Wednesday, 27th January 2016

Security Analysis by Ben Graham

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Books, Stock Investing, Wealth Building

Security Analysis by Ben Graham

Ben Graham published the second edition of Security Analysis in 1940 and many investors still consider it one of the best investment books ever written. The book is about 800 pages long and by no means is an easy read. This has discouraged a lot of people from reading the book and learning from the “father of security analysis”. The book does a great job of laying out the investment philosophy of Ben Graham and how to think about investments and businesses. He outlines principles about investing in bonds, preferred shares, warrant and common stocks and uses a lot of examples from companies in that era to demonstrate his thinking.[…]

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Monday, 14th December 2015

Quotes Various People

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Quotes

When facts change, I change my mind. What do you do sir?
– John Maynard Keynes

There is a huge difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something
– Richard Feynman

No matter how beautiful your theory, no matter how clever you are or what your name is, if it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In this statement is the key to science.
– Richard Feynman

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Friday, 16th October 2015

Business Moats

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Stock Investing, Wealth Building

Moat

One of the tasks of an analyst who is evaluating a business is to think about the moat of the business. But what is a moat? A simple way to think about moats is to imagine that the business is a castle and the moat it what surrounds the business and keeps other businesses at bay. Every business has a moat, but the difference is the size and the durability. Some businesses have narrow moats and other have wide ones. Some business moats are shrinking as time goes by, whereas others are widening. Ideally an analyst wants to find a business with a wide moat that keeps widening. One of the characteristics of the capitalist system is that a profitable business will attract more and more competitors and these competitors will test your moat repeatedly. Thus, the more successful a business is the harder it is to keep being successful and widen its moat. […]

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Friday, 29th May 2015

What makes Berkshire Hathaway special?

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Stock Investing

Charlie Munger

This years shareholder’s letter included for the first time a piece that was written by Berkshire Hathaway’s vice-chairman Charlie Munger. In his letter Charlie, reversed engineered the culture of Berkshire; how it operates and how it is run. He explains that all this was not based on any grand design or blueprint that Warren devised 50 years ago, but something that grew organically. Here is what Charlie has to say:

The management system and policies of Berkshire under Buffett (herein together called “the Berkshire system”) were fixed early and are described below:

(1) Berkshire would be a diffuse conglomerate, averse only to activities about which it could not make useful predictions.[…]

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Tuesday, 26th May 2015

Investment advice from Warren Buffett

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Personal Finance, Stock Investing, Wealth Building

Warren Buffett

A lot of people are still wondering where they should invest their money. Should they buy some stocks or are they too risky and they should invest in bonds instead. In his speeches and writings Warren Buffett has always said that a diversified portfolio of American businesses will provide the best long term results as long as the investor buys and holds wonderful businesses for the long term. His approach is simple so anyone can follow it and it delivers results with minimum supervision over the investments and minimum loss of sleep. He has followed his own advice and over 50 years it has helped him to build Berkshire Hathaway into a successful holding company. He is a man who follows his own advice. […]

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Tuesday, 5th May 2015

2015 Annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder’s Meeting

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Presentations, Stock Investing, Wealth Building

Berkshire Hathaway meeting

This time every year thousands of people from all over the world are gathering in Omaha to hear the words of Warren Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger. This year the crowd was about 44,000 people and they were not disappointed. The meeting started at 8:30 with the annual movie and at about 9:00, Warren and Charlie started the Q&A session. They answered question for about six hours on every topics. As always no questions were off limit.

Here follow my notes from the meeting. The notes will not cover all the topics and they are my attempt to summarise their most important points. […]

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Sunday, 3rd May 2015

Who will succeed Warren Buffett?

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Stock Investing

Warren Buffett

This is the question that many shareholders are asking every year. Berkshire Hathaway has grown from a small textile company to the 4th largest US company under the leadership of Warren Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger. Now, a lot of people fear that when the two great leaders are not running the company any more, this great story will come to end, because in many people’s eyes Berkshire Hathaway is Warren Buffett. This is a valid concern. Or is it not?

As Charlie once said, when asked about the future of Berkshire, “If your main concern in life is who will succeed Warren then you have any easy life”. […]

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Sunday, 18th May 2014

2014 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder meeting notes and more

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Presentations, Stock Investing, Wealth Building

Berkshire Hathaway meeting

On Saturday 3rd of May I joined almost 38,000 other “students” to attend the master class for investors that is the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. People started queuing at 2:30 am on Saturday in order to get a front seat to listen to Warren Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger. A student was paid $100 to start queuing at 3:00 am for a shareholder who arrived at 7:00 am to take his place in the line. As per usual, Warren Buffett and his long time business partner Charlie Munger sat on stage in Omaha, Nebraska, for over five hours answering questions from reporters, financial analysts, and Berkshire shareholders. Many shareholders had travelled great distances to be part of the weekend.[…]

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Wednesday, 12th March 2014

Lessons from Warren Buffet’s 2014 letter to shareholders

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Property Investing, Stock Investing, Wealth Building

Warren Buffett

On Saturday 1st of March, Warren Buffet released his 2013 annual letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. As always his letter is a great read, because it does not only tell you about his company but also gives general advice on investments and finance. He has been helping people for years to better understand the investment process and what they should look for and what to avoid. His insights on how to value companies are priceless. In addition, he sometimes gives general finance advice to help people who are not investment professionals themselves and they just want to look after their wealth and grow it.[…]

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Saturday, 23rd March 2013

How to value a business

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Stock Investing, Wealth Building

There seems to be a lot of confusion and discussion on how to value a business and determine what is a fair price to pay. If you are wondering whether to buy a share or the whole business you must be able to answer a simple question. How much is the value of the business and is the current price fair? After all a stock is part ownership of a business.

So let’s start from the beginning. Valuing a business is an eight step process and it takes time and effort.[…]

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