From the Presidential Medal
of Freedom presentation

Warren E. Buffett : as a world-known investor and philanthropist, Warren E. Buffett business acumen is matched only by his dedication to improve the lives of others. He is the co/founder of the Giving Pledge, an
organization that encourages wealthy Americans to donate at least 50percent of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

Warren Buffett’s example of Generosity and Compassion has shown us the power of one individual’s determination in inspiring countless women and men to help make our world a brighter place.

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L’importante è che nevichi (The unflagging desire)

Dear Friends, Partners and Intelligent Investors,

La forza di gravità del mercato è la combinazione di due influenze determinanti : l’inflazione e i tassi di interesse. L’azione della FED è volta a frenare l’inflazione (alzando i tassi) e “creando” un accenno di recessione o frenando l’economia americana che ha viaggiato dal 2020 ad oggi a velocità molto sostenuta. La disoccupazione è solo al 3,4percento e veniamo da una crescita costante dal 2010, ininterrotta per 12 anni, e frenata solo per pochi mesi dalla pandemia nel marzo 2020.

Wall Street ha reagito con una frenata dell’ S&P 500 equivalente a -15percento da inizio anno, correggendo probabilmente una previsione precedente troppo ottimistica e tipica dei mercati quando crescono per molti anni di fila. Nel 1962 accadde qualcosa di molto simile.

Io ritengo, analizzando ogni giorno i fondamentali di aziende e i dati economici del paese, che si tratti di una correzione appunto e non di una bolla. Sono convinto pero’ che durerà ancora a lungo e non solo un anno o due come alcuni analisti ritengono. Di solito la storia ci insegna che per calmare l’inflazione i tassi d’interesse (Fed funds rate) devono allinearsi o andare sopra il tasso d’inflazione. Il 2 novembre scorso la Fed ha alzato i tassi al 4percento. L’inflazione è al 6,3percento (Core CPI).

E’ evidente che un ulteriore rialzo dei tassi è piu’ che prevedibile, ed i suoi effetti non possono considerarsi “immediati”. Piu’ a breve e benefico sarà un ulteriore abbassamento dei prezzi delle azioni. Le aziende piu’ deboli e maggiormente indebitate soffriranno di piu’ (e saranno costrette ad emettere ulteriori note o corporate bonds per finanziarsi a tassi molto piu’ alti) ma le aziende forti e meravigliose (con poco o pochissimo debito) sono e saranno impattate molto meno e diventeranno occasione di acquisto per gli investitori intelligenti e preparati. E’ sempre stato cosi’ e stavolta non sarà differente.

E’ in effetti cio’ che è già accaduto da inizio 2022 a noi e a MTCapital. Vediamo come e perchè:

Il 31 percento del nostro intero portafoglio è investito in BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY che da inizio anno registra un +11percento circa.
Un altro 30 percento del portafoglio è nel settore bancario e in una compagnia specializzata in carte di credito corporate e finanziamenti sulla salute di persone e pets. Quanto la gente è disposta a pagare in USA e indebitarsi, soprattutto attraverso una carta di credito, per la salute dentale o le cure del proprio animale domestico è sorprendente. In un momento di inflazione crescente vincono i business dai servizi essenziali ed eccellenti che possono permettersi di alzare i prezzi senza perdere clienti.
MT Capital possiede pezzi di questi business ed intende aumentare le posizioni in questo senso in futuro, quando e se i prezzi saranno ancora piu’ ragionevoli.
In effetti dal 29 settembre 2022 lo abbiamo già fatto. Cio’ che ho acquistato  da quella data ad oggi performa a +19,84percento. 

Ancora una volta è l’investimento sul reale Valore dell’azienda che dimostra che tutti i “Value Investors” a differenza dei day-traders, bond holders, options gamblers, short sellers etc etc. riescono a performare meglio; anzi molto meglio, soprattutto nei momenti di “crisi dei mercati” e a difendere i risparmi dei propri clienti dall’inflazione.

E ADESSO UMILTA’

Quindi S & P 500 -15,00percento, MT Capital +1,57percento da inizio anno e +7,00percento total gross return negli ultimi 6 mesi.
L’errore piu’ comune del money manager a questo punto è pensare di essere “diverso”, immune da errori grazie alla sua bravura denotata ovviamente da questi risultati.

Invece ci saranno cali e segni meno, e ben vengano. Stiamo, come analizzato precedentemente, attendendo correzioni al ribasso piu’ che al rialzo. Per noi “trouble is opportunity”.

Abbiamo ancora circa un 10percento del portafoglio in liquidità e soprattutto sappiamo dove e come impiegarla. Gradirei averne avuta un 20percento, ma abbiamo aggressivamente (e troppo presto per colpa mia) già comprato 3 compagnie cinesi che riteniamo in 5 / 10 anni possano darci risultati straordinari. Ora, sono tutte col segno meno.

Siamo alla ricerca di nuovi capitali e investitori astuti che condividono la nostra filosofia di lungo termine. Il fossato costruito attorno ai businesses che possediamo sarà intatto tra 10 e anche 20 anni (e piu’) a nostro avviso. Chi mi conosce molto bene sa che B like Buffett” è Be fino in fondo per me. “I walk the talk”: le mie azioni Berkshire sia personali che in MT Capital sono “committed” all’eternità e alla filantropia. Il mio compito, divertimento e passione è “to pile up”. A 46 anni è troppo presto (spero!) per dire chi beneficerà del “pile down”. Che la neve “is falling down” come diceva Charlie Brown guardando il cielo, oppure “No, it’s coming up” gli rispondeva Lucy guardando il terreno, l’importante è che nevichi.

