Warren Buffett - Green heavy machines: Electricity powers more construction, mining in China

Warren Buffett, born on August 30th, 1930, is an American billionaire investor, business magnate, and philanthropist. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest investors in the history of the world and named the Oracle of Omaha for his impressive track record of investing and his hometown in Nebraska. Buffett is also the CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate that owns major stakes in American Express, Geico, Coca-Cola, and many other companies.

Early Life and Education
Warren Buffett was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to Leila and Howard Buffett. His father was a stockbroker and Congressman who would often take Warren and his siblings to the stock exchange. In high school, he started exploring the stock market and even filed his first tax return at the young age of 14. Later, he enrolled at the University of Nebraska, where he graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration. Shortly after graduating, he attended the Columbia Business School in New York, where he met famed investor Benjamin Graham and worked for him at his investment firm, Graham-Newman Corporation.

Investing Career
In 1956, Buffett founded Buffett Partnership Ltd. and would go on to make a series of investments that would solidify his reputation as an investment genius. One of his most famous investments came in the 1960s when he purchased a textile company named Berkshire Hathaway and took over as the Chairman and CEO in 1970. It was under Buffett’s leadership that Berkshire Hathaway transformed into a massive conglomerate that owns several billion-dollar companies, including GEICO, Duracell, and Dairy Queen, among many others.

Buffett’s investment strategy is well-known and followed by many investors around the world. He usually buys stocks that are trading at a discount and are undervalued in the market. One of his most significant investments was in Coca-Cola, which he started buying in 1988, and today, Berkshire Hathaway owns more than 400 million shares of the company worth over $22 billion. Buffett also invests in companies that have strong management and a history of earnings growth.

In addition to his investments in public companies, Buffett is known for making deals with private companies. In 2008, he invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs, which helped the bank during the financial crisis and also provided a handsome return on investment for Berkshire Hathaway. He has also invested in several other private companies, including Heinz and GE.

Warren Buffett is known for his philanthropic efforts and made headlines globally when he pledged to give away 99 percent of his wealth to charity. He has been quoted saying that the only disadvantage of being wealthy is that he cannot get rid of it fast enough. In 2010, he partnered with Bill Gates and created The Giving Pledge, a campaign that encourages billionaires to pledge a significant portion of their wealth to charity. Since then, over 200 billionaires have joined The Giving Pledge, including Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg.

Buffett’s philanthropic efforts are focused mainly on education, with his foundation, The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, supporting scholarships for needy students and work to improve access to family planning and reproductive health care. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, has also donated billions of dollars to charities and organizations worldwide.

Personal Life
Buffett, who has been married twice, is known for his frugal lifestyle, living in the same house in Omaha that he bought in 1958 for $31,500. He eschews luxury and reportedly eats breakfast at McDonald’s every morning on his way to work. He is also an avid bridge player and has competed in several bridge tournaments.

Warren Buffett is a true American icon who has gained global recognition for his success in the business world and his remarkable philanthropic contributions. His investment strategies have become a template for many aspiring investors worldwide. Buffett has been honoured with several awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in recognition of his contributions to society. His commitment to giving back and his legendary investment strategies make Warren Buffett one of the most remarkable people of our time.

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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sells entire stake in TSMC


23-05-16 04:32

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has sold its holdings in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) after his worries about Taiwan grew. Buffett had previously expressed concerns about the future of the self-governed democratic island where TSMC is based, amidst geopolitical tensions with China. This followed Berkshire's announcement in February that it had sold 86% of its TSMC shares, having purchased them only months earlier for $4.1bn. TSMC is the world's largest chip manufacturer and one of Taiwan's most valuable listed companies.

Capital One shares up after billionaire investor Buffett's near $1 bln bet on bank


23-05-16 10:45

Shares in Capital One rose by 7% in pre-market trading after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway revealed it had taken a stake in the credit provider. Berkshire Hathaway said that it bought 96 million shares at $26 per share, a deal worth roughly $2.5 billion in total.

Japan stock index hits 33-year high as investors warm to Tokyo story

Financial Times

23-05-16 08:18

Japan's equities have surged to their highest level in 33 years thanks to renewed interest from foreign investors. Japan's Topix index rose almost 0.6% on Tuesday, nearly marking its highest level since Japan's market bubble burst in 1989, with the Nikkei 225 index rising more than 16% since the start of the year and growing hope of higher governance standards. Investors have put a fresh spotlight on Japan after years of anaemic returns that had seen many fund managers steer clear of their capital markets. Some said Tokyo was now an attractive option for investors who wanted to benefit from Chinese economic recovery without the geopolitical risks. However, Bank of America's latest survey indicates a net 11% of fund managers were underweight on Japan.

The C.E.O. of OpenAI Heads to Congress to Discuss Rules for A.I.

