Author Topic: Buffett's Early Investments  (Read 19332 times)

netnet

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Re: Buffett's Early Investments
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2018, 03:11:13 PM »
I just bought (it has not arrived yet), a book by Glen Arnold called, The Deals of Warren Buffett: Volume 1, The First $100m;

it looks like it takes 10 or so deals from City Services through Berkshire, so it does not really get into all of his positions, but it may be representative and does have the cocoa beans, Dempster Mill and Sanborn.

I will post a review in the book section, when I have read it.


Brett

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Re: Buffett's Early Investments
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2018, 05:58:55 AM »
I just bought (it has not arrived yet), a book by Glen Arnold called, The Deals of Warren Buffett: Volume 1, The First $100m;

it looks like it takes 10 or so deals from City Services through Berkshire, so it does not really get into all of his positions, but it may be representative and does have the cocoa beans, Dempster Mill and Sanborn.

I will post a review in the book section, when I have read it.

I bought it and skimmed it. It doesn't look like he actually went into the annual reports from the year Buffett invested and researched what Buffett might have been thinking at the decision point. The book's very high-level.

netnet

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Re: Buffett's Early Investments
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2018, 09:47:04 AM »
I just bought (it has not arrived yet), a book by Glen Arnold called, The Deals of Warren Buffett: Volume 1, The First $100m;

it looks like it takes 10 or so deals from City Services through Berkshire, so it does not really get into all of his positions, but it may be representative and does have the cocoa beans, Dempster Mill and Sanborn.

I will post a review in the book section, when I have read it.

I bought it and skimmed it. It doesn't look like he actually went into the annual reports from the year Buffett invested and researched what Buffett might have been thinking at the decision point. The book's very high-level.

Oh sh@t, that's annoying.  I was hoping for a really in depth treatment.

Brett

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Re: Buffett's Early Investments
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2018, 11:06:31 AM »
I just bought (it has not arrived yet), a book by Glen Arnold called, The Deals of Warren Buffett: Volume 1, The First $100m;

it looks like it takes 10 or so deals from City Services through Berkshire, so it does not really get into all of his positions, but it may be representative and does have the cocoa beans, Dempster Mill and Sanborn.

I will post a review in the book section, when I have read it.

I bought it and skimmed it. It doesn't look like he actually went into the annual reports from the year Buffett invested and researched what Buffett might have been thinking at the decision point. The book's very high-level.

Oh sh@t, that's annoying.  I was hoping for a really in depth treatment.

I only skimmed a few sections, though. I was curious on Disney/Hochschild, in particular. I'm curious on your thoughts if you get around to it.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 11:37:58 AM by Brett »

Graham Osborn

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Re: Buffett's Early Investments
« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2018, 08:18:00 AM »


Thanks for the article, but I am not convinced by the thesis. In the 50's and 60's buffett invested in 400 companies total so the majority must be cigar butts. They must all contribute to his overall results, because if he was getting 30-50% a year he cannot have laggards in his portfolio....

I'd love to have list of his holdings back then (not just the 5 or 6 mentioned in snowball and other books)

Buffett had/ has laggards like every one else operating at similar AUM - the difference was the upside of his winners.  Although we don't have details on single-pick gains from the BPL days I think the best modern analogue is M Burry's early days at Scion.  In the first year he was up 55% gross while the S&P was down 10% - and that was all because of a single value stock in his portfolio that was a 3-6 bagger depending on the cost basis.  A number of his other picks (especially airlines in 2001) went nowhere.  This is a power law world.  You don't make 55% in a year by owning 10 equal-sized positions that each go up 55%.

Buffett did 30% gross at BPL.  His claim that he could consistently do 50% a year is bogus in my opinion unless he was managing <1M in inflation-adjusted dollars.  He has really done the community a disservice by saying that IMO.

rolling

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Re: Buffett's Early Investments
« Reply #45 on: February 10, 2018, 08:55:17 AM »


Thanks for the article, but I am not convinced by the thesis. In the 50's and 60's buffett invested in 400 companies total so the majority must be cigar butts. They must all contribute to his overall results, because if he was getting 30-50% a year he cannot have laggards in his portfolio....