Per ora sono concentrato sull’obiettivo in maniera “newtoniana”, cioè ossessivamente non-distraibile. C’è una lista di rinunce (come ho imparato da Arnold Van Den Berg) che ho già accettato e fatto mia dentro di me per raggiungere il mio obiettivo. L’obiettivo è garantire a lungo termine quei risultati oltre la mediocrità e la media che solo i piu’ ricchi di pazienza sanno ottenere, trasformando quest’ultima in vera, durevole ricchezza. Il compito non è facile. Tutti possono fare bene a Wall Street per qualche anno. Pochi, quasi nessuno sa essere granitico e dare risultati per 20 o 30 anni. O piu’. (Come i miei principali riferimenti Buffett, Schloss, Fisher, Templeton). Bisogna leggere e analizzare bilanci e financial reports fino a diventare blu. Ma è l’unica strada.

Solo questa umiltà e disciplina puo’ darmi una piccola chance di riuscire anche solo ad avvicinarmi ai risultati dei grandi, risultati a cui aspiro per i miei clienti e partners. Fare benino e fare “la media” è quasi da tutti a Wall Street. Andare anche solo un poco oltre la media richiede una costanza, un sudore di analisi e studio, un “tiro bestiale”. E tempo. Warren Buffett, Walter Schloss, ma anche i piu’ “giovani” Nick Sleep o Bill Miller non sono gente “normale”. Ma nel mondo dell’investimento quando ci sono passione e determinazione, sono come debito e ignoranza : due miscele esplosive. La prima verso la ricchezza, la seconda verso il disastro.

Il mio lavoro è evitare la seconda miscela e non perdere mai la prima.

In attesa della “lunga poesia” annuale, cioè la lettera del prossimo 30 giugno 2023, che grazie a Warren è diventata un “genere letterario” a se’ stante nel mondo dei money managers, l’occasione è gradita per augurare a tutti “Happy Holidays” ed

Happy Investing e Felice Risparmio

Marco Turco
Naples, Florida Dicembre 2nd 2022
+1 (954) 632 9689
marco@blikebuffett.com

 

DISCLOSURES: the discussions, outlook and viewpoints featured are not intended to constitute investment advice or consulting service. MT Capital is a privately held investment firm not open to every investor or prospective client. A description of the firm’s business practices is available upon request. 

On a wall in Omaha…

Warren E. Buffett was born the 30th of august 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska.

As we salute his 92nd birthday today we also humbly celebrate the 4th year of this blog and website.

When in the sixties in London people wrote on the walls of the city : EC IS GOD (Eric Clapton is God) a long, fortunate career was about to begin for the great Eric. His guitar playing and especially his voice was going to get better and better through the decades.

So,hoping nobody is offended, we would write today with the same spirit on a wall of the zoo of Omaha : WB IS GOD- just to make sure that a long, fortunate career is yet to come for Mr. Buffett too.

Even though there is a possibility that He will never die- (the famous black swan) we are sure that, no matter what may happen in a distant future, his legacy will live on for a very very long time.  The values to apply in life, the principles to master in business will remain in our hearts and in the minds of many students and people around the world.

Shareholders and an outstanding management team at Berkshire owe to Buffett (and Charlie Munger) a lot more than an awful amount of money.

Life is precious as it is the pursuit of happiness. Warren taught us how happiness can be achieved by everyone.

That’s what this blog, this website and “be like buffett” mean and are about.

Happy Birthday Warren

Respectfully and Thankfully, 

Marco

 

Naples, why not?

Wanna move to the Bahamas? Sir John Templeton achieved better results from there for his Fund than the previous 20 years spent living in Wall Street. And what about Aruba or any place in the Caribbean?

Well, they are all wonderful and many more we can add to the list. But I always try to make things happen and there is a place that I like even more: I love Naples, Florida.  So I moved there and I tell you why:

I’m a big fan of the States, so I’m not that much enticed anymore from living in Europe (which I did for a long time) or abroad in general. I lived in Rome for years and in LA for a shorter period, and often visited big crowded cities. That’s what I enjoyed. Then all of a sudden I turned 40 in 2016. A new chapter in my life and a new path to build wealth began.I felt that a small but active and productive city, with lovable people, the sun shining all year round and hopefully by the sea, was my ideal. Two years of research, failures, illusions, disappointments but then in 2018 I was with my son for the first time in Naples, Florida. At the time I already committed some money to an investment not far from there, in Sunrise, 25 miles north of Miami.  So at first I moved there. I’m patient and Naples remained the target. Now that the goal became reality let me share with you some of the qualities belonging to this place I now call home with extreme pleasure:

Caveat: I love working and I’m against retirement and against too many days off  because I love what I do, so I don’t feel like working most of the days of my life. In fact typically my schedule doesn’t change much during the weekends. My job gives me freedom and independence. If I want, I’m free to change my schedule anytime. I always make plans (short-term, long-term and very very long-term) but to fullfill them I’m ready to be flexible.

1.Naples is perfect. It is a city in which if you want you can retire (consistently ranking among the top places to retire actually) but you can also remain in the business and stay active. Naples is home to more “Fortune 500 CEOs” than any other community in the nation.

2.At the same time if you feel your day is done and you want to relax and go to the beaches, you have wonderful options and you can do it all-year round. Naples ranks as the number 1 “best U.S. beach town to live in”. by Travel and Leisure 2021

3.People are hospitable and still there is a sense of community and it is worth to get involved. Naples ranks number 2 on the 2020 “Best small city in America” for natural resources, prosperity, and people.

4.Dining and shopping are great too. Huge variety and top-notch quality.

