Warren Buffett News: The Secrets to Building a Lucky Network

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAYSentinels in India are paid to sleep (DailyMail)
Psst, I want to rig the price of a company’s shares. Buying 100 million of them, I place an order with a broker who works for a rogue cartel. The price of my shares will ramp up because I am privy to some startling information, something that will help my company make major gains. …Fade to black. Rajat Gupta comes out of a Goldman Sachs board meeting and calls hedge fund boss Raj Rajaratnam and tells him that Warren Buffet is taking a position in the investment bank.

Warren Buffett’s Top Yielding Dividend Stocks (Kapitall)
Despite his aversion to owning a computer and modern technological hijinks that would provide access to complex statistical indicators, Warren Buffett has gained deity status in the investment world. His investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, has outperformed the S&P 500 for 39 of the last 47 years by sticking to a simple and consistent strategy. Buffett’s strategy stems out of the philosophy that his mentor, Benjamin Graham, espoused focusing on value investing. This means that in order to reap the greatest rewards one must focus on identifying stocks that are undervalued based on their intrinsic worth. By analyzing, whether or not the company has performed well in the near past, if it has taken on debt, the level of profit margins, and whether or not it is exposed to fluctuations in particular inputs, Buffet has had great success.

Buffett Makes Annual Donation to Bill Gates Foundation (BusinessWeek)
Warren Buffett, the billionaire who pledged to donate most of his wealth to charity, contributed stock valued at $1.52 billion in his annual gift to the foundation created by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates. Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) (A), donated about 18.4 million of his company’s Class B shares to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to a filing issued yesterday. The shares closed at $82.54 in New York.

Reitmans Getting Very Oversold (Forbes)
Legendary investor Warren Buffett advises to be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. One way we can try to measure the level of fear in a given stock is through a technical analysis indicator called the Relative Strength Index, or RSI, which measures momentum on a scale of zero to 100. A stock is considered to be oversold if the RSI reading falls below 30. In trading on Monday, shares of Reitmans, Ltd. (Toronto: RET-A) entered into oversold territory, hitting an RSI reading of 29.7, after changing hands as low as $12.15 per share. By comparison, the current RSI reading of the S&P/TSX Composite Index is 51.5.

While we’re on the subject of newspapers, some ‘savage clarity’… (BuffaloNews)
Buffalo News Chairman Warren Buffett’s recent newspaper-buying spree is one of the very few bright spots in recent months in the business of print journalism. David Carr sums up the rest of a rather dire picture today in his piece, “The Fissures Are Growing for Newspapers,” in Monday’s New York Times. He writes: “Between operational fiascos and flailing attempts to slash costs on the fly, it’s clear that the print newspaper business, which has been fretting over a looming crisis for the last 15 years, is struggling to stay afloat. There are smart people trying to innovate, and tons of great journalism is published daily, but the financial distress is more visible by the week.”

Avondale Meadows Community Revitalization Successfully Continues With Addition of New Health & Wellness Center (MarketWatch)
The Meadows Community Foundation (MCF) announced today the development of a 70,000 square foot Health & Wellness Center in the Avondale Meadows Community on Indianapolis’ northeast side. The nearly $20 million facility is part of a 100-acre neighborhood revitalization within the Meadows area. …Avondale Meadows is one of several developments around the country that have partnered with Purpose Built Communities based in Atlanta, Ga. The organization — founded by Tom Cousins, Julian Robertson and Warren Buffett — seeks to reduce crime and rebuild and redevelop neighborhoods in economically disadvantaged communities. The Avondale Meadows development closely follows successful models established in Atlanta and New Orleans.

NONFICTION: “Wait: The Art and Science of Delay,” by Frank Partnoy (StarTribune)
Investing, Warren Buffett has suggested, is like playing baseball without the strikes. Fearing no penalty except lost opportunity, Buffett waits for a pitch he likes. Although he is preparing all the time for the next trade, Buffett claims, with tongue only slightly in cheek, that “lethargy bordering on sloth remains the cornerstone” of his philosophy. Although human beings are hard-wired to react quickly to stimuli, and modern society rewards rapid responses, Frank Partnoy, a professor of law and finance at the University of San Diego, believes that we “are often better off resisting biology and technology” by managing delay. In “Wait: The Art and Science of Delay,” Partnoy draws on the latest research in neuroscience and behavioral economics to provide a delightful, insightful and often surprising “Wait, wait, do tell me” account of decision-making in many areas of everyday life, ranging from sports to surgery to speed-dating and stock-picking.

Bob Diamond was always greedy and dangerous (Independent)
Warren Buffett says that the secret of good investment is to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. Back in 2010, I wrote that the plaudits that commentators were showering on Bob Diamond for snapping up Lehman Brothers’ trading desk cheaply in 2009 were misplaced because his record showed he never displayed any discrimination, but was simply greedy* all the time.

Freedom of Misinformation: Trouble in the air (BusinessDayOnline)
The White House under Barack Obama is clearly and indisputably a sanctum for serious business. No hanky-panky and definitely no whiff of scandal (a la Monica Lewinsky). The place is crawling with chartered accountants and lawyers who work extremely long hours for very modest pay. The toll on the womenfolk is a subject for another day. …Trust me.” This was followed by dead silence. You could hear a pin drop. However, this was not a totally unexpected bombshell. For several months multibillionaire Warren Buffett (“The Oracle of Omaha”) who is ranked the fourth richest man in the world has been baiting chartered accountants, particularly the “Big Four” over audit failures.

The Secrets to Building a Lucky Network (HBR)
There are no guarantees to entrepreneurial success. Your concept may be bold, your passion high, your intelligence and analysis exceptional, but there will always be external factors beyond your control. Last-minute glitches or UKVs — unforeseen killer variables — are always lurking and threatening havoc, especially in early stages. A major customer may default, a promised source of funding may disappear, or the world’s markets may sour — any of these can shift your trajectory in an instant. Then again, you may be lucky. Your business idea may intersect with its time and culture as if it were meant to be. Warren Buffett has famously credited most of his success to Luck. He claims he won the “ovarian lottery” by being born at the right time and in a country where his skill set allowed him to amass great wealth. Buffett asks people to imagine that there is a ball representing each person on the earth. If he had been one of those balls pulled out during a different era, say millions of years ago, he’d be pretty useless and likely eaten by some dinosaur. In a similar fashion, he acknowledges that his gift of allocating capital is driven by the circumstances of where he is. After all, if he were on a desert island without a capital market, the value of his skill goes nearly to zero.

McDonald’s: The Highest Yielding Of The Iconic American Brands (SeekingAlpha)
For the purpose of this article I have singled out three American brands that I view as the most valuable. I believe their brands are unassailable. They are McDonald’s (MCD), Nike (NKE) and Coca-Cola (KO). These giants are surely those brands we have all grown up with and brands that conjure up instant memories in our minds. Of the three I have mentioned I believe that McDonald’s is the strongest. Warren Buffett has stated that Coca-Cola is a better company than McDonald’s. This links to a video of his remarks during a talk to students at the University of Florida in 1998. While he was telling this, he casually held aloft a can of Coke in his hand.