strong views, the sociologist Robert K. Merton has warned, the ensuing debate becomes more “a battle for status” than “a search for truth.” Instead, get a second opinion from one or two people you know and can trust to tell you if they think you are wrong.

Listen for signals you might be off-base. Use Facebook or Twitter not as an amen corner of people who agree with you, but to find alternative viewpoints that could alert you when your strategies are going astray.

Write down your estimates of where the Dow Jones Industrial Average, oil, gold, inflation, interest rates and other key financial indicators will be at the end of 2017. If you don’t know, admit it. Ask your financial advisers to do the same. Next Dec. 31, none of you will be able to say “I knew that would happen” unless that’s what the record shows.

Book reference: Keith Stanovich, Richard West and Maggie Toplak point out in their new book, “The Rationality Quotient,” rational beliefs “must correspond to the way the world is,” not to the way you think the world ought to be.
==================================
Commenter:

What investors need to do is focus on their own investments, their strategies for each particular holding, long-term, income-oriented, speculative, etc. and stick to their plan without being distracted by peers and press looking for big headlines.
Warren_Buffett  biases  confirmation_bias  investors  books  Pablo_Picasso  personal_finance  investing  Jason_Zweig  pretense_of_knowledge  self-awareness  self-analysis  self-reflective  proclivities  warning_signs  signals  second_opinions  peer_pressure  DJIA  assumptions  mistakes  personal_economy  surprises  worrying 
january 2017 by jerryking
The humbling of Valeant’s Michael Pearson - The Globe and Mail
TIM KILADZE
The humbling of Valeant’s Michael Pearson
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Mar. 22, 2016

What we’re left with: A “Canadian” company we should happily disown, and critical reminders that certain business rules should never be broken. Chief among them: Debt is never a problem until, suddenly, it is; markets will love you until, suddenly, they don’t; and the roll-up game, driven by endless acquisitions, is nearly impossible to sustain.....By slashing R&D spending costs, Mr. Pearson freed up cash flow to buy more companies – whose R&D departments were then gutted to repeat the same trick. To juice earnings, he acquired Ottawa-based Biovail in 2010, which came with a Barbados-based subsidiary. Valeant started ushering U.S. profits to offshore tax domiciles – marking the first-ever pharmaceutical tax inversion and sending its corporate tax rate to the mid-single digits.

To fuel acquisitions, Mr. Pearson borrowed tens of billions of $ of incredibly cheap debt. By mid-2015, Valeant had $31-billion (U.S.) in debt and paid over $1-billion a year in interest.

There were warning signs these bold acts would backfire. Last March, Warren Buffett’s inner circle started to inflict damage. At an investor meeting, Charlie Munger, one of the value investor’s best friends, said he was “holding his nose” by looking at Valeant, adding that the company “wasn’t moral.”

That cautionary message did little to deter two of Valeant’s top investors: the Sequoia Fund – which has ties to Mr. Buffett – and Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management. Whatever criticisms were hurled at the drug maker, they stood by it, repeatedly stressing that they believed in Mr. Pearson. Their faith in him seemed nearly biblical. And because they showed resolve, hedge funds kept piling in – momentum investing at its very worst. By the end of June, nearly 100 of them had stakes in the drug maker........One of the best lessons from the global financial crisis was that everything became correlated when the U.S. housing market crashed. The same is true for Valeant. Investigations into its pricing policy made investors worry about revenue; worries about the income statement morphed into fears about balance-sheet debt; leverage woes prevented Valeant from borrowing more to fund future acquisitions.

The cynicism turned investors’ momentum strategy on its head.
Valeant  Bay_Street  CEOs  pharmaceutical_industry  Charlie_Munger  Warren_Buffett  M&A  boards_&_directors_&_governance  correlations  hedge_funds  Pershing_Square  William_Ackman  debt  R&D  cash_flows  roll_ups 
march 2016 by jerryking
Tired of being dumb money? Here’s how to get smart fast
Mar. 29 2013 | The Globe and Mail | DAVID BERMAN.
First, ignore the herd. Retail investors get into trouble because they like to follow the market. They love stocks when they’re expensive and bull markets are in full swing, and loathe stocks when they’re cheap and the bear is growling. Do the opposite: As the saying goes, buy when there is blood in the streets.