5.Naples scores high in residents’ health and well being and touts the lowest crime rate of any metropolitan area in Florida

6.There’s not only an enviable quality of life but also a rich cultural offer and a potent philantropic spirit, that is something as you know I really do care about and from which I wish to learn a lot in the future. Neapolitans are higly affluent (the top 1percent enjoys $5.6 million in income annually that is by far a lot more than the average of $1.3 million for the wealthiest 1percent nationwide). So from the luckiest ones you do want to expect to give back more than the average rich individual.

In conclusion it is for me at the same time a pleasant and inspiring place. I couldn’t ask for more.

 

Marco Turco, Naples FL

Any comment Feel free please to reach out at :  marco@blikebuffett.com

Important Note: I owe data and statistics I used in this article to “Naples Illustrated” 2022 One hundred Collier County’s most influential business leaders issue

“Personal History” by Katharine Graham

 

“Personal History” is Katharine Graham’s autobiography. A memoir that shines for its honesty, the remarkable wide range of stories and people she met. I’m a voracious reader of biographies, and I found this one wonderful. The Washington Post saga is a lesson in business and life in itself that should be taught. It contains the power of a family driven and committed to its passion and business. It shows the magic of consistency and persistence in building a dream more than a newspaper. It’s the story of years struggling under the radar and years with great economic loss endured by Katharine Graham’s family until the genius of Kay’s husband Phil Graham took over. I obviously grabbed the book because of Warren. (1 dollar at a book sale in Bonita Springs! I proposed successfully to pay for it 2 dollars knowing it was going to be such a good book worth much more than the 15.00 priced on the cover). I was right. I will pause a bit on the pages in which Buffett pops up, but the lessons from this personal history are multiple. I would say the 625 pages are an endless source of teachings about how to react to a personal tragedy (Phil Graham shot himself in the basement of their house) as well as how difficult was to run a newspaper through hard times and big challenges. The challenges accepted gradually but strongly and courageously by a woman in a time in which all the newspapers and boards in general were run by men, and only men. A time in which unions and scandals were going strong.

The story encompasses crises and victories as huge and critical  as inspiring : the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, the strikes of the early seventies. Thrown without her will and consent by the husband’s suicide in a business in turmoil, Katharine Graham overcame her insecurity to finally discover herself and her potential. In a fascinating adventure he accepted to fight to survive personally and financially. The burden never became less complicated but Katharine Graham faced every obstacle. Only this way they became lighter to carry through the bumps and curves of the journey. A journey she never looked back to refuse, neglect , not to endure or simply live. It is to me (and after reading will be to you) so clear why such a woman was so interesting a friend and a business partner for Warren Buffett.

For the Buffett students the investment in the Washington Post in the early 70s is pretty much straightforward and typical to understand. The passion and competence of the sage in the newspapers field was proverbial. The bargain was in plain sight considering the price of the stock. The entire group (not only the Post) was selling for roughly 100 million dollars compared to an intrinsic value of at least 400 million. Problems were always present and others will come for the management but trust in the Graham family to face them, and the ridiculous selling price were enough margin of safety for Warren. Add his famous patience and long term look together with his presence on the board in the following years and you will have a perfect picture of a Buffett deal.   Also Warren will be tireless and always responsive in advising Katharine Graham and actually became her teacher and Pygmalion from a business point of view. He played a big part in the repurchase of shares at such an undervalued stock price, and was so immensely useful in many other managerial decisions and critical moments.

The book is a gold mine not only for the Buffett student but for every business enthusiast and why not, for everybody that really likes a good, true story of courage and fulfillment. I wouldn’t add much more to let Katharine Graham speak for herself, since she does it tremendously well. I learnt a lot from this book in the last month in which it was with me everyday and everywhere. I was so eager to see “what’s next? What’s next?”. I’m sure soon I will read it again. Now, wrapping up for the Buffett maniacs like me, here’s few lines that will sound like music to our ears. A music for us, “Buffettists” that Graham in the book really played so well:

“(…).And it led to some sort of rationale that I can live with about the goal of each individual being to fulfill the unique potential within-and do it to the utmost…This is what you do Warren-or you are in the process of doing. Your intensity, concentration and drive almost scare me, but are luckily and happily relieved by those other things you also possess-decency, gaiety, enjoyment and warmth.”

Let’s write down all of those qualities on a piece of paper and keep them handy in your heart.

Happy Investing,

Marco Turco

marco@blikebuffett.com

Berkshire in 2071, a dad’s dream

Let me be clear from the get-go: I’m not against business schools or formal training of any sort. You have to learn the basic tools and they will underpin all of your assumptions and decisions about investing and the market. But, and this is a big BUT, the way and the talent you may develop to make money can come from a different education as well.

I have a completely different and unconventional education in business if compared to any professional investor out there. You can also say that I’m an amateur. As long as my results for my partners and me are way beyond average and/or outstanding, I really don’t care. I rely upon the Graham’s line in the “Intelligent Investor” in which more or less he said that some regular non-professional investors are able to beat professionals at their own game. How? Basically, if they are equipped with the adequate attitude towards the market. The famous temperamental quality that Buffett stated very clearly decades ago and still he will confirm today. Human nature will not change now and fifty years from now. And so the human animal. The “academics” will still be teaching you all kinds of things to make you look like a “high priest” and not an amateur; but how about to make money? How about make 20, 30 or 50percent a year from your small portfolio? That’s another story.

When I was in Warsaw I took a course to prepare for CFA, and one of the “academics” was frequently lamenting how amateurs were acting in the market. Clearly he was so keen in calculating a duration of a bond that he simply forgot about all the rest to make money in the investment world, and he neither was himself an amateur or a professional. It was just clear to me as a lifelong Buffett student that he never managed money in his entire life.

