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  • Buffett's Berkshire Beatdown [View article]
    Wouldn't book value growth rates of the S&P 500 largely track the growth in GDP? Seems that would be a reasonable way to think about the growth expectations of the S&P and the multiple attached to that growth.
    Mar 5 08:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett's Berkshire Beatdown [View article]
    Does it make sense to look at book value growth as a better comparison? A quick grab from some online sites sows S&P 500 price to book value is around 2.76 and BRK is just under 1.4. Seems that earnings from the S&P are valued more dearly than earnings from BRK and if that's the case then wouldn't BRK be lower cost per dollar of earnings?
    Mar 4 02:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Undervalued Conglomerate Offering Exceptional Management [View article]
    Thanks Stefano. I had confused Alleghany with Fairfax. Here's he quote from Fairfax's third quarter report that I had on my mind, "Our underwriting results continued to improve on increased premiums and we produced a small investment loss due to our unrealized investment losses related to our defensive hedging strategy," said Prem Watsa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax."

    So definitely take back my earlier comment; I stand corrected.
    Feb 1 05:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • An Undervalued Conglomerate Offering Exceptional Management [View article]
    I'm wondering how much Allegahey's bet against the market will impede their results. If I understood things correctly, I thought that they were hedging against equities but I don't know the extent of those hedges or how much they could affect book value growth.
    Feb 1 11:38 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Emerging Markets Problem [View article]
    Will be interesting to see how market shares evolve over the next few years. Android based phones are clearly displacing the older feature phones here in the US. Although there are many more Android phones here the US, the lion share of mobile web browsing and app usage continues to belong to Apple by a wide margin. Further it seems that the various OEM flavors of Android are making it increasingly difficult for developers to create a single app version to work on all Android devices.

    The usage stats seem to show that the valuable mobile data consumers are picking iPhones over Android phones. That developers have an easier time creating for iPhones makes it more likely that iPhone is supported first and reinforces the value of the iPhone to the consumer. Handset numbers may be in Android's favor but usage numbers look significantly in favor of Apple. Doesn't look like this trend is changing anytime soon.
    Oct 3 03:34 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook Is Still A Sell [View article]
    Search is a pretty interesting opportunity for Facebook and shouldn't be underated for long term value creation. Having a billion strong audience is a high class problem to have. That doesn't mean FB will necessarily solve it. Many others have not. As for buying at the IPO, FB is a good lesson that the new investors' interests are not the top priority.
    Sep 26 01:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett's Bursting Bubble [View article]
    I understood Buffett's comments to contrast the usefulness of gold to the usefulness of other assets. I think Buffett is absolutely correct that the long term usefulness of a corresponding (by value) quantity of productive land, railroad, or refinery is much greater than the usefulness of gold. To me it makes much more sense to grow a portfolio of sustainable value producing companies than grow a portfolio of financial instruments. A hundred years from now those value producing companies will still be creating value, buggy whip producers not withstanding, regardless of the financial measuring device used to gauge that value. There will certainly be money made in the value measuring system too. Personally it's easier for me to comprehend the future of companies generating valuable products and services than it is for me to comprehend the future value measuring system. I simply don't have enough time to learn both while having a full time job so I opt to look at the easy pile first.
    Mar 7 10:39 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment