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Thursday, January 24, 2013

HUFFINGTON POST: Warren Buffett, Billionaire, Still Lives In Modest Omaha Home Which Cost $31,500 In 1958 (PHOTO)


Posted:   |  Updated: 01/22/2013 1:51 pm EST

When we daydream about winning the lottery, we imagine owning stunning digs in each exotic corner of the globe. So when we learned that one of the richest people in the world, billionaire Warren Buffett, chooses to continue to reside in the home he bought in 1958 for $31,500 in the Dundee-Happy Hollow Historic District of Omaha, Nebraska where he was raised, we were definitely surprised. (And thankful that our time mindlessly browsing Wikipedia ended up being productive!)
As the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and named one of the mostinfluential people in the world by Time Magazine, we would picture him to be in something more extravagant than this well-kept gray stucco house, which Forbes Magazine says is approximately 6,000 square feet. (We're guessing the property has had a few additions over the years.) The property was last assessed in 2003 for $700,000 -- still a modest price for a billionaire.
warren buffett home
Courtesy of Wikipedia
For the curious among you, $31,500 in 1958 would be approximately $250,000 in 2013.
But, this isn't his only property. Forbes reports that Buffett allegedly also owns a home in Laguna Beach, California valued at about $4 million, but reminds us "that's still less than one hundredth of a percent of his estimated net worth." Wow, he's quite a saver.




Tuesday, January 8, 2013

INSIDER MONKEY: Warren Buffett News: Buffett’s MidAmerican boosts solar buy-in with purchase of SunPower Corporation


Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican boosts solar buy-in with purchase of SunPower’s 579MW project(CleanEnergyAuthority) SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) is starting 2013 with a bang. The company solar its 579 megawatt Antelope Valley Solar Projects (AVSP) to MidAmerican Solar for more than $2 billion. It’s the most recent buy-in for renewables that Warren Buffett-controlled MidAmerican has made, and hopefully a good indicator that big solar deals are in the works for 2013. The co-located AVSP projects stretch across the borders between Kern and Los Angeles counties, and are together the largest permitted PV project in the world. They are slated for completion by the end of 2015, according to SunPower.
Oil boom, demand for railcars aid Berkshire unit (Omaha) Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn are reaping the benefits of surging demand for railroad tank cars to haul shale oil from beyond the reach of existing pipelines. Buffett’s Union Tank Car Co. is working at full capacity and Icahn’s American Railcar Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARII) has a backlog through 2014. Trinity Industries, Inc. (NYSE:TRN), the biggest railcar producer, began converting wind tower factories last year to help meet demand for train cars that can transport the petroleum product.
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAYFormer Protégé Sokol Rips Buffett: His Judgment Day ‘Rapidly Approaching’ (MoneyNews) FormerBerkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) executive David Sokol offered a strong tongue lashing to his former mentor Warren Buffett, after the Securities and Exchange Commission decided not to take action against him for allegations of insider trading. Sokol told The Wall Street Journal that "he will never understand why Mr. Buffett chose to hurt my family ... but given that he is rapidly approaching his judgement [sic] day, I will leave his verdict to a higher power."
Best cars awards: Warren Buffett's BerkshireInsurance.com in joint venture with CarDekho (FinancialExpress) Indian automotive website CarDekho announces the first edition of its awards. CarDekho Awards 2013 presented by investment guru Warren Buffett's Indian arm BerkshireInsurance.com. Based on an online voting concept, readers and subscribers get to choose the winners and the awards are not based on sales numbers or anyone's views – they are positioned as the voice of the Indian consumers - a direct feedback from buyers to automakers. Split into 10 parts, these categories are defined based on car segments - Hatchbacks, Sedans, SUVs, UVs and Luxury vehicles. Under each segment there are two kinds of awards - one for the most popular in the whole year and other is the Best of 2012.
BYD gains permission to sell e-buses to EU (4-Traders) BYD Co Ltd <002594 .sz=".sz"><1211 .hk=".hk">, a Chinese carmaker backed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, said on Monday it had gained official permission to sell its electric buses in all European Union member states. The "Whole Vehicle Type Approval" granted by EU - which came weeks after BYD announced its plan to build electric buses in Bulgaria with a local partner - marked its latest effort to tap green vehicle potentials overseas.
Can you name Warren Buffett's next big purchase? (Omaha) It's a new year, and Warren Buffett is still hunting elephants. Do you have an idea which one he'll bag first? If so, tell us the name of the company you believe Buffett will buy, along with the reasons for your choice and your contact information. We'll define an “elephant” as an acquisition costing $5 billion or more, not counting buybacks of Berkshire stock or “bolt-on” acquisitions by existing Berkshire companies.




