Gustavo Ballvé on February 29th, 2012

We dive a little deeper in Berkshire’s annual report. As we’ve argued before, it’s another chapter in a body of work that can be read strictly with an investing “hat” – or, more usefully, with many hats (business, corporate governance, communications, recruiting/incentives etc.). This one is interesting in many regards: succession, Berkshire’s strategy and goals, IBM, insurance float, share repurchases, the state of the US economy and more. We also link to the transcript of CNBC’s 3-hour special “Ask Warren”.

Read more about Notes on Buffett’s 2011 letter to shareholders

Gustavo Ballvé on February 25th, 2012

UPDATE: The 2012 Berkshire Hathaway annual report is out – the latest chapter in a history of value investing lessons that Warren Buffett started back in 1959. Read the past letters and this year’s for much more than insights on value investing and valuable information on Berkshire itself, and you will be richer for it.

Read more about 2012 Berkshire annual report

Gustavo Ballvé on February 22nd, 2012

This article by actually makes for interesting food for thought regarding Brazil and other highly-regulated economies. If the USA has it rough, how do we have it here? We highlight some interesting tidbits valid for all over-regulated countries.

Read more about Over-regulated America

Gustavo Ballvé on February 16th, 2012

The Farnam Street blog, always a great source, has two posts with recommended reading lists by two very interesting authors and thinkers: Robert Cialdini and Nassim Taleb. Between the two, there’s definitely good reading to be done.

Read more about Reading lists: Taleb and Cialdini

Gustavo Ballvé on February 14th, 2012

You choose how to allocate your time to your choice of media outlets based on your priorities. Such priorities should, ideally, be determined by a strategic plan designed to achieve a set of goals/objectives you’ve carefully set down as the most important for you. Right? Ideally, yes. But we’re usually too caught up on “execution mode” to revisit and question our objectives, then plans, then priorities – in this order – so we keep doing what we’ve been always doing. Old habits, as they say, truly die hard.

Read more about Brazil: optimism, pessimism, repeat

Gustavo Ballvé on February 13th, 2012

Investidor Profissional (IP) announces to users that the blog’s activities have become independent as of today. The company believes that the relevance attained by the blog recommends that, in the name of transparency and independence, is not attached to any investment management firm or financial institution. is, therefore, no longer IP’s blog, but its users can continue to read it at the same URL ( and continues to be edited by former IP member Gustavo Ballvé, who has led the project since its inception.

Read more about IMPORTANT: is now independent

Gustavo Ballvé on February 8th, 2012

MIT economist Andrew Lo had published a paper where he reviews twenty one (yes, 21) books about the global financial crisis. In search of common explanations and themes, he found confusion instead. “After each book, I felt like I knew less. For an academic, that’s a pretty frustrating feeling.”

Read more about Kurosawa and the crisis

Gustavo Ballvé on February 6th, 2012

Great article at BusinessWeek highlights the immense difficulties of integrating large acquisitions or mergers – in this case, United and Continental Airlines. The link to rocket science is in the article’s last line, and it’s hilarious.

Read more about The rocket science of merger integrations

Gustavo Ballvé on February 3rd, 2012

Seth Godin’s appearance in this talk show is constrained by the format: a talk show requires “controversial sound bites” and leaves little room for deep analysis of a given issue. That’s up to us, and the ideas he repeats here – “get ready for a ‘forever recession’ by reinventing yourself”, “learn by doing”, “go ahead and do it”, “take risks” – are worth considering during the weekend.

Read more about Quick video, tough subject

Gustavo Ballvé on February 2nd, 2012

Interesting, short interview with Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush. A reminder of the sometimes almost insurmountable barriers of inefficient habits and practices in some sectors. The potential for IT-based revolutions in healthcare is huge, however the questions of “when” and “how” are still hard to answer. Yet keeping track of the “cost control/ accountability” trend in HC is vital.

Read more about The wired doctor

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