Warren Buffett Quotes

Warren Buffett is almost as famous for his quotes and one-liners as for his investing - see this selection of Warren Buffett Quotes on Life

Friday, 6 May 2011

Warren Buffett Likes Howard Marks

Warren Buffett Recommends Howard Marks' Book

Legendary investor Warren Buffett does alright for himself, but there is a fellow legendary investor Howard Marks whom he considers talks a lot of sense. So much so that he always reads his e-mails and even encouraged him to write a book !

Howard Marks the co-founder of Oaktree Capital therefore wrote a book for investors - The Most Important Thing, which Warren Buffett duly put on his recommended books list.

"When I see memos from Howard Marks in my mail, they're the first thing I open and read. I always learn something, and that goes double for his book." - Warren Buffett
You can read the memos over at Oaktree Capital, we would put one up here, except that they promise all kinds of dire consequences for anybody copying, reproducing in whole or part etc.. etc... so we'll stick to investing and blogging and leave the lawsuits to those better qualified.

As small private investors we would not even consider disagreeing with either Warren Buffet or Howard Marks - in fact we will strongly consider splashing out $20 on the book !

Oaktree was formed in 1995, Howard Marks has been responsible for ensuring that the firm adheres to its core investment philosophy, and managing the firm. Mr. Marks was previously Citicorp Investment Management for 16 years, where he was Vice President and senior portfolio manager in charge of convertible and high yield securities. Howard Marks holds a B.S.Ec. degree cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a major in Finance and an M.B.A. in Accounting and Marketing from the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago, where he received the George Hay Brown Prize.

For more info. on Howard marks' book see - The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor (Columbia Business School Publishing)

See here for the other books that Warren Buffett recommends -Warren Buffett book recommendations

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Warren Buffett on Sokol's Trades

Warren Buffett - Tells CNBC What He Really Thought of David Sokol's Actions

Warren Buffet has come in for a lot criticism for his reaction to David Sokol's trading in Lubrizol shares just before Berkshire Hathaway bought the company. A lot of people thought that Buffett had been a bit soft on Sokol and that he was not clear about whether Sokol had done anything wrong or not. So he has been on CNBC to try and clear a few things up.

You can see the CNBC video below - but in brief this is what Warren Buffett said about David Sokol's trades.

Well, I thought they were wrong. (There is a transcript of everything that happened at the annual meeting on the Berkshire Hathaway Web site.)
I handed him his resignation.
Our lawyers called the head of enforcement at the SEC and laid out the facts - it was a big mistake.
Whether it was illegal is another question, for other people to decide.

People-- feel that I did not show anger. But - I did not make any attempt to talk him into staying this time.
We laid out the facts on what we knew at the time about this trading, which I think anybody reading the press release, would think, this is really something that shouldn't have happened.
Obviously --in terms of public reaction, I should have expressed some anger. But I thought the facts spoke for themselves.

I wish I had (asked him more) because it would've saved Berkshire andf him a lot of trouble.
But when he ... said ... `Well, I've owned the stock and I've followed it and it looks like our kind of company.' ... I would not have assumed that (he) bought a lot of stock a few days before. If I'd simply asked the question, I would've saved Dave and us a lot of trouble.

(Regarding) violating Berkshire Hathaway policies, our audit committee report is on our Web site and --I don't think anybody could read it and look at the acts and not conclude that the policies were violated.

To my knowledge, Dave (Sokol) did all this in his own name. So it was inexplicable and inexcusable and I really come down that way.

I would say that Dave probably thought that that press release was ruthless.
The rest of the world may not have thought of it but we were laying out a case with definitive facts.
We called the head of the enforcement division of the SEC with those facts. He was gone, he was gone under circumstances which gave him the least compensation and no extra,
So I think he probably felt it was pretty ruthless.
I can assure you that in terms of the board meeting - I think the board felt we were taking prompt and decisive action --but again, I wrote the press release so if it came off badly then it's my fault.
So it's pretty clear that Warren Buffett was not a happy bunny and that David Sokol resigned under a cloud. Click here to see David Sokol's version of events - David Sokol on CNBC