BUSINESS INSIDER: SOKOL: Warren Buffett Is Approaching His Judgment Day, I Will Leave His Verdict To A Higher Power

Sam Ro | Jan. 4, 2013, 7:50 PM

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/wsj-david-sokol-slams-warren-buffet-2013-1#ixzz2HKa4VrGV


The Wall Street Journal's Sharon Ng and Jean Eaglesham have an exclusive with David Sokol that's giving us chills.
Sokol was the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary executive that many considered to be a frontrunner to replace Warren Buffett as CEO.
In 2011, Sokol resigned in the wake of what appeared to be an insider trading scandal.
However, the SEC dropped its investigation into Sokol yesterday, and now he has broken his silence.
Mr. Buffett had praised Mr. Sokol's contributions to Berkshire upon the executive's departure and said he didn't feel the trades were "in any way unlawful." But weeks after the resignation, the Berkshire Hathaway CEO made scathing remarks about Mr. Sokol's actions, calling them "inexcusable" and "inexplicable" and saying they violated the company's code of ethics.
Mr. Sokol's lawyer said Thursday that he was informed that the Securities and Exchange Commission wouldn't take action against his client.
In a sign that the rift is unlikely to heal soon, Mr. Sokol on Friday lashed out at the 82-year-old Mr. Buffett.
"I will never understand why Mr. Buffett chose to hurt my family in such a way, but given that he is rapidly approaching his judgement [sic] day I will leave his verdict to a higher power," Mr. Sokol wrote in an emailed response to The Wall Street Journal.
Read the whole report at WSJ.com


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/wsj-david-sokol-slams-warren-buffet-2013-1#ixzz2HKZoj7PU







FORBES: Why Warren Buffett Keeps Buying Wells Fargo




NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 26:  Warren Buffett gi...
(Image credit: Getty Images North America via @daylife)
First of all, Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)(BRK.B), is gleefully optimistic about America. “Tomorrow’s always uncertain,” he said this morning on CNBC. “But the future, the longer future, is always very certain. And that’s what you have to keep your eye on.”
This attitude keeps Buffett building up huge stakes in companies he deems worthy in the best and worst of times. But what makes Buffett choose the companies to begin with? There is evidence in the stock he keeps adding the most to: Wells Fargo (WFC).
Wells Fargo (WFC)
Wells Fargo has merited membership in Warren Buffett’s portfolio since the 1990s, a shining representation of his long-term philosophy. A steady trend since the first quarter of 2009 is apparent: continual buying. The investor bought 119,940,333 shares cumulatively from then through the third quarter of 2012. This placed him at a total position size of more than 422 million shares.
Wells Fargo was one of Buffett’s “three important moves” in his portfolio in 2011, along with purchases of IBM (IBM) and Bank of America (BAC). He cited several reasons why in his annual letter: “The banking industry is back on its feet, and Wells Fargo is prospering. Its earnings are strong, its assets solid and its capital at record levels.”
Wells Fargo is also massive – it serves one in three households in the U.S. through its more than 9,000 shares, 12,000 ATMS and website, in more than 35 countries. Though it ranked fourth in assets, it is also the first in market value of its common stock of all U.S. banks.
Though Buffett requires a high ROA at a bank, he also insists that it be achieved conservatively. On that front, Wells maintains a well-controlled operating environment. It has established ground rules for extending credit to help it manage credit risk, and closely monitors the performance of its loan portfolio. It also keeps its interest rate and market risks in its asset and liability balances within set ranges, while concurrently enabling ample liquidity and capital levels to fuel growth.
Additionally, Wells continues to slough nonperforming loans from its assets. Loans 90 days or more past due totaled $1.5 billion in the third quarter, as opposed to $2 billion at year-end 2011.
Similarly, it fortified its capital position. Equity in the third quarter increased $6.6 million from the second quarter to $156.1 billion. Its Tier 1 common equity under Basel I reached $105.8 billion, equal to 9.9% of risk-weighted assets. Wells also boasts a Tier 1 capital ratio of 11.5%, total capital ratio of 14.51% and Tier 1 leverage ratio of 9.4% to end the third quarter.
Other third quarter results were a testament to its gathering strength and ability to withstand economic uncertainty. The bank reported $4.9 billion in earnings, compared to $4.1 billion at the same time last year. The year’s improvements were spurred largely by balanced net interest and fee income, diversified sources of fee income, a diversified loan portfolio and strong underlying credit performance, as well as growth across many of its businesses.
Third quarter revenue bounded to $21.2 billion from $19.6 billion at the same time last year. The revenue increase came primarily from noninterest income growth in mortgage banking, combined with a mild increase in net interest income. The bank originated 56% more loans in the third quarter from a year ago.
During the quarter, it bought back about 17 million shares and paid a 22 cent dividend, up from 12 cents a year previously. Buffett predicted the dividend increase in his 2010 letter, saying he expected his largest dividend gain to come from Wells Fargo, which was forced to lower it though it was “consistently prospering throughout the worst of the recession.”
Buffett seemed to know based on its fundamentals and execution strategy that Wells Fargo would come through any economic environment – he made his largest purchases in the past five years on its biggest stock dips, in the first quarter of 2009, third quarter of 2009 and third quarter of 2010. But he has been making his boldest purchases over the past year, as the stock has climbed almost 23%.
As of Thursday, Wells Fargo has a P/E of 10.5, P/B of 1.2 and P/S of 2.