Second, accept that you are not Mr. Buffett. Over-confident investors get themselves into trouble because they take on too much risk in the hope of scoring spectacular gains. Instead, diversify and aim for the unspectacular, perhaps with low-cost exchange-traded funds that track a basket of stocks.

Third, think long-term. Retail investors are prone to expect their investments to pay off in a big way immediately – and when they don’t, these investors switch tactics, often with dismal results.
investment_advice  personal_finance  contrarians  long-term  patience  Warren_Buffett  overconfidence  individual_initiative  smart_people  independent_viewpoints  bull_markets  ETFs  low-cost 
march 2013 by jerryking
Down but Not Out: What Is Marsh Worth? - WSJ.com
October 21, 2004

Down but Not Out: What Is Marsh Worth?

By JESSE EISINGER
insurance  valuations  Warren_Buffett  Marsh_&_McLennan 
march 2013 by jerryking
Book Review: Why Philanthropy Matters - WSJ.com
March 27, 2013 | WSJ | By LESLIE LENKOWSKY

A Buffett Rule Worth Following
WHY PHILANTHROPY MATTERS
By Zoltan J. Acs
(Princeton, 249 pages, $29.95).

entrepreneurs were as philanthropic as those born into wealth, if not more.

This surprising fact propels "Why Philanthropy Matters," by Zoltan J. Acs, a professor at George Mason University. Mr. Acs has spent his career studying how entrepreneurs operate and what role their business ventures play in the economy. In his new book, he focuses on another kind of contribution they make, one that, he argues, is as essential for prosperity as the products and services they create.

Successful entrepreneurship, he writes, requires a steady stream of innovations. The best places to develop them are privately funded research universities, medical centers and other kinds of institutions—like libraries and laboratories—that are insulated from competitive and political pressure. He cites, among other examples of nurtured innovation, the agricultural advances developed in land-grant universities during the 19th and 20th centuries and the contributions made to the information age by the students and faculty of Stanford University. As important as industrial research may be, the university has become, since the 1980s, "the source of new knowledge to be transferred to the private sector."

But there is more to the logic of entrepreneurial charity than hatching innovative ideas. As Mr. Acs notes, the success that certain entrepreneurs achieve when they disrupt old industries and establish new ones can bring big rewards, resulting in disparities of income and wealth. Without the philanthropy that would underwrite scholarships or other sources of opportunity, the public might not long tolerate such differences.

In "The Gospel of Wealth" (1889), Andrew Carnegie urged his prosperous contemporaries to avoid "hoarding great sums" and to give their "surplus" wealth away during their lifetimes, to strengthen an economic system that might thereby produce some riches for all. In the more measured tones of an economist, Mr. Acs is making much the same point: A capitalist economy not only enables but requires philanthropy. Through it, entrepreneurs can support the kinds of institutions that generate discoveries and that provide pathways for other people to make their own fortunes.

Mr. Acs buttresses his argument with a variety of examples, including those of billionaires—among them, Michael Milken and David Rubenstein —who have followed Bill Gates and Warren Buffett by committing themselves to giving at least half of their wealth to charity and whose charitable enterprises are aimed at creating opportunity for others. (Eli Broad, for instance, subsidizes charter schools and management reforms to improve urban education.) In Mr. Acs's view, America's ability to combine entrepreneurial capitalism and philanthropic uplift is rare among developed nations.
Andrew_Carnegie  billgates  book_reviews  books  capitalism  Colleges_&_Universities  creating_opportunities  David_Rubenstein  disequilibriums  disruption  Eli_Broad  entrepreneurship  innovation  knowledge_economy  moguls  Michael_Milken  philanthropy  society  Stanford  symbiosis  technology_transfers  Warren_Buffett 
march 2013 by jerryking
Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, 3G Capital to Buy Heinz - WSJ.com
February 14, 2013 | WSJ | By JULIE JARGON and SERENA NG.

Heinz agreed to be acquired by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and private-equity firm 3G Capital for more than $23 billion, a deal the companies pegged as the largest-ever in the food industry...Fast growth in emerging markets has created a new class of well-heeled investors that are increasingly poring over American companies looking for targets. The Brazilian investors behind the Heinz deal, in particular, are pairing their money with hard-charging management styles that have shaken up comfortable American and European companies.
Warren_Buffett  Brazil  private_equity  food  brands  3G_Capital  hard-charging  Heinz  Brazilians 
february 2013 by jerryking
How branding should boost your bottom line
December 5, 2012 |Toronto Caribbean | JG Francoeur.