I’m reading the wonderful book of Guy Spier: “The Education of a Value Investor” and I’m happy to find in his story that Guy learned the hard way what I taught to my son since a very young age. Actually my son was born in a Buffett World because of me. He knows Buffett and Graham have been my only business school. Studying him and Berkshire relentlessly is my only university. He knows since he was 8 or 9 that he will be better off staying away from Wall Street, and learn how to think and analyze with his own mind. We read together 2 pages a day of chapter 8 and 20 of the Intelligent Investor when he was 11 and decided to buy his first stock: Sony Corp around 33 dollars. BRK.B followed and after 4 years he is very well aligned to my results. At 13 I passed him a copy of “The super Investors of Graham’s and Doddsville” (one of my favorite Warren’s pieces of work of all time) and from that day we speak of “flips of the coins” and “orangutans” in the “Zoo of Omaha” like it’d be our own special lingo. Funny and educational (K Graham will approve immensely). I taught him that “piling up” doesn’t make sense if it is not meant to give back to society. And if not coincides with happiness in the “journey” it is not worth your while. Never trade agony for money. Never.

Now at 15 he wants to be a pilot, of which I’m thrilled as it should be every good father. The Zoo in Omaha in which I fed him after 15 years seems to have already paid off. He will be applying most of the analytical “Investor skills” while flying safely around the planet. And I’m sure he will underspend his income and become a hugely successful “amateur” in investing in common stocks. So great a pilot that he will beat the market over the long term. Needless to say, he will not need anymore my money to educate himself or paying back the loan of the flying school. If so I wish at that point I can give it all away. Regardless of the amount left.

Things will come full circle. I’m so curious how much an 11 years old value investor’s portfolio will grow when he will be 65. It will be the year 2071, time in which his net worth will probably explode. Berkshire will be still there as our permanent holding, and I may be not and I really wonder now how much a A-share will be worth in 2071. 4M? 5M? Hard to say. I’d ask Warren and Charlie if they have a clue. One thing I’m pretty much sure: my son will not get any dividend yet and neither there would be any split of the stock. Charlie would add: “..and rightly so”.

Happy Investing, 

Marco Turco

marco@blikebuffett.com    

 

Boredom is fun

In investing Boredom is fun. True investing or Intelligent Investing incorporates boredom and requires boredom as one of its components. It’s a fact. It is one of its main traits. If you are capable of a sound big decision you don’t wiggle around much. It’s not only the fourth law of motion by Buffett (“For Investors as a whole returns decrease as motion increases”) but it’s just the nature of the game for a “business mind” that knows what is doing and knows what he owns.

In fact if you have a participation in a business that is a wonderful business and you are confident that is going to do well and be profitable for the next 10 or 20 years or more you don’t think about selling it, right? Actually if you paid a reasonable price, so that you have a margin of safety, you want to find the time to keep an eye on it to see if you just can buy more pieces of that same business.

It’s as simple as that. So why few people think this way when it comes about owning stocks that are pieces of a business? Because the type of education makes all the difference. It’s about the approach. We agree with Buffett that the reason is “just because it is so simple” and people want to feel they are in the big league of the business world and they think they can be pros in that world only if they apply arcane formulas or concepts they only can learn through complexity. It is difficult to teach the opposite: simplicity. I can tell as a teacher that to make things simple is a difficult task. But it is the only strategy that pays off in the stock market and in business.

Teaching is a way to learn. It is a way to clarify your thoughts and ask yourself always the right questions. You master a subject for real only if you are able to explain that subject to a 6 years old or at least a 10 years old. If you want to be a “learning machine” you want to help and teach others. You challenge yourself in passing along what you have learnt in a way that is comprehensible. You can’t make it more simple than how it is, but you have to sharpen your skills in enunciating your thoughts when it comes to investments. Don’t fool yourself. Don’t think you know if you are not able to explain what you know.

I’m not talking about a language barrier or something of the sort, even though language is key and you can’t blink to somebody else in the dark, right? But If you really know what you know, you will find a way to communicate.

Having said this let’s come back to Boredom. Boredom is part of our life. A friend of mine would say that Boredom is a “happy accident”. Because you can turn it into something different if you have the right mind set and if you worked on yourself enough to control your emotions. You will discover than in true Investing Boredom is your friend. Let me say this:

I think you invest with Intelligence, Speculate with some emotionality (every now and then if you feel to) and day-trade with a big passion for gambling (that is a strong trait of human nature).

I can do some intelligent speculation every once in a while and I did. Multiple times, and I made a few bucks too. But I knew that I was not investing. I didn’t fool myself. The third activity, day-trading is just not my game. It’s not my personality, like I don’t sell short anything and I don’t like options. I just love the first activity. That’s who I am. I love to work a lot on something I like. I become obsessed in pursuing an interest or a goal and getting to a conclusion and if i do I make the purchase. Subsequently I stick with that thing. I was partly born that way because I remember I was that way as a small kid and then meeting Buffett strongly re-enforced this trait of my temperament. That’s what blikebuffett is about. Like I said multiple times blikebuffett is a catchy way to teach you that it is first and foremost about temperament.

You can blikebuffett and you can’t, but it’s not determined by how much money you manage or how many hours you spend reading financial reports and 10ks. If you think so you don’t know that much about investing and you don’t know that much about Buffett. Don’t get me wrong Buffett was and still is more disciplined than you and I combined together, but before that (and not only) first he has the “right mind set”.

It’s first the “How” and then comes the “What” he does. Today 2022 you can’t replicate the “What” but you can replicate the “How”. I put my Money on that, so to speak. I still do. And I’m so confident in doing so that I turned even boredom into something else, maybe a “happy little tree”. Actually I became that little tree so much that now I love Boredom, because it gives me plenty of time to do what I like!

Happy Investing!

