Author Topic: Buffett/Berkshire - general news  (Read 467388 times)

Dynamic

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #540 on: August 11, 2017, 03:05:36 AM »
Gen Re did a quota share deal in Australia that will see them take 60% of AMP's retail life business onto their books -

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/amp-to-release-capital-after-500-million-reinsurance-deal/news-story/797c94aaac93cc4e5e387255a464d046

It has been interesting to see the moves and growth that have started since Ajit and Kara Raigul took over.

For those without a subscription to the Australian, this synopsis will probably suffice. http://www.intelligentinsurer.com/news/munich-re-gen-re-strike-reinsurance-deal-with-australia-s-12765


alpha

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #541 on: August 14, 2017, 04:55:04 PM »
Berkshires latest filing is out:

  • Eliminated GE Holdings
  • Added to Synchrony
  • Trimmed its airline holdings
  • Increased positions in Bank of New York Mellon and GM
  • Reduced its Wabco Holdings position to almost nothing
  • Increased Liberty Media position, decreased Sirius XM Holdings

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-investment-funds-buffett-idUSKCN1AU2B1

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1067983/000095012317007953/xslForm13F_X01/form13fInfoTable.xml
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 04:58:12 PM by alpha »

Jurgis

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #542 on: August 14, 2017, 07:39:09 PM »
Datorama updated: http://www.dataroma.com/m/holdings.php?m=brk

Baupost also bought SYF... did any of these guys talk about what/why they like it?
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Dynamic

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #543 on: August 15, 2017, 01:41:58 AM »
Berkshires latest filing is out:

  • Increased positions in Bank of New York Mellon and GM

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1067983/000095012317007953/xslForm13F_X01/form13fInfoTable.xml

A few things I noted when updating my Berkshire Look-Through spreadsheet at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Ok3bOO4z_2Itbta6FguKbuFA1HvcQvzisspPBN6IpZY/edit#gid=2050477249

Interesting that GM's third and final line on the 13-F went from 1,237,600 to 11,237,600
It almost looks like it could have been a typo, though I'm sure everyone preparing it take a great deal of care. And it still fits with the round-numbers held in total, at exactly 60 million (was 50 million shares)

There still seems to be a typo in the 13-F on MOSANTO CO NEW. Don't think it fits with the need to abbreviate some longer names. Perhaps a simple typo or a way to reduce attention from protesters and adherents of the Organic marketing spin and the Naturalistic Fallacy who refer to it as MONSATAN. (I'll admit I was concerned about GMOs a couple of decades ago, more from a concern over possible side-effects like herbicide resistance getting into weeds, than health or 'messing with nature', but I've changed my opinion having seen the evidence roll in)

For some reason, one line of PHILLIPS 66 appears to be new but shows zero shares under column 7 Other Manager 4,8,11. Perhaps one of the other lines changed the manager code because all the values are as last quarter. That said, I might just not have noticed this zero line last quarter.

mbreject

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #544 on: August 16, 2017, 02:22:45 AM »
Datorama updated: http://www.dataroma.com/m/holdings.php?m=brk

Baupost also bought SYF... did any of these guys talk about what/why they like it?

Haven't looked into it, but as someone with a card, I assume that they really low costs. I can't talk with anyone no matter what I press. I'm going to close the card after I get redeem my Sam's club certificate.

John Hjorth

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #545 on: August 16, 2017, 02:54:45 AM »
This is an entity, that connects economic idiots with people with cash, to make money. These entities run lean, and internet based in most cases. You can complain by leaving - by paying your balance [if you can] and close the card account.

The above is meant in general terms.

I'm not by that calling you an idiot, mbreject, nor even indirectly implying that you are.