I'd love to have list of his holdings back then (not just the 5 or 6 mentioned in snowball and other books)

Buffett had/ has laggards like every one else operating at similar AUM - the difference was the upside of his winners.  Although we don't have details on single-pick gains from the BPL days I think the best modern analogue is M Burry's early days at Scion.  In the first year he was up 55% gross while the S&P was down 10% - and that was all because of a single value stock in his portfolio that was a 3-6 bagger depending on the cost basis.  A number of his other picks (especially airlines in 2001) went nowhere.  This is a power law world.  You don't make 55% in a year by owning 10 equal-sized positions that each go up 55%.

Buffett did 30% gross at BPL.  His claim that he could consistently do 50% a year is bogus in my opinion unless he was managing <1M in inflation-adjusted dollars.  He has really done the community a disservice by saying that IMO.
His 50% a year claim was in the 50s, before buffett partnership. Those were the years that sent him into his first "retirement" at 26. In fact, he said exactly what you said:
"It's a huge structural advantage not to have a lot of money. I think I could make you 50% a year on $1 million. No, I know I could. I guarantee that."
My usual portfolio: Highly concentrated (up to 3 or 4 positions) in smallcaps and microcaps.

scorpioncapital

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Re: Buffett's Early Investments
« Reply #46 on: February 10, 2018, 10:27:41 AM »
If you don't put sufficient funds into your winners -i.e too diversified or unsure, then your result will be somewhat more muted. You need both to be right, a good idea and enough conviction to put a large amount into it - perhaps 30 to 40% of your net worth - but you better  be right or else disaster!

Brett

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Re: Buffett's Early Investments
« Reply #47 on: February 13, 2018, 01:35:19 PM »
Does anyone know when Buffett sold Greif Bros., Cleveland Worsted Mills, or Philadelphia Reading? I'm trying to figure out how much he made/lost on these but don't have estimates of when he sold. I'm looking for Buffett's portfolio by year, preferably. I know the Robert Miles book has some years, but not enough to figure it out for these specific names.

Og

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Re: Buffett's Early Investments
« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2018, 02:20:39 PM »


Thanks for the article, but I am not convinced by the thesis. In the 50's and 60's buffett invested in 400 companies total so the majority must be cigar butts. They must all contribute to his overall results, because if he was getting 30-50% a year he cannot have laggards in his portfolio....

I'd love to have list of his holdings back then (not just the 5 or 6 mentioned in snowball and other books)

Buffett had/ has laggards like every one else operating at similar AUM - the difference was the upside of his winners.  Although we don't have details on single-pick gains from the BPL days I think the best modern analogue is M Burry's early days at Scion.  In the first year he was up 55% gross while the S&P was down 10% - and that was all because of a single value stock in his portfolio that was a 3-6 bagger depending on the cost basis.  A number of his other picks (especially airlines in 2001) went nowhere.  This is a power law world.  You don't make 55% in a year by owning 10 equal-sized positions that each go up 55%.

Buffett did 30% gross at BPL.  His claim that he could consistently do 50% a year is bogus in my opinion unless he was managing <1M in inflation-adjusted dollars.  He has really done the community a disservice by saying that IMO.
His 50% a year claim was in the 50s, before buffett partnership. Those were the years that sent him into his first "retirement" at 26. In fact, he said exactly what you said:
"It's a huge structural advantage not to have a lot of money. I think I could make you 50% a year on $1 million. No, I know I could. I guarantee that."

I believe it. I see businesses all the time selling for 1.5 - 2x earnings at that small of a level.

Steven B

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Re: Buffett's Early Investments
« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2018, 10:47:52 AM »
Public or private?