Marco Turco

Feel free to reach out to me if you find my thoughts about investing interesting enough to break your boredom

marco@blikebuffett.com 

Now you can also text me if you are interested in “Sunrise Wise” my educational program about “Value Investing”

+1 (954) 632 96 89 

Want to get in touch?

We’d love to hear from you

Last posts

L’importante è che nevichi (The unflagging desire)

Dear Friends, Partners and Intelligent Investors,

La forza di gravità del mercato è la combinazione di due influenze determinanti : l’inflazione e i tassi di interesse. L’azione della FED è volta a frenare l’inflazione (alzando i tassi) e “creando” un accenno di recessione o frenando l’economia americana che ha viaggiato dal 2020 ad oggi a velocità molto sostenuta. La disoccupazione è solo al 3,4percento e veniamo da una crescita costante dal 2010, ininterrotta per 12 anni, e frenata solo per pochi mesi dalla pandemia nel marzo 2020.

Wall Street ha reagito con una frenata dell’ S&P 500 equivalente a -15percento da inizio anno, correggendo probabilmente una previsione precedente troppo ottimistica e tipica dei mercati quando crescono per molti anni di fila. Nel 1962 accadde qualcosa di molto simile.

Io ritengo, analizzando ogni giorno i fondamentali di aziende e i dati economici del paese, che si tratti di una correzione appunto e non di una bolla. Sono convinto pero’ che durerà ancora a lungo e non solo un anno o due come alcuni analisti ritengono. Di solito la storia ci insegna che per calmare l’inflazione i tassi d’interesse (Fed funds rate) devono allinearsi o andare sopra il tasso d’inflazione. Il 2 novembre scorso la Fed ha alzato i tassi al 4percento. L’inflazione è al 6,3percento (Core CPI).

E’ evidente che un ulteriore rialzo dei tassi è piu’ che prevedibile, ed i suoi effetti non possono considerarsi “immediati”. Piu’ a breve e benefico sarà un ulteriore abbassamento dei prezzi delle azioni. Le aziende piu’ deboli e maggiormente indebitate soffriranno di piu’ (e saranno costrette ad emettere ulteriori note o corporate bonds per finanziarsi a tassi molto piu’ alti) ma le aziende forti e meravigliose (con poco o pochissimo debito) sono e saranno impattate molto meno e diventeranno occasione di acquisto per gli investitori intelligenti e preparati. E’ sempre stato cosi’ e stavolta non sarà differente.

E’ in effetti cio’ che è già accaduto da inizio 2022 a noi e a MTCapital. Vediamo come e perchè:

Il 31 percento del nostro intero portafoglio è investito in BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY che da inizio anno registra un +11percento circa.
Un altro 30 percento del portafoglio è nel settore bancario e in una compagnia specializzata in carte di credito corporate e finanziamenti sulla salute di persone e pets. Quanto la gente è disposta a pagare in USA e indebitarsi, soprattutto attraverso una carta di credito, per la salute dentale o le cure del proprio animale domestico è sorprendente. In un momento di inflazione crescente vincono i business dai servizi essenziali ed eccellenti che possono permettersi di alzare i prezzi senza perdere clienti.
MT Capital possiede pezzi di questi business ed intende aumentare le posizioni in questo senso in futuro, quando e se i prezzi saranno ancora piu’ ragionevoli.
In effetti dal 29 settembre 2022 lo abbiamo già fatto. Cio’ che ho acquistato  da quella data ad oggi performa a +19,84percento. 

Ancora una volta è l’investimento sul reale Valore dell’azienda che dimostra che tutti i “Value Investors” a differenza dei day-traders, bond holders, options gamblers, short sellers etc etc. riescono a performare meglio; anzi molto meglio, soprattutto nei momenti di “crisi dei mercati” e a difendere i risparmi dei propri clienti dall’inflazione.

E ADESSO UMILTA’

Quindi S & P 500 -15,00percento, MT Capital +1,57percento da inizio anno e +7,00percento total gross return negli ultimi 6 mesi.
L’errore piu’ comune del money manager a questo punto è pensare di essere “diverso”, immune da errori grazie alla sua bravura denotata ovviamente da questi risultati.

Invece ci saranno cali e segni meno, e ben vengano. Stiamo, come analizzato precedentemente, attendendo correzioni al ribasso piu’ che al rialzo. Per noi “trouble is opportunity”.

Abbiamo ancora circa un 10percento del portafoglio in liquidità e soprattutto sappiamo dove e come impiegarla. Gradirei averne avuta un 20percento, ma abbiamo aggressivamente (e troppo presto per colpa mia) già comprato 3 compagnie cinesi che riteniamo in 5 / 10 anni possano darci risultati straordinari. Ora, sono tutte col segno meno.

Siamo alla ricerca di nuovi capitali e investitori astuti che condividono la nostra filosofia di lungo termine. Il fossato costruito attorno ai businesses che possediamo sarà intatto tra 10 e anche 20 anni (e piu’) a nostro avviso. Chi mi conosce molto bene sa che B like Buffett” è Be fino in fondo per me. “I walk the talk”: le mie azioni Berkshire sia personali che in MT Capital sono “committed” all’eternità e alla filantropia. Il mio compito, divertimento e passione è “to pile up”. A 46 anni è troppo presto (spero!) per dire chi beneficerà del “pile down”. Che la neve “is falling down” come diceva Charlie Brown guardando il cielo, oppure “No, it’s coming up” gli rispondeva Lucy guardando il terreno, l’importante è che nevichi.