“The single most important decision in evaluating a business is pricing power. If you’ve got the power to raise prices without losing business to a competitor, you’ve got a very good business. And if you have to have a prayer session before raising the price by 10 percent. then you’ve got a terrible business.” says Warren Buffet. If you employ solid branding techniques you can do the same with your business. raise your prices and boost your income!
To build a good brand you must focus on the 5 P5 of branding. Start by answering this questions and building your branding plan.
* First is purpose: When someone hears your name. what do you want them to think?
* Second is proposition: Your proposition is your core competency. You've got to know yourself to grow yourself!
* Third is packaging: 55 percent of how people perceive you is visual and most small business owners look small, unprofessional and unreliable. You must convey an image that will inspire confidence for your prospects.
* Fourth are people: It’s simple but powerful, your net worth is equal to your network of people. Big brands are surrounded by other big brands and you can do the same if you employ a partnership model.
* Fifth is perseverance: Many business owners think clients will fall from the sky. They try one venture or one marketing initiative and because it’s not successful they quit. You must never quit because your dream is important not only to you but to others who you will inspire along the way.
branding  howto  brands  brand_purpose  packaging  perseverance  purpose  value_propositions  human_capital  the_single_most_important  pricing  Warren_Buffett  price_hikes 
december 2012 by jerryking
Why Panic Passes Him By - WSJ.com
October 15, 2008 | WSJ | By PAUL B. CARROLL who reviews
The Snowball
By Alice Schroeder
(Bantam, 960 pages, $35)

Why Panic Passes Him By
All you wanted to know about Warren Buffett – and more.

While much of Mr. Buffett's methods can't be duplicated -- genius is genius, after all -- "The Snowball" usefully emphasizes a few core Buffett imperatives: taking a close look at an investment's intrinsic value, making a brutal evaluation of its risks, and calculating a margin of safety. The book also underscores the importance of learning from failures. The Buffett-Munger approach is to "invert, always invert. Turn a situation or problem upside down. Look at it backward. What's in it for the other guy? What happens if all our plans go wrong? Where don't we want to go, and how do you get there? Instead of looking for success, make a list of how to fail instead."
Berkshire_Hathaway  book_reviews  books  Charlie_Munger  failure  genius  intrinsic_value  investing  investors  lessons_learned  margin_of_safety  off-plan  panics  Plan_B  post-mortems  risk-assessment  thinking_backwards  thinking_tragically  Warren_Buffett  worst-case 
june 2012 by jerryking
Warren Buffett: Why Did He Enable a Bullying Exec? | BNET
The more interesting question from my perspective is not why a
person like Warren Buffett could be so blind to the behavior of someone
he so highly valued but rather the blindness we often have to our own
behaviors. So perhaps we should all start asking the question "what do
others know about me that I don't know about myself!
ZDNet Gravatar
gvanbreda
04/28/2011 04:55 PM
Warren_Buffett  David_Sokol 
april 2011 by jerryking
Warren Buffett, Delegator in Chief - NYTimes.com
By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN
April 23, 2011
“Did Sokol’s actions reveal shortcomings in the company’s governance
system that need to be addressed?” asked Stanford University’s Graduate
School of Business in a paper titled “The Resignation of David Sokol:
Mountain or Molehill for Berkshire Hathaway?”
Warren_Buffett  Andrew_Sorkin  David_Sokol  controversies  Berkshire_Hathaway  delegation  boards_&_directors_&_governance 
april 2011 by jerryking
Buffett's Ruthlessness Is Oddly Absent on Sokol - NYTimes.com
April 4, 2011, 9:10 pm DealBook Column
Buffett’s Ruthlessness Is Oddly Absent on Sokol
By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN
Warren_Buffett  compliance  scandals  Andrew_Sorkin  David_Sokol  ruthlessness 
april 2011 by jerryking
How Angel Investors Get Their Wings
April 17, 2008 | Business Week | by Chris Farrell. "While many
angels are current or former entrepreneurs, and that background can
prove invaluable, they also need to develop investing skills. The
successful angel adheres to the same disciplines that make for a good
investor, from Berkshire Hathaway's ("BRK-A") Warren Buffett to Yale
University's David Swensen. Understand the risks. Follow an intellectual
framework. Have a well-thought-out methodology for buying and selling.
Do due diligence. Diversify. "Angel investing isn't easy, and it's very
high risk," says Tony Stanco, executive director of both the National
Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer and of Angel Investors of
Greater Washington. "But it's high reward." "
angels  David_Swensen  diversification  due_diligence  frameworks  high-reward  investing  investors  process-orientation  risks  self-discipline  systematic_approaches  Warren_Buffett 
december 2010 by jerryking
"The Best Advice I Ever Got" - March 21, 2005
March 21, 2005 | Fortune Magazine | By INTERVIEWERS Julia Boorstin.

