Is Buffett Market Timing?

Warren Buffett stated in his recent New York Times Op-Ed that he had begun buying U.S. stocks for his personal portfolio, in which he previously held only Treasuries. Does that make him a market timer of sorts? Morningstar’s John Coumarianos offers some interesting thoughts on that question, focusing his answer on the difference between value investors, like Buffett, and market timers or traders. Value investors, like Mr. Buffett and others, look at investing as buying a piece of business, Coumarianos notes. These investors “think like a business owner and aim to purchase ownership units in businesses for less than those […]

Buffett: Unemployment to Get “Considerably Higher”

Warren Buffett tells Fox Business that he expects American job losses will continue to mount well into next year, and that unemployment will be well above the 6-6.5% range by mid-2009. “It’ll be considerably higher. … I wish it weren’t the case, but there is no way to change a negative feedback cycle like we’re in now in a month or two months.” Echoing the long-term optimism he showed in his much discussed Oct. 17 New York Times Op-Ed piece, however, Buffett says that “it will happen eventually and we will go on to new heights,” adding, “I’m not worried […]

Painful Stretch Even for The Greats

No one beats the market all the time — not even the best investors in history — and this difficult bear market has been a perfect example. Yahoo Tech Ticker’s Aaron Task reports that many investors with exceptional long-term track records have (along with just about everyone else) been hit hard. A look at some top money managers’ year-to-date performances: * Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway): -43% * Ken Heebner (CMG Focus Fund) -56% * Harry Lange (Fidelity Magellan): -59% * Bill Miller (Legg Mason Value Trust) -50% * Ken Griffin (Citadel): -44% * Carl Icahn (Icahn Enterprises): -81% * T. […]

Billions in Derivatives Losses Looming for Buffett, Berkshire?

Investment author Jon Markman says in his Nov. 19 “Trader’s Advantage” newsletter that the losses Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway have recently incurred because of the plummeting market may be only the start of their problems. “If you want to talk about problems that are not fully discounted by the market yet, let me just throw one bombshell out there. … What if Berkshire Hathaway, the most respected insurance company in the world, were to suffer a large loss on derivatives, much like American International Group did?” Markman, a former financial reporter and columnist who wrote for the L.A. Times, […]

Buffett Adds to ConocoPhillips Holdings

Berkshire Hathaway’s latest quarterly filing reveals that Buffett has added to his stake in oil producer ConocoPhillips and bought shares of the manufacturer Eaton Corp. He reduced his holdings in Bank of America Corp. Berkshire is now ConocoPhillips largest shareholder. According to a 2007 academic study by Gerald Martin of American University and John Puthenpurackal of University of Nevada, if an investor would have followed Berkshire’s purchases, even with the delayed notice, they would have generated a return of 25% annually from 1976 to 2006.