Per ora sono concentrato sull’obiettivo in maniera “newtoniana”, cioè ossessivamente non-distraibile. C’è una lista di rinunce (come ho imparato da Arnold Van Den Berg) che ho già accettato e fatto mia dentro di me per raggiungere il mio obiettivo. L’obiettivo è garantire a lungo termine quei risultati oltre la mediocrità e la media che solo i piu’ ricchi di pazienza sanno ottenere, trasformando quest’ultima in vera, durevole ricchezza. Il compito non è facile. Tutti possono fare bene a Wall Street per qualche anno. Pochi, quasi nessuno sa essere granitico e dare risultati per 20 o 30 anni. O piu’. (Come i miei principali riferimenti Buffett, Schloss, Fisher, Templeton). Bisogna leggere e analizzare bilanci e financial reports fino a diventare blu. Ma è l’unica strada.

Solo questa umiltà e disciplina puo’ darmi una piccola chance di riuscire anche solo ad avvicinarmi ai risultati dei grandi, risultati a cui aspiro per i miei clienti e partners. Fare benino e fare “la media” è quasi da tutti a Wall Street. Andare anche solo un poco oltre la media richiede una costanza, un sudore di analisi e studio, un “tiro bestiale”. E tempo. Warren Buffett, Walter Schloss, ma anche i piu’ “giovani” Nick Sleep o Bill Miller non sono gente “normale”. Ma nel mondo dell’investimento quando ci sono passione e determinazione, sono come debito e ignoranza : due miscele esplosive. La prima verso la ricchezza, la seconda verso il disastro.

Il mio lavoro è evitare la seconda miscela e non perdere mai la prima.

In attesa della “lunga poesia” annuale, cioè la lettera del prossimo 30 giugno 2023, che grazie a Warren è diventata un “genere letterario” a se’ stante nel mondo dei money managers, l’occasione è gradita per augurare a tutti “Happy Holidays” ed

Happy Investing e Felice Risparmio

Marco Turco
Naples, Florida Dicembre 2nd 2022
+1 (954) 632 9689
marco@blikebuffett.com

 

DISCLOSURES: the discussions, outlook and viewpoints featured are not intended to constitute investment advice or consulting service. MT Capital is a privately held investment firm not open to every investor or prospective client. A description of the firm’s business practices is available upon request. 

On a wall in Omaha…

Warren E. Buffett was born the 30th of august 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska.

As we salute his 92nd birthday today we also humbly celebrate the 4th year of this blog and website.

When in the sixties in London people wrote on the walls of the city : EC IS GOD (Eric Clapton is God) a long, fortunate career was about to begin for the great Eric. His guitar playing and especially his voice was going to get better and better through the decades.

So,hoping nobody is offended, we would write today with the same spirit on a wall of the zoo of Omaha : WB IS GOD- just to make sure that a long, fortunate career is yet to come for Mr. Buffett too.

Even though there is a possibility that He will never die- (the famous black swan) we are sure that, no matter what may happen in a distant future, his legacy will live on for a very very long time.  The values to apply in life, the principles to master in business will remain in our hearts and in the minds of many students and people around the world.

Shareholders and an outstanding management team at Berkshire owe to Buffett (and Charlie Munger) a lot more than an awful amount of money.

Life is precious as it is the pursuit of happiness. Warren taught us how happiness can be achieved by everyone.

That’s what this blog, this website and “be like buffett” mean and are about.

Happy Birthday Warren

Respectfully and Thankfully, 

Marco

 

Naples, why not?

Wanna move to the Bahamas? Sir John Templeton achieved better results from there for his Fund than the previous 20 years spent living in Wall Street. And what about Aruba or any place in the Caribbean?

Well, they are all wonderful and many more we can add to the list. But I always try to make things happen and there is a place that I like even more: I love Naples, Florida.  So I moved there and I tell you why:

I’m a big fan of the States, so I’m not that much enticed anymore from living in Europe (which I did for a long time) or abroad in general. I lived in Rome for years and in LA for a shorter period, and often visited big crowded cities. That’s what I enjoyed. Then all of a sudden I turned 40 in 2016. A new chapter in my life and a new path to build wealth began.I felt that a small but active and productive city, with lovable people, the sun shining all year round and hopefully by the sea, was my ideal. Two years of research, failures, illusions, disappointments but then in 2018 I was with my son for the first time in Naples, Florida. At the time I already committed some money to an investment not far from there, in Sunrise, 25 miles north of Miami.  So at first I moved there. I’m patient and Naples remained the target. Now that the goal became reality let me share with you some of the qualities belonging to this place I now call home with extreme pleasure:

Caveat: I love working and I’m against retirement and against too many days off  because I love what I do, so I don’t feel like working most of the days of my life. In fact typically my schedule doesn’t change much during the weekends. My job gives me freedom and independence. If I want, I’m free to change my schedule anytime. I always make plans (short-term, long-term and very very long-term) but to fullfill them I’m ready to be flexible.

1.Naples is perfect. It is a city in which if you want you can retire (consistently ranking among the top places to retire actually) but you can also remain in the business and stay active. Naples is home to more “Fortune 500 CEOs” than any other community in the nation.

2.At the same time if you feel your day is done and you want to relax and go to the beaches, you have wonderful options and you can do it all-year round. Naples ranks as the number 1 “best U.S. beach town to live in”. by Travel and Leisure 2021

3.People are hospitable and still there is a sense of community and it is worth to get involved. Naples ranks number 2 on the 2020 “Best small city in America” for natural resources, prosperity, and people.

4.Dining and shopping are great too. Huge variety and top-notch quality.

5.Naples scores high in residents’ health and well being and touts the lowest crime rate of any metropolitan area in Florida

6.There’s not only an enviable quality of life but also a rich cultural offer and a potent philantropic spirit, that is something as you know I really do care about and from which I wish to learn a lot in the future. Neapolitans are higly affluent (the top 1percent enjoys $5.6 million in income annually that is by far a lot more than the average of $1.3 million for the wealthiest 1percent nationwide). So from the luckiest ones you do want to expect to give back more than the average rich individual.