FINANCIAL EXPRESS: Best cars awards: Warren Buffett's BerkshireInsurance.com in joint venture with CarDekho


Warrent Buffet.jpg
AGENCIES:  JAN 07 2013, 15:56 IST

Indian automotive website CarDekho announces the first edition of its awards. CarDekho Awards 2013 presented by investment guru Warren Buffett's Indian arm BerkshireInsurance.com.



Based on an online voting concept, readers and subscribers get to choose the winners and the awards are not based on sales numbers or anyone's views – they are positioned as the voice of the Indian consumers - a direct feedback from buyers to automakers.


Split into 10 parts, these categories are defined based on car segments - Hatchbacks, Sedans, SUVs, UVs and Luxury vehicles. Under each segment there are two kinds of awards - one for the most popular in the whole year and other is the Best of 2012.

In Best of 2012 the nominees are the cars that were launched or had a major facelift in 2012. Best of 2012 category is applicable only if there are 4 or more contenders. Most popular category has 8 nominees.

Given the number of cars in hatchback segment it has been spilt into two as Hatchbacks and Premium Hatchbacks. Premium Hatchbacks for the purpose of CarDekho Awards 2013 has been defined as all hatchbacks whose base variant costs above Rs. 4 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi).

CarDekho People's Choice Awards, 2013 nominees under different categories are:
Most Popular Hatchback: Base model costs below Rs 4 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi).
The nominees are:

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Ford Figo, Hyundai EON, Chevrolet Beat, Hyundai i10, Maruti Suzuki Wagon R, Hyundai

Santro, Tata Indica eV2.
Most Popular Premium Hatchback: B ase model costs above Rs 4lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi).
The nominees are:

Maruti Suzuki Swift, Hyundai i20, Volkswagen Polo, Toyota Etios Liva, Maruti Suzuki Ritz, Honda Brio, Nissan Micra, Tata Indica Vista.

Most Popular Sedan:

The nominees are:

Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, Hyundai Fluidic Verna, Nissan Sunny, Toyota Etios, Skoda Rapid, Honda City, Volkswagen Vento, Tata Manza Club Class.

Best Sedan 2012: The nominees are:

Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Sonata, Renault Scala and Toyota Camry.
Most Popular SUV:

The nominees are:
Renault Duster, Mahindra XUV500, Mahindra Bolero, Mahindra Scorpio, Toyota Fortuner, Tata Safari Storme, Tata Sumo Grande and Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton.

Best SUV 2012:

The nominees are:

Renault Duster, Tata Safari Storme, Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.
Most Popular UV:

The nominations are:
Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Toyota Innova, Mahindra Xylo, Mahindra Quanto, Nissan Evalia and Tata Aria.
Most Popular Luxury Car:

The nominees are: BMW X1, Audi Q3, BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C- lass, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Jaguar XF, BMW 5 Series.

Best Luxury Car 2012:
The nominees are:

BMW 3 Series, Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz B-Class, Land Rover Range Rover, Audi S4, BMW 6 Series Coupe, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Audi A4.

Manufacturer of the Year :

The nominees are:
Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors, Ford, Toyota Kirloskar, Chevrolet and Honda.

Amit Jain, CEO CarDekho explains: Categories were defined based on significant factors like viewership, segment and launches over the last year. Nominees for each category were chosen based on CarDekho's Analytics data. We have picked the most worthy candidates for participation in each of the award sections. Analytics data that we used represents over 50 million visitors and over 300 million page views in 2012 and with that much user data the nominees do represent the popular cars in each category.”


Arun Balakrishnan, CEO Berkshire Insurance India, said, "Cardekho.com is one of the premier car comparison websites in this country and it truly contributes towards enabling a good purchase decision for the customer. At BekshireInsurance.com we share a similar belief of providing good and reasonable priced car insurance products online. We believe that a customer who is looking to compare and shop for cars should also compare and shop for insurance rather than just relying on the product offered by the car dealer."

Votes can be cast till 7 th February 2013, whereas results are slated for declaration on 11 th February 2013. Prizes on offer include an Apple iPad Mini, Ten 2 Night 3 Day vacations, Five Apple iPod Shuffle and Fifty other car accessories.


Note: The content provided is by CarDekho and The Indian Express Group takes no responsibility for the same.