Wells Fargo Will Prove Warren Buffett's Housing Call (TheStreet) Amid recent data on rising home prices, falling foreclosure rates and expected gains in overall mortgage refinancing and lending activity, watch for Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) third-quarter earnings to propel the company's largest shareholder - Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) - to sing a housing recovery tune. After a weaker than expected housing rebound in 2011 tempered Buffett's talk on the mortgage market, strong loan growth volumes at the investment conglomerate's largest bank holdings may stand as a an early barometer of a true rebound play after previous false starts.
Berkshire's New Blood Proves Itself (DailyFinance) As one of the true disciples of the "Dean of Wall Street," Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett is synonymous with the value investing. But as his retirement gets closer and closer, value worshipers are looking closely to see if the new money managers in residence at Berkshire can live up to their predecessor. It's too soon to say, as two of the eventual three have only recently begun putting the company's capital to work, but a few of the picks they've made are looking great and could bode well for the future of the world's highest-priced stock. Buffetts in training Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, two former hedge fund managers, are the first and second Buffett-appointed investment officers set to take over once the man himself leaves the office. Talk about high expectations -- these two men have to live up to what many people consider to be the greatest investor of all time.
New Research on the Miracle That is Warren Buffett: We Better Talk Low-Beta (YCharts) A research paper from the quants at AQR Capital management making the rounds concludes that Warren Buffett’s investing edge comes from two quantifiable factors: a penchant for high quality firms with low betas, and the ability to harness the leverage of investing premiums from Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.B) insurance subsidiaries. The low-beta angle has obvious appeal for rank-and-file investors. (Leverage? Well, that’s between you, your broker and your margin account.) And AQR’s research joins a building chorus of wonk papers that upend the conventional wisdom that says risk and reward are inextricably hitched. AQR and others sliced and diced reams of data to basically come to a simple conclusion: The least volatile stocks -- AQR uses beta, some studies focus on standard deviation -- over long stretches can provide the same or better return as the market with less volatility.
We look at the select group of UK companies that billionaire Buffett has backed (Fool) Warren Buffett, the legendary US investor whose personal fortune is valued at almost $50 billion, doesn't often venture outside his home territory to make investments -- the vast majority of the holdings in his Berkshire Hathaway investment vehicle are US-based businesses. But Berkshire does have a select few investments in the UK, which we might do well to give consideration to given the Sage of Omaha's habitual backyard bias. So, which UK companies have tempted Buffett out of his US comfort zone? Berkshire's biggest UK in...
Stocks for the Long Run: Beam vs. the S&P 500 (DailyFinance) Investing isn't easy. Even Warren Buffett counsels that most investors should invest in a low-cost index, like the S&P 500. That way, "you'll be buying into a wonderful industry, which in effect is all of American industry," he says. But there are, of course, companies whose long-term fortunes differ substantially from the index. In this series, we look at how individual stocks have performed against the broad S&P 500. Step on up, BEAM Inc (NYSE:BEAM).
Readers Say: Philanthropy and The Forbes 400 (Forbes) Philanthropy and The Forbes 400 Ultrarich Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and their like are a rare species (“The Forbes 400 Summit,” October, p. 24). Not many rich people want to be philanthropic. Fortunately, in Taiwan, some philanthropists have been consistently contributing to the welfare of the poor. While many businessmen keep amassing wealth in less-than-desirable ways, saving money for their own families or squandering it away, these kind benefactors stand out uniquely. They take and they give, enriching their own lives and at the same time benefiting those less fortunate significantly.
Not everyone can be Warren Buffett (MarketWatch) With its stock down more than 90% to less than 14 shekels ($3.63) from 152 shekels in winter 2010, pushing down its market cap to 620 million shekels from 5.74 billion shekels, Israeli corporate giant IDB Holding reported its latest financial results wrapped in a going-concern warning. The sprawling holding company’s second-quarter net loss of 1.27 billion shekels followed a 36% drop in total assets to 35 billion euros in 2011 from 55 billion euros in 2010.