In conclusion it is for me at the same time a pleasant and inspiring place. I couldn’t ask for more.

 

Marco Turco, Naples FL

Any comment Feel free please to reach out at :  marco@blikebuffett.com

Important Note: I owe data and statistics I used in this article to “Naples Illustrated” 2022 One hundred Collier County’s most influential business leaders issue

“Personal History” by Katharine Graham

 

“Personal History” is Katharine Graham’s autobiography. A memoir that shines for its honesty, the remarkable wide range of stories and people she met. I’m a voracious reader of biographies, and I found this one wonderful. The Washington Post saga is a lesson in business and life in itself that should be taught. It contains the power of a family driven and committed to its passion and business. It shows the magic of consistency and persistence in building a dream more than a newspaper. It’s the story of years struggling under the radar and years with great economic loss endured by Katharine Graham’s family until the genius of Kay’s husband Phil Graham took over. I obviously grabbed the book because of Warren. (1 dollar at a book sale in Bonita Springs! I proposed successfully to pay for it 2 dollars knowing it was going to be such a good book worth much more than the 15.00 priced on the cover). I was right. I will pause a bit on the pages in which Buffett pops up, but the lessons from this personal history are multiple. I would say the 625 pages are an endless source of teachings about how to react to a personal tragedy (Phil Graham shot himself in the basement of their house) as well as how difficult was to run a newspaper through hard times and big challenges. The challenges accepted gradually but strongly and courageously by a woman in a time in which all the newspapers and boards in general were run by men, and only men. A time in which unions and scandals were going strong.

The story encompasses crises and victories as huge and critical  as inspiring : the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, the strikes of the early seventies. Thrown without her will and consent by the husband’s suicide in a business in turmoil, Katharine Graham overcame her insecurity to finally discover herself and her potential. In a fascinating adventure he accepted to fight to survive personally and financially. The burden never became less complicated but Katharine Graham faced every obstacle. Only this way they became lighter to carry through the bumps and curves of the journey. A journey she never looked back to refuse, neglect , not to endure or simply live. It is to me (and after reading will be to you) so clear why such a woman was so interesting a friend and a business partner for Warren Buffett.

For the Buffett students the investment in the Washington Post in the early 70s is pretty much straightforward and typical to understand. The passion and competence of the sage in the newspapers field was proverbial. The bargain was in plain sight considering the price of the stock. The entire group (not only the Post) was selling for roughly 100 million dollars compared to an intrinsic value of at least 400 million. Problems were always present and others will come for the management but trust in the Graham family to face them, and the ridiculous selling price were enough margin of safety for Warren. Add his famous patience and long term look together with his presence on the board in the following years and you will have a perfect picture of a Buffett deal.   Also Warren will be tireless and always responsive in advising Katharine Graham and actually became her teacher and Pygmalion from a business point of view. He played a big part in the repurchase of shares at such an undervalued stock price, and was so immensely useful in many other managerial decisions and critical moments.

The book is a gold mine not only for the Buffett student but for every business enthusiast and why not, for everybody that really likes a good, true story of courage and fulfillment. I wouldn’t add much more to let Katharine Graham speak for herself, since she does it tremendously well. I learnt a lot from this book in the last month in which it was with me everyday and everywhere. I was so eager to see “what’s next? What’s next?”. I’m sure soon I will read it again. Now, wrapping up for the Buffett maniacs like me, here’s few lines that will sound like music to our ears. A music for us, “Buffettists” that Graham in the book really played so well:

“(…).And it led to some sort of rationale that I can live with about the goal of each individual being to fulfill the unique potential within-and do it to the utmost…This is what you do Warren-or you are in the process of doing. Your intensity, concentration and drive almost scare me, but are luckily and happily relieved by those other things you also possess-decency, gaiety, enjoyment and warmth.”

Let’s write down all of those qualities on a piece of paper and keep them handy in your heart.

Happy Investing,

Marco Turco

marco@blikebuffett.com

Berkshire in 2071, a dad’s dream

Let me be clear from the get-go: I’m not against business schools or formal training of any sort. You have to learn the basic tools and they will underpin all of your assumptions and decisions about investing and the market. But, and this is a big BUT, the way and the talent you may develop to make money can come from a different education as well.

I have a completely different and unconventional education in business if compared to any professional investor out there. You can also say that I’m an amateur. As long as my results for my partners and me are way beyond average and/or outstanding, I really don’t care. I rely upon the Graham’s line in the “Intelligent Investor” in which more or less he said that some regular non-professional investors are able to beat professionals at their own game. How? Basically, if they are equipped with the adequate attitude towards the market. The famous temperamental quality that Buffett stated very clearly decades ago and still he will confirm today. Human nature will not change now and fifty years from now. And so the human animal. The “academics” will still be teaching you all kinds of things to make you look like a “high priest” and not an amateur; but how about to make money? How about make 20, 30 or 50percent a year from your small portfolio? That’s another story.

When I was in Warsaw I took a course to prepare for CFA, and one of the “academics” was frequently lamenting how amateurs were acting in the market. Clearly he was so keen in calculating a duration of a bond that he simply forgot about all the rest to make money in the investment world, and he neither was himself an amateur or a professional. It was just clear to me as a lifelong Buffett student that he never managed money in his entire life.