Brian Grazer
"My whole career has been built on one piece of advice that came from two people: [MCA founder] Jules Stein and [former MCA chairman] Lew Wasserman. In 1975 I was a law clerk at Warner Bros. I'd spent about a year trying to get a meeting with these two men. Finally they let me in to see them. They both said, separately, 'In order for you to be in the entertainment business, you have to have leverage. Since you have none--no money, no pedigree, no valuable relationships--you must have creative leverage. That exists only in your mind. So you need to write--put what's in your mind on paper. Then you'll own a piece of paper. That's leverage.'

"With that advice, I wrote the story that became Splash, which was a fantasy that I had about meeting a mermaid. For years, I sent registered letters to myself--movie concepts and other ideas--so that I had my ideas officially on paper. I have about 1,000 letters in a vault. To this day, I feel that my real power is only that--ideas and the confidence to write them down."
advice  career  inspiration  entrepreneur  Managing_Your_Career  Clayton_Christensen  humility  MBAs  Siemens  Salesforce  Mickey_Drexler  JetBlue  Peter_Drucker  Jim_Collins  Rick_Warren  leverage  Xerox  Andy_Grove  conventional_wisdom  Richard_Parsons  negotiations  Jack_Welch  Vivek_Paul  thinking  Starbucks  Warren_Bennis  Richard_Branson  Warren_Buffett  Brian_Grazer  creating_valuable_content  Lew_Wasserman 
december 2010 by jerryking
Buffett reveals European strategy: It's all in the family
Apr 24, 2008 | The Globe and Mail. pg. B.14 | Josh P.
Hamilton. ``Billionaire Warren Buffett, who will embark on a four-city
European trip next month to meet with owners of family businesses, has
for years been laying the groundwork for an acquisition in Europe.

At the centre of that effort is Angelo Moratti, scion of the founding
family of Italian energy company Saras SpA. Mr. Moratti is helping to
organize a tour that is scheduled to take the Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
chairman to Milan, Madrid, Frankfurt and Lausanne in the third week of
May.`` ...`Mr. Moratti is a "bird dog" who may be able to point Mr.
Buffett to profitable ventures in Europe, said Tom Russo, who helps
manage more than $3-billion, including Berkshire shares.``
ProQuest  Warren_Buffett  family-owned_businesses  Europe  scouting 
september 2010 by jerryking
Goldman, Buffett Aid Small Business - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 18, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by SUSANNE CRAIG And
SCOTT PATTERSON. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said it is launching a $500
million small-business assistance program that includes an advisory
panel with billionaire investor Warren Buffett. The small-business
program will make $250 million in charitable contributions, with $200
million aimed at investor education and $50 million for grants to
support community-development financial institutions. The remaining $250
million will be invested in such institutions to help them provide
financing to small businesses. The board set to oversee Goldman's push
includes several financial heavyweights. Mr. Blankfein, Mr. Buffett and
Michael Porter of Harvard Business School will serve as co-chairmen.
Goldman_Sachs  Warren_Buffett  small_business  philanthropy  michael_porter 
november 2009 by jerryking
GIVING BACK.: A Buffett Turns to Farming in Africa - WSJ.com
JUNE 27, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | By SCOTT KILMAN And ROGER THUROW.
Warren’s son Howard has quietly become a player in the fight against global hunger
Warren_Buffett  philanthropy  Africa  farming  global  hunger  agriculture  farmland 
june 2009 by jerryking

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