NY Times

23-05-16 12:14

The CEO of OpenAI will testify before a Senate judiciary subcommittee on the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI). Sam Altman will be asked about how his company and rivals are racing to create a new generation of AI technologies and how these should be regulated. This comes as US lawmakers are looking for ways to rein in the rapidly-growing sector, while allowing innovation to flourish. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have stressed the importance of curbing the technology, which can now generate realistic-looking text and images, along with computer code. Altman has been frank about the potential dangers of AI, having stated in March: "It’d be crazy not to be a little bit afraid, and I empathize with people who are a lot afraid." The hearing is being seen as an indicator of the future regulatory environment of the AI sector.

AI will change investment management - and often, for the better

The Globe and Mail

23-05-16 21:00

Artificial intelligence (AI) is going to change investment management, writes Andrew Allentuck in The Globe and Mail. The increased adoption of AI will lead to more time for solving problems, thinking of new methodologies and fewer man-hours spent on data by asset managers and quants. By contrast, it will be bad news for stockbrokers and their business in "high-priced 'investments de jour'," which are more likely to be replaced by robo-advisers.

Morning Bid: Are we there yet? Market holds breath for debt ceiling deal


23-05-17 04:48

Uncertainty over the US debt ceiling is set to continue as traders brace for April inflation data for the eurozone, with European markets predicted to open lower. UBS Group AG is poised to release its financial statement detailing the $17bn hit it took from the takeover of Credit Suisse Group AG. Meanwhile, BlackRock is requesting its staff return to the office at least four days a week as pandemic restrictions are lifted globally. The recession in Japan has lifted as the country rebounds post-pandemic to offset global economic challenges, while Warren Buffett increased his influence in Capital One Financial Corp.

VW talks to Huawei about licensing software for cars in China

Financial Times

23-05-17 04:33

Volkswagen is reportedly discussing using Huawei's software in its electric cars in China as it seeks to gain a greater share of the country's EV market. The German carmaker's own software division Cariad has faced problems that have delayed the launch of new models and necessitated the removal of many of its top executives. VW sells more cars than any other automotive company in China, but it ranks ninth for EV sales. It recently announced plans to win back ground by developing "In China, for China" products and upgrading its existing platform, offering advanced entertainment and driving assistance features.

Private jet disrupter: the debt-fuelled ascent of Thomas Flohr’s VistaJet

Financial Times

23-05-17 04:23

The future of VistaJet is under scrutiny, with industry insiders concerned that the private jet business may be carrying too much debt. The Swiss-based carrier has more than $4.4bn of debt on its books and has made losses of $436m over the past four years, according to company disclosures. It has also spent billions buying premier planes from Canadian manufacturer Bombardier. VistaJet’s founder, Thomas Flohr, has defended the firm’s profitability, citing conservative accounting practices that register non-cash items like depreciation, as net losses. He said Vista is highly profitable based on earnings measured before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation.

Premarket: World stocks wobble, U.S. dollar at six-week high, on debt impasse

The Globe and Mail

23-05-17 09:49

Global shares have dipped as the US dollar strengthens, reflecting the risk aversion of investors. Despite an hour-long discussion between US Democratic President Joe Biden and top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy, the two sides remain far apart on an agreement to lift the spending limit, or debt ceiling. Economists warn that without an agreement, the government may not be able to pay its bills and the chance of a recession could be raised.

The outlook for Canadian banks is less rosy than usual. Plus, a gold stock overdue for a pop

The Globe and Mail

23-05-17 15:32

Falling profits in the Canadian banking sector will cause investors to focus increasingly on the need for losses on commercial property loans to limit liquidity as new short-term borrowing costs increase the risk of defaults, predicts The Globe and Mail strategist Scott Barlow. Continue to play defensively in the sector and protect capital, advised Scotiabank analyst Meny Grauman. Mr Grauman advises that TD Bank is his top pick in the sector thanks to its 'fortress balance sheet' and defensive properties.

Questor Investors should mimic Warren Buffett’s approach – or buy this value-focused investment trust


23-05-18 06:00

Investors should follow Warren Buffett's value investing strategy, according to the Questor column in The Telegraph. The strategy involves purchasing stocks for less than their intrinsic value and focusing on companies that have wide economic moats. Questor suggests that investors should avoid buying "story stocks" and instead mimic Buffett's approach for the best results. One investment trust that follows a value investing approach is Temple Bar, whose strategy is centred on short-term market fluctuations, purchasing temporarily undervalued stocks and avoiding companies that offer scant investment potential. The trust has posted impressive returns over recent years. Despite this, it continues to trade at a 6% discount to net asset value, suggesting that it offers good value for money. The trust's dividend yield is currently in excess of 4.1%, slightly above the FTSE 100's income return of 3.9%.

Will the digital euro come online?

