Gustavo Ballvé on October 31st, 2009

This BBC special on Buffett has good and bad moments, but the Don Graham interview is a must-see. This is a man who has been around Buffett for decades. His description of how (and why) Berkshire is so different from the “average American business” is one of the best compliments Mr. Buffett could get. Not a bad goal at all for any business owner or manager.

Read more about BBC’s special about Warren Buffett

Gustavo Ballvé on October 28th, 2009

Dave Sokol of Bekshire Hathaway’s subsidiary MidAmerican has been taking on additional responsibilities (NetJets), but most tellingly, he’s getting more and more media exposure as well. Looking more and more like the CEO successor to Warren Buffett.

Read more about Dave Sokol’s air time

Gustavo Ballvé on October 28th, 2009

The first 4-5 pages in GMO’s Q3 2009 letter are entertaining for their irony, but it’s hard to disagree with Mr. Grantham’s conclusion: concentrate your portfolio in quality U.S. stocks with a global earnings mix. We’d extend that to some non-US quality stocks with diversified earnings sources, of course.

Read more about GMO Q3 2009 letter

Gustavo Ballvé on October 28th, 2009

Looking at the world’s largest remittance players, it’s perhaps useful to use Moneygram – smaller, under-covered and nearly-bankrupt – to better understand Western Union.

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Gustavo Ballvé on October 23rd, 2009

Short comments on Global Beverages motivated by the Femsa beer unit sale talks and (much earlier) the Kraft/ Cadbury imbroglio. Beer and soft drinks make sense together, as does beer + soft drinks and food.

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Gustavo Ballvé on October 21st, 2009

The merger between Odontoprev and Bradesco Dental highlights the advantage of looking at industries and companies globally. The game is NOT about being the best “brazilian” investor you can be. It’s about being the best investor you can be. There’s a world of difference between the two propositions (pun intended).

Read more about Odontoprev’s inevitable move

Gustavo Ballvé on October 20th, 2009

David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital is a fixture of the NY Value Investing Congress – and it’s always useful to take some time to read his thoughts.

Read more about Einhorn at the VIC 2009

Gustavo Ballvé on October 20th, 2009

Quite specific examples of the levers that move SAP, Oracle and Microsoft – also applicable to Totvs. The bottom line: bargain while you can. Very interesting to illustrate the power of maintenance in the software business.

Read more about How to deal with your software vendor

Gustavo Ballvé on October 19th, 2009

The Value Investing Congress is taking place in NYC and here’s the Twitter feed. This is a quick post with some highlights of what went on in the first day. We have attended the VIC in other occasions, but not this year. If you’re ever in NY during this time of the year, it’s worth a shot.

Read more about Keeping tabs on VIC’s twitter

Gustavo Ballvé on October 19th, 2009

We’ll hold our judgement on “behavioral finance funds”. The point here is that these funds are ultimately offered to human clients, and as this quote notes, “It would be really kind of ironic if you invested in a fund based on behavioral finance and you sold it after the fund had a big loss or added to it after it was up 50 percent.” (…) “It’s hard not to be human.”

Read more about Behavioral finance funds vs. human clients

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