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Of Buffett and Soros: The magic of thinking big (April 2013)

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 27JAN10 - George Soros, Cha...

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 27JAN10 – George Soros, Chairman, Soros Fund Management, USA, captured during the session ‘Rebuilding Economics’ of the Annual Meeting 2010 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2010 at the Congress Centre. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

13F filings are here and one could easily be challenged to rite one’s investment ideas and/or the 13 F’s investment ideas into a cogent workhorse and like it or not 13F s a re a great motivator to keep undergraduates and grad students apart from a plethora of unemployed investment artists busy. Having said that, and having spent a coupe of hours arguing with oneself on the usually rich matter to write on and having decided to focus on revenue generating or salary generating resource use work items, i still found it engaging to put forth on some big items that caught my eye and a lot of others’ fancy as deal season is also unusually rich. i belivee the opinions expressed hereunder to be statistically valid almost known facts and could very well serve as research topics for many others given the easy availability of security data right now but yea the following opinions were said here (sez Amit) and will filter through in the next few months:


Firstly its good to see Warren Buffet back in the sweet spot after having been challenged for not having a moat in 2008 (Doug Kass) Buffet ‘s Berkshire Hathaway did earn monster news time when he backed Bank of America and Goldman Sachs in 2011 and 2009 delivered sub par returns since 2010 and will be delivering below the S&P returns this year(at the annual meeting on Friday past)

Secondly, it was heartening to see the master George Soros catch up to Apple at and around the $400 mark where it turned around and in a quarter otehrs have also found to be rich with event driven opportunities the swing for JC Penney after they exited CEO Johnson into the wilderness also hit the bat in the magic square and drove up his run rate expectations.

Thirdly Heinz is probably a great investment that will prove Buffet wrong this year in Berkshire Hathaway B stock beating S&P in the final rushes of 2013 when the US recovery highmark is printed. However, his IBM trades or Wells Fargo sweet spots have reduced chances in the big ’13. Berkshire BNSF cash is at work too so the 22% is just more base rate and may not deteriorate despite the first fe big hits if any in the middle quarters.

In my first sidebars however, the master Soros may have acted like Anakin Skywalker’s intemperate Emperor in having walked out on Facebook if he indeed has because Facebook may still outscore Apple in the annual return sweepstakes having found the saddle with the mobile again.

To Buffet’s misses I would have probably suggested the larger insurers like Cigna and Aetna and the USAA earlier to his core portfolio but I owuld think I would just go with my all time favorite Amazon as those who find that story perplexing have missed the basic

Image representing Goldman Sachs as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase

lessons in investing and creating enduring businesses. Those who refuse to bat for Tim Cook still have cogent reason given the fundamental change in direction but even that is not a Buffet story and thats fine. Ajit Jain or others in Buffet;s investment teams or at Soros’s efforts may refuse to also walk with such known ‘obvious’ errors of omission and Nestle and Citibank as proferred by those filing 13Fs may be indeed the way for 2013’s star investments or the probably missed trip to Aussie that could engender faith in the West Coast fans of the Buffet franchise.

On the existing holdings oil stocks that could surprise are Buffet’s holdings in Conoco Philllips and even Phillips 66 despite the price of Oil cycling thru the lower bands and them having not been that active in the US Energy export script but then Buffet has already struck Oil in BNSF neighbouring lands The pickups in US Bancorp and Tesco can be immense too.

Last but not the least, its probably not Sears but Radioshack that would definitely interest special situations and more obvious rescue teams this year and they would definitely want to get Buffet or Soros to advise them on the ride.

I would of course get in the door mentioning also that no one could fault Warren Buffet with his preferring a pure  Fixed income investment when offered cheap Goldman Sachs stock at $115 in 2010 and he may well not be able to refuse the same for Bank of America when warrant of 700 mln shares at $7 and change come to fruition but given his understanding of the business he may well forego these warrants as well for suitable further interest as a fixed income/preferred investor

Soros also sold BofA this month and thats probably sound trading as it tips of the $12 mark, J Morgan also tipping off last month and facing board friction with the activist institutional proxies this month and as we mentioned elsewhere Gold bottomed out at $1350 and we are loggerheads with Soros in about the same week of April again. so he won’t get the new Gold trade again soon if he has sold it,

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