Financial Times

23-05-18 09:19

The European Central Bank (ECB) plans to introduce a digital euro. The move would change the way currency is issued and used and address issues such as the decline of cash and the concern over the rise of rival digital currencies posing a threat to the ECB's monetary sovereignty. The idea is not appealing to many European consumers, banks or politicians and in Amsterdam earlier this year, demonstrations were held against the digital euro. Critics fear it could lead to state control of individuals' spending activity, while banks worry it could trigger bank runs as people move their money into a currency backed by the central bank. Some banks also fear that, as they will process the currency's day-to-day transactions, they might not get paid for their work. The ECB has said the digital euro should be free for consumers to use and that banks would do the processing.

Buffett-backed Nubank has AI investments as 'great priority', CEO says


23-05-18 16:47

Brazilian digital lender Nubank has said it considers artificial intelligence (AI) to be a high-priority investment, with the aim of demonstrating the value AI can bring to customers as the firm expands in Latin America. CEO David Velez said the bank's technology focus extends beyond its app, and said he expected customers to communicate with the bank via self-driving cars in the near future. Furthermore, Nubank's co-founder Christina Junqueira said the bank expected to launch digital checking accounts in Colombia by the end of 2023. It also thinks Mexico is a bigger growth opportunity than Brazil right now.

China overtakes Japan as world's top car exporter


23-05-19 02:41

China has become the world's largest exporter of cars, surpassing Japan in the first quarter of 2022. This was driven by an increase in demand for electric vehicles and rising sales to Russia, which has seen a surge in Chinese exports since the Ukraine war. Chinese carmakers, including Tesla's China arm, SAIC, BYD, Geely, Chery, and Great Wall, have benefitted from the shift towards electric vehicles and the opportunities offered by Russia's sanctions. Tesla's Gigafactory in Shanghai is currently capable of producing 1.25 million vehicles a year, and the company is planning to further increase capacity.

Japan's Nikkei powers to 1990 'bubble' era high


23-05-19 02:29

Japan's Nikkei share average has reached its highest level since August 1990 due to strong earnings, optimism over a US debt ceiling deal and the foreign investment, including from Warren Buffett. The benchmark index hit 30,924.57, while the Topix reached 2,171.37. The rally has also been powered by the perception that the Bank of Japan will keep stimulus for longer and a post-COVID revival in economic consumption. However, investors remain cautious about the potential for the Nikkei to become overheated, with some stocks, such as chip-related shares, sufferings losses during the rally.

Nikkei powers to Japan's 1990 'bubble' era peak


23-05-19 06:30

Japan's Nikkei benchmark index rose to the highest level since the country's "bubble" era during August 1990. The index advanced on higher earnings amid an economy showing signs of recovery, optimism over a US debt ceiling deal and a weaker yen supported by the prospect of the Bank of Japan giving a longer timeline for its stimulus. Japan's stocks went through an overall excellent earnings season and attracted increased foreign investment, including from Warren Buffett. The TSE also pushed for better corporate governance. Despite the optimism, analysts have said there are some warning signals, including concerns the market may be overheating.

Nikkei powers to Japan's 1990 'bubble' era high


23-05-19 03:32

Japan's Nikkei share average has hit its highest point since August 1990, the era of the country's "bubble", due to strong earnings and optimism over a US debt ceiling deal. The index reached 30,924.57 after smashing the 30,000 psychological threshold on Wednesday, while the broader Topix extended its rise. The rally has been driven by a number of factors, including a weaker yen amid belief the Bank of Japan will maintain stimulus spending, foreign buying facilitated by greater investment by Warren Buffett, and a consumption boom post-COVID.

Why this $1.75-billion money manager has more than half of his portfolio in cash

The Globe and Mail

23-05-19 08:45

Thane Stenner, a portfolio manager at Stenner Wealth Partners+ has a huge portion of his $1.75bn portfolio in cash, expecting a hard landing for investors. Stenner advises that credit is tightening "dramatically", which will speed up a downturn. His portfolio is 58% in cash at present, up from just 5% last year, and he aims to hold around 5% to 10% cash. “We’re pretty defensive right now … because ultra-high-net-worth clients don’t want huge volatility in their portfolios,” Stenner said.

Disney Inflicts a Blow to DeSantis Ahead of His Presidential Run

NY Times

23-05-19 12:12

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is going to be a presidential candidate for the US Republican Party and will formally announce his campaign against Donald Trump next week. DeSantis is confident, with strong financial support and more $80m expected to be transferred from his state account to his Super PAC, which has already raised more than $30m, focusing on his legislative accomplishments. However, he was dealt another blow this week after Disney scrapped plans to build a $1bn office complex in Orlando that was expected to bring more than 2,000 jobs with an average salary of $120,000. Sources say Disney’s feud with Mr. DeSantis, which had escalated into a bitter fight over control of the entity that oversees Disney World, played a major factor. The Fox News commentator Dagen McDowell said on Thursday, “Ron DeSantis does not have an economic plan as of yet, and today Disney just pulled a $1 billion investment out of Florida.”