In our household we have a few of those cards, too, because of the built in perks. I can't even get automated monthly payment in full of the balance [because the card issuers don't want us to pay monthly balance in full, so that they can charge interest on the balance], so I pay them manually - monthly, and in full, so we get our perks -, without any interest expenses on the card.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 02:58:19 AM by John Hjorth »
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gfp

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #546 on: August 16, 2017, 04:44:12 AM »
I haven't heard any of them mention Synchrony.  Berkshire's position is probably through Todd or Ted.  Todd seems to be the financials specialist of the two, but who knows.  Synchrony declined during the past quarter and offered an entry point for anyone interested in their business.  They have a very very healthy net interest margin despite their growing charge-offs/delinquencies.  To me it seems likely that they will be acquired by a larger financial firm with even lower costs on deposits, but maybe I am missing some reason they are unlikely to be acquired.

As for the products, we use two of their products.  The one we use most is their Lowes card that can be used only at Lowes.  My wife is a real estate developer / landlord, so we put a lot of money through Lowes and Home Depot.  The Lowes card gives you 5% off at the register, which is more attractive than some later statement credit - as I can see the price discount right on my receipt.  In our town, the sales tax is just about 10%, which means using SYF's card at Lowes gives me half the tax back.  Lowes and Home Depot have algorithms to exactly price match identical items they both carry, so the absence of a similar offering from Home Depot often decides which store we drive to for the materials list.  The card is paid in full every month through their online portal.  They've never made a dollar off of us, but we have saved a couple thousand.  Lowes saves the CC processing fee if our purchases had been on Visa/Amex/etc, which helps offset the 5%.

The other card we use is the Amazon Prime Store card.  It is one of the several cards amazon offers with discounts.  It is not the original one, but a more recent entry.  It is set as the default payment method at Amazon and it pays 5% back on anything purchased through amazon or their 3rd party sellers.  It pays the 5% in the form of a statement credit on your next bill, so it works differently than the Lowes card but the economic effect is the same.  We buy a lot on Amazon and 5% is a better discount than our other cards would offer.  There are other 5% cards that partner with Amazon, though, and those other cards can be used at more than just Amazon.  Same deal as above - pay it off every month in full and SYF never makes a dollar.

The other product I have seen but not used is their growing "Care Credit" program.  My wife's friend used Care Credit to pay for some expensive dental work with a 0% payment plan.  She kept to the terms and paid it off at 0%. 

All of these products are just hoping that you will pay some interest at some point, and looking at the numbers quite a few people do pay interest to SYF.  And when they do, it's a whopper - huge APRs.  So the higher charge-offs and delinquencies aren't too surprising because you are talking about people who are willing to owe a balance that compounds against them at rates approaching 30%!  These are not the most sophisticated users of credit.  I'm sure many could transfer that balance to a competing product with an 18 month 0% offer or something and pay it down without the compounding against them.  But they don't.

One thing I have read is that SYF offers customers pretty low credit limits and is quick to ding your credit score if you mess up.  Both of those lead to some unhappy (ex)customers.

So who ends up buying them?  It's not a squeaky clean reputation business and the relationships - like the Amazon deal - can (and probably will eventually) be lost.



Datorama updated: http://www.dataroma.com/m/holdings.php?m=brk

Baupost also bought SYF... did any of these guys talk about what/why they like it?

gfp

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rb

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #548 on: August 16, 2017, 03:57:14 PM »

All of these products are just hoping that you will pay some interest at some point, and looking at the numbers quite a few people do pay interest to SYF.  And when they do, it's a whopper - huge APRs.  So the higher charge-offs and delinquencies aren't too surprising because you are talking about people who are willing to owe a balance that compounds against them at rates approaching 30%!  These are not the most sophisticated users of credit.  I'm sure many could transfer that balance to a competing product with an 18 month 0% offer or something and pay it down without the compounding against them.  But they don't.
They do make a % of everything you buy using the card. So you've probably made them quite a bit of money over the years. Yes they would prefer interest on top of it but it's not a deal breaker.

mbreject

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #549 on: August 16, 2017, 04:47:42 PM »
This is an entity, that connects economic idiots with people with cash, to make money. These entities run lean, and internet based in most cases. You can complain by leaving - by paying your balance [if you can] and close the card account.

The above is meant in general terms.