I’m reading the wonderful book of Guy Spier: “The Education of a Value Investor” and I’m happy to find in his story that Guy learned the hard way what I taught to my son since a very young age. Actually my son was born in a Buffett World because of me. He knows Buffett and Graham have been my only business school. Studying him and Berkshire relentlessly is my only university. He knows since he was 8 or 9 that he will be better off staying away from Wall Street, and learn how to think and analyze with his own mind. We read together 2 pages a day of chapter 8 and 20 of the Intelligent Investor when he was 11 and decided to buy his first stock: Sony Corp around 33 dollars. BRK.B followed and after 4 years he is very well aligned to my results. At 13 I passed him a copy of “The super Investors of Graham’s and Doddsville” (one of my favorite Warren’s pieces of work of all time) and from that day we speak of “flips of the coins” and “orangutans” in the “Zoo of Omaha” like it’d be our own special lingo. Funny and educational (K Graham will approve immensely). I taught him that “piling up” doesn’t make sense if it is not meant to give back to society. And if not coincides with happiness in the “journey” it is not worth your while. Never trade agony for money. Never.

Now at 15 he wants to be a pilot, of which I’m thrilled as it should be every good father. The Zoo in Omaha in which I fed him after 15 years seems to have already paid off. He will be applying most of the analytical “Investor skills” while flying safely around the planet. And I’m sure he will underspend his income and become a hugely successful “amateur” in investing in common stocks. So great a pilot that he will beat the market over the long term. Needless to say, he will not need anymore my money to educate himself or paying back the loan of the flying school. If so I wish at that point I can give it all away. Regardless of the amount left.

Things will come full circle. I’m so curious how much an 11 years old value investor’s portfolio will grow when he will be 65. It will be the year 2071, time in which his net worth will probably explode. Berkshire will be still there as our permanent holding, and I may be not and I really wonder now how much a A-share will be worth in 2071. 4M? 5M? Hard to say. I’d ask Warren and Charlie if they have a clue. One thing I’m pretty much sure: my son will not get any dividend yet and neither there would be any split of the stock. Charlie would add: “..and rightly so”.

Happy Investing, 

Marco Turco

marco@blikebuffett.com    

 

Boredom is fun

In investing Boredom is fun. True investing or Intelligent Investing incorporates boredom and requires boredom as one of its components. It’s a fact. It is one of its main traits. If you are capable of a sound big decision you don’t wiggle around much. It’s not only the fourth law of motion by Buffett (“For Investors as a whole returns decrease as motion increases”) but it’s just the nature of the game for a “business mind” that knows what is doing and knows what he owns.

In fact if you have a participation in a business that is a wonderful business and you are confident that is going to do well and be profitable for the next 10 or 20 years or more you don’t think about selling it, right? Actually if you paid a reasonable price, so that you have a margin of safety, you want to find the time to keep an eye on it to see if you just can buy more pieces of that same business.

It’s as simple as that. So why few people think this way when it comes about owning stocks that are pieces of a business? Because the type of education makes all the difference. It’s about the approach. We agree with Buffett that the reason is “just because it is so simple” and people want to feel they are in the big league of the business world and they think they can be pros in that world only if they apply arcane formulas or concepts they only can learn through complexity. It is difficult to teach the opposite: simplicity. I can tell as a teacher that to make things simple is a difficult task. But it is the only strategy that pays off in the stock market and in business.

Teaching is a way to learn. It is a way to clarify your thoughts and ask yourself always the right questions. You master a subject for real only if you are able to explain that subject to a 6 years old or at least a 10 years old. If you want to be a “learning machine” you want to help and teach others. You challenge yourself in passing along what you have learnt in a way that is comprehensible. You can’t make it more simple than how it is, but you have to sharpen your skills in enunciating your thoughts when it comes to investments. Don’t fool yourself. Don’t think you know if you are not able to explain what you know.

I’m not talking about a language barrier or something of the sort, even though language is key and you can’t blink to somebody else in the dark, right? But If you really know what you know, you will find a way to communicate.

Having said this let’s come back to Boredom. Boredom is part of our life. A friend of mine would say that Boredom is a “happy accident”. Because you can turn it into something different if you have the right mind set and if you worked on yourself enough to control your emotions. You will discover than in true Investing Boredom is your friend. Let me say this:

I think you invest with Intelligence, Speculate with some emotionality (every now and then if you feel to) and day-trade with a big passion for gambling (that is a strong trait of human nature).

I can do some intelligent speculation every once in a while and I did. Multiple times, and I made a few bucks too. But I knew that I was not investing. I didn’t fool myself. The third activity, day-trading is just not my game. It’s not my personality, like I don’t sell short anything and I don’t like options. I just love the first activity. That’s who I am. I love to work a lot on something I like. I become obsessed in pursuing an interest or a goal and getting to a conclusion and if i do I make the purchase. Subsequently I stick with that thing. I was partly born that way because I remember I was that way as a small kid and then meeting Buffett strongly re-enforced this trait of my temperament. That’s what blikebuffett is about. Like I said multiple times blikebuffett is a catchy way to teach you that it is first and foremost about temperament.

You can blikebuffett and you can’t, but it’s not determined by how much money you manage or how many hours you spend reading financial reports and 10ks. If you think so you don’t know that much about investing and you don’t know that much about Buffett. Don’t get me wrong Buffett was and still is more disciplined than you and I combined together, but before that (and not only) first he has the “right mind set”.

It’s first the “How” and then comes the “What” he does. Today 2022 you can’t replicate the “What” but you can replicate the “How”. I put my Money on that, so to speak. I still do. And I’m so confident in doing so that I turned even boredom into something else, maybe a “happy little tree”. Actually I became that little tree so much that now I love Boredom, because it gives me plenty of time to do what I like!

Happy Investing!

Marco Turco

Feel free to reach out to me if you find my thoughts about investing interesting enough to break your boredom

marco@blikebuffett.com 

Now you can also text me if you are interested in “Sunrise Wise” my educational program about “Value Investing”

+1 (954) 632 96 89