Tuesday, November 8, 2016 0 comments ++[ CLICK TO COMMENT ]++

Bloomberg's David Rubenstein Warren Buffett Interviews (plus Classic Buffett Videos)

Looks like Bloomberg has a new show hosted by David Rubenstein (founder of private equity powerhouse, Carlyle). He recently interviewed Warren Buffett and it is available online (alt link). It is more of a quick overview and those not familiar with him might learn a few things, but there isn't much new for Buffett fans. But, as always, you always pick up on things that you may not be familiar so it might be worth checking out. I don't follow Buffett as closely as many others and I don't follow Berkshire Hathaway at all so I always learn something new, even if seemingly minor.

For instance, I always wondered why Washington Post shares fell so much in 1974 and it looks like it was due to government threatening to shut down a few of their key assets (TV stations in Florida). I had thought the shares fell just because of the brutal bear market in 1974 but that alone doesn't explain it. I also didn't know Washington Post IPOed a few years earlier. (on a political note, I also finally heard why Buffett became a Democrat in a strong Republican household: it's because of the civil rights).

(source: The David Rubenstein Show, November 4, 2016)

David Rubenstein also interviewed Buffett for the Economic Club of Washington, DC in 2012 (I think). The questions he asks overlap with the prior ones above but some are different.

Rubenstein does zero in on some key questions--such as how Buffett analyzes stocks--but Buffett doesn't really provide any insightful answers. This is one of the reasons I mentioned several years ago that I don't learn anything from Warren Buffett anymore; I have learned all that I can and I need to execute now (student has learned all he can from the master ;) ). I think the reason we never get any detailed steps on how to analyze stocks, or how he came to decide on some stock, or whatever, is because investing is more an art than science.

Asking Warren Buffett how he analyzes a company is like asking Claude Monet how he painted his impressionist paintings, or Stanley Kubrick how he made such good films. There isn't one methodological approach and ideas are synthesized from all sorts of things.

Having said that, newbies not familiar with Buffett should watch his old videos (experienced investors will be already familiar with these). I have linked the best ones I had in my bookmarks and YouTube lists below. Warren Buffett's best videos are probably the university speeches, usually followed by interesting Q&A; the worst ones are the short clips from CNBC (too short and doesn't elaborate on anything).

(source: Warren Buffett speaks with Florida University, Florida University, 2000??)

The following probably the best video I have seen, where I learned more about Buffett's insights and processes than most other videos.

(source: Warren Buffett speaks to UGA students, Terry College of Business at University of Georgia, 2001??)

Finally, the greatest impact Warren Buffett had on my thinking is not from a video but is from one of the few long articles he wrote. For me, perhaps the best investment articles in investment history is Buffett's 1977 Fortune magazine article titled "How Inflation Swindles the Equity Investor" (alternate original source). The article is written in a time of high inflation but it touches on so many timeless issues. If you have never read that article, you should read it at least once in your life... When I get some time in the future, I'll write my detailed thoughts on that article.

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