Warren Buffett News: Would You Have Fired Warren Buffett?

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAYWould You Have Fired Warren Buffett? (Minyanville)
When should you think about firing your investment manager? There are many differences of opinion. Some suggest it makes sense to consider choosing a different investment manager after three years of underperformance. Although sometimes it makes sense to make changes at that time, it’s important to be sure that you’re not firing the next Warren Buffett. According to Towers Watson, a leading investment consulting firm, the Oracle of Omaha, otherwise knows as the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A), has had two 3-year rolling periods of relative underperformance in his 45-year history of investing. These returns would no doubt have resulted in lost clients — to the clients’ own ultimate chagrin because his long-term track record shows that he has created extraordinary value.

Buffett’s Deere (DE) Bet is Still Solid, Even Amid Q4 Miss (StreetInsider)
Some speculation has been made whether Warren Buffett might be crying into his bowl of Sugar Smacks this morning following Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) quarterly miss, as reported earlier. The answer, of course, is no. Buffett doesn’t cry; doing so is neither profitable nor a good value. Other than that, let’s do a quick recap. Buffett’s Berkshire (NYSE: BRK-A)(NYSE: BRK-B) disclosed a new stake in Deere, established sometime in the third quarter. Well, let’s say Buffett waited until after Deere’s third-quarter report in August, when shares dropped to $75.50 or so. With Deere at $85.99 as of Tuesday’s close, Buffett is up 13.9 percent.

Four High Yield Stocks From Warren Buffett’s Portfolio (InsiderMonkey)
Quarterly 13F filings disclose what hedge funds and other notable investors owned at the end of a quarter (which is about six or seven weeks ago by the time the 13Fs are generally filed)… The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) was actually one of Berkshire’s five largest positions by market value as the holding company reported owning nearly 53 million shares of the personal products company behind brands such as Gillette, Bounty, Duracell, and Olay. At current prices the dividend yield is 3.4%, and Procter & Gamble can also boast a low beta of 0.3 to appeal to defensive investors. However, in its most recent quarter (the first of its fiscal year), revenue and earnings were both down compared to the same period in the previous year. It trades at 19 times trailing earnings. We would compare it to Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), another personal products company with roughly the same market capitalization and a similar dividend yield.

Buy Buffett Rail Debt, Sell Canadian National: JPMorgan (BusinessWeek)
Warren Buffett’s railroad debt is a better investment for bond buyers than Canadian National Railway Co. (CNR), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) said. The extra yield that Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s 10- and 30-year bonds pay over similar-maturity Canadian National debt makes them attractive, analysts led by Mark Streeter wrote today in a research note. BNSF is owned by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (A)

The Single Stock Trait Warren Buffett Mentioned 20 Times… That Produces Billions In Profits (JutiaGroup)
When he buys a stock, Warren Buffett places more emphasis on one factor above almost any other. Since 1986 he has mentioned this single trait 20 times in his annual shareholder letters. He calls it “essential for sustained success.” However, you won’t find it listed on a company’s balance sheet. Its value doesn’t rise and fall with the market. And even if a company reports great earnings, the worth of this one advantage still can’t be calculated. But that doesn’t keep it from being a company’s most valuable possession. Take the nasty bear market of 2008 and 2009. From its peak to trough, the S&P lost more than 55%. No investment completely avoided the downfall.

Warren Buffett’s 7 Pearls of Wisdom (abcNews)
Of all the biographers competing to be Warren Buffett’s Boswell, Carol Loomis, dean of writers at Fortune magazine, would seem to be the best equipped. For more than 40 years, she has been Buffett’s personal friend and sometime bridge partner. For 35, she has ghost-edited his annual letter to the shareholders of his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway. In the pages of Fortune she has written more about him, probably, than any other journalist. So, is her Buffett book, out this week, a biography? …The book gives a kind of cubist portrait of the Sage of Omaha: Buffett refracted in the eyes of 40 different people–most of them Loomis’ fellow Fortune writers, who, since 1966, have been recording his observations and opinions. One writer, though, is Buffett himself: Since 1977, he has occasionally written pieces in the magazine on topics ranging from inflation to America’s trade deficit to The Best Advice I Ever Got. 15 of the book’s selections are Buffett-bylined.

Warren Buffett’s 143-Year-Old Newspaper Shuts Down (OsunDefender)
The news media industry is turning a new page. For residents of Prince William County, just outside Washington, D.C., this means they won’t be turning pages at all. At least, not the pages of The News and Messenger, their 143-year-old local newspaper. The life of the five-day-a-week, 10,000 circulation newspaper serving the county’s more than 420,000 residents has met its fate. The last edition of the paper will be printed on December 30, at which point its 105 employees will be out of work.