17 Investors in One Word Each

#1 Warren Buffett: Focus

This is the word Warren Buffett uses to describe himself when asked about the key to his success. He focused moe on making money than most people. A lot more than Ben Graham or Charlie Munger. Focus is also a good word to describe Buffett’s investment style. He only makes big investments on big ideas. And at some times he concentrated his investment on an industry like media & advertising in the 70s or consumer products in the 80s.

 #2 Charlie Munger: Smart

I thought he’s the smartest person I knew after reading Poor Charlie’s Almanack. I like his ideas about a multi-disciplinary approach. And I like the way he waits and bets big when opportunities appear. I agree with him that diversification is to protect against ignorance. People may think he’s arrogant. I think he has earned the right to be arrogant.

 #3 Ben Graham: Lazy

Actually Ben Graham did a lot of things. He wrote a Broadway play. He read French novels. He recited Spanish poets. Investing was just one of his interests. By lazy, I mean he didn’t focus on investing as much as Warren Buffett. He wanted to find a safe system for investing. But that doesn’t mean he’s not good. He’s great. He knows where to apply his system.

 #4 Phil Fisher: Conviction

For all his life, Phil Fisher followed what he believed. He wanted to find companies with the capabilities to constantly find new products/services for growth. And when he believed he found the right company, he never sold.

 #5 Tom Russo: Long-Term

I like his investment style. He learned to buy and hold the stocks that he understood best after listening to Warren Buffett’s talk to his Stanford business school class in 1980. He mainly focuses on food and beverage companies. And he holds for very long time. He bought one of his favorites, Nestle, in 1987. And he still owns it today. (more…)

The Essence of Success

Charles Dow used to counsel that no individual should ever be promoted if they hadn’t made a large error at some point. Phil Fisher used to insist only in investing in those stocks that had management teams willing to make big mistakes. If they didn’t make mistakes, they wouldn’t also take the risks required for success. Is this the essence of success? How does a corporate management team, upon the fruition of such errors, survive being “stopped out” of their positions in today’s hair twitch paradigm? Is being expropriated from your career rather than your capital not the bigger risk today? And thus can it only be stocks with founder, family or veto shareholdings that make for truly great growth stocks today? Should not Tim Cook undertake an LBO with the Qataris?

On The Menu This Afternoon

All times GMT

1330  US Oct CPI expected 0.1% m/m, from +0.6%, ex food and energy exp +0.1%m/m unchanged

US Nov Empire state survey  expected -8.0 from -6.2

US initial claims (wk Nov 10) exp 375k from 355k

Canadian Sept Mfg sales exp=0.3%m/m down from +1.5%

1400  US Fed’s Lacker speaks on economic outlook

1500  US Nov Philly Fed Survey exp 2.0 from 5.7

1540  US Fed Evans speaking ati 15th annual banking conference

1820  US Chairman Bernanke speaks on Housing and mortgage markets

1945  US Fed’s Fisher speaks at State of West symposium

2130  US Fed’s Plosser  speaks at CATO Institute

2330 US Fed’s Dudley speaks at NY clearing house

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