I'm not by that calling you an idiot, mbreject, nor even indirectly implying that you are.

In our household we have a few of those cards, too, because of the built in perks. I can't even get automated monthly payment in full of the balance [because the card issuers don't want us to pay monthly balance in full, so that they can charge interest on the balance], so I pay them manually - monthly, and in full, so we get our perks -, without any interest expenses on the card.

I am an idiot for keeping this card for so long. I made a mistake in thinking that having the Sam's Club credit card was the only way to get the cashback or maybe they've changed the T&C's along the way, because it's not like that anymore. I'm just too lazy to drive to my local Sam's, but I have to do it soon before the check expires.

I haven't heard any of them mention Synchrony.  Berkshire's position is probably through Todd or Ted.  Todd seems to be the financials specialist of the two, but who knows.  Synchrony declined during the past quarter and offered an entry point for anyone interested in their business.  They have a very very healthy net interest margin despite their growing charge-offs/delinquencies.  To me it seems likely that they will be acquired by a larger financial firm with even lower costs on deposits, but maybe I am missing some reason they are unlikely to be acquired.

As for the products, we use two of their products.  The one we use most is their Lowes card that can be used only at Lowes.  My wife is a real estate developer / landlord, so we put a lot of money through Lowes and Home Depot.  The Lowes card gives you 5% off at the register, which is more attractive than some later statement credit - as I can see the price discount right on my receipt.  In our town, the sales tax is just about 10%, which means using SYF's card at Lowes gives me half the tax back.  Lowes and Home Depot have algorithms to exactly price match identical items they both carry, so the absence of a similar offering from Home Depot often decides which store we drive to for the materials list.  The card is paid in full every month through their online portal.  They've never made a dollar off of us, but we have saved a couple thousand.  Lowes saves the CC processing fee if our purchases had been on Visa/Amex/etc, which helps offset the 5%.

The other card we use is the Amazon Prime Store card.  It is one of the several cards amazon offers with discounts.  It is not the original one, but a more recent entry.  It is set as the default payment method at Amazon and it pays 5% back on anything purchased through amazon or their 3rd party sellers.  It pays the 5% in the form of a statement credit on your next bill, so it works differently than the Lowes card but the economic effect is the same.  We buy a lot on Amazon and 5% is a better discount than our other cards would offer.  There are other 5% cards that partner with Amazon, though, and those other cards can be used at more than just Amazon.  Same deal as above - pay it off every month in full and SYF never makes a dollar.

The other product I have seen but not used is their growing "Care Credit" program.  My wife's friend used Care Credit to pay for some expensive dental work with a 0% payment plan.  She kept to the terms and paid it off at 0%. 

All of these products are just hoping that you will pay some interest at some point, and looking at the numbers quite a few people do pay interest to SYF.  And when they do, it's a whopper - huge APRs.  So the higher charge-offs and delinquencies aren't too surprising because you are talking about people who are willing to owe a balance that compounds against them at rates approaching 30%!  These are not the most sophisticated users of credit.  I'm sure many could transfer that balance to a competing product with an 18 month 0% offer or something and pay it down without the compounding against them.  But they don't.

One thing I have read is that SYF offers customers pretty low credit limits and is quick to ding your credit score if you mess up.  Both of those lead to some unhappy (ex)customers.

So who ends up buying them?  It's not a squeaky clean reputation business and the relationships - like the Amazon deal - can (and probably will eventually) be lost.



Datorama updated: http://www.dataroma.com/m/holdings.php?m=brk

Baupost also bought SYF... did any of these guys talk about what/why they like it?

My SYF Sam's club credit card has a crazy limit (monthly limit is like ~7x my annual purchase on the card.) It might be because it's a warehouse club card though (my Costco citi card's credit limit is also ridiculously high while my other citi card's limit is frustratingly low.) It's possible that Citi and SYF are doing this in hopes to retain the customers they got from AmEx and Discover, but maybe they're just that damn predatory. Gah. Hearing about the high APR's really make me appreciate AmEx's charge card model a lot more.