In Money (actually the Money Investor’s Guide 2010′s Professional User’s Guide, which comes free to FPA members with added information), there is information from The Elements of Investing by Burton C. Malkiel and Charles D. Ellis (Wiley, 2010). Both men are exceptional authors and investors (Malkiel, for example, wrote A Random Walk Down Wall Street and Ellis is considered one of the best investment writers living). In an article excerpted from their book, “Dodge the 6 Biggest Investing Mistakes,” Messrs. Malkiel and Ellis say this:
“We’re both in our seventies. So is Warren Buffett. The main difference between his spectacular results at Berkshire Hathaway and our good results is not the economy and not the market, but the man from Omaha. He is simply a better investor than just about any other in the world. Brilliant, consistently rational, and blessed with a superb mind for business, he has managed to avoid the mistakes that have crushed so many portfolios.”
I’ll be looking for the book at Border’s today. I continue to talk about Berkshire Hathaway at meetings with other financial planners and mostly get glazed looks. I continue to ask why all of us wouldn’t want to invest alongside a man who is perhaps the best investor of all time (and a good guy with a terrific sense of humor, too)? More glazed looks. Maybe I should be thankful that only a few advisors pay attention to and invest in Berkshire — it probably makes it better for those of us who do watch the company carefully. Did I mention that since the B shares split 50/1 in January, what was about $70/share on the date of the split was about $80/share on Friday? That’s a bit over 14% in about 31 days. Maybe Berkshire Hathaway owning 100% of Burlington Northern Sante Fe is a good thing; at least the market seems to think so. (As if this wasn’t enough, after I wrote this, I checked Bloomberg news on my iPhone and learned that Berkshire’s 4th quarter 2009 profits were $3.06 billion, much higher than expected; if you want to see the 2009 annual report — the model for corporate transparency — go to www.berkshirehathaway.com.)
Have a great week!