Yes, I know, Warren Buffet is an icon in the financial world. He’s a lock to be on the proverbial Mt. Rushmore of investing. So spare me the history lesson and save your insults. He’s a God in our industry, but that doesn’t mean I can’t call the guy out for being boring.
So after one of the craziest years in our lifetimes, where new trends and technologies came to the forefront of our every day life at warp speed; I wondered, where will Mr. Buffett look to invest? This week his most recent 13F filing was released and we got a peek at his updated portfolio.
Spoiler alert - SNOOZEFEST…
Berkshire Hathaway added three new positions. They added shares of Verizon, Marsh & McLennan and Chevron. Not exactly cutting edge names of the next generation.
They eliminated positions in Pfizer, PNC and JPMorgan.
Hard to argue cutting Pfizer. I mean they did invent one of the Covid vaccines and the stock still remains stuck in its interminable neutral trend. Good dividend, but BORING.
As for PNC and JPMorgan, clearly, Mr. Buffet is no technical analyst. Dumping them, just as they are making all-time highs while their sector is breaking out of a decade long slumber, doesn’t seem like a wise move to this CMT.
Wouldn’t it have been great if, for just one time, he came out with a YOLO trade. The man has lived the greatest life, why not throw out a crazy speculative name? If anything, just for the entertainment value.
Imagine the reaction if he invested in a cannabis company, a gaming stock or Bitcoin related play. There would have been an epic frenzy to chase his newest investment. Instead, two more Dow stocks added to the portfolio. It’s barely news worthy.
Let’s Talk about Tech…
That’s not to say he hasn’t invested in technology. It took him 50 years, but he did have an investment in IBM. Not really the best timing there.
His biggest winner over the last decade was a tech investment - Apple. Yet, it wasn’t until the release of the iPhone 6 that he finally got on the bandwagon. I recall him saying on a CNBC interview that he couldn’t believe all the kids in Dairy Queen had there heads buried in this device. So he met with Tim Apple - oops, that’s Tim Cook from Apple - and finally invested.
Oddly, he never owned Microsoft even though Bill Gates is his bestie. So why hasn’t he? It's not because he doesn't want to, but rather because Bill Gates is on the Berkshire Hathaway board of directors. With Gates involved in Berkshire he felt that investing in Microsoft would give the impression that he has inside information.
What has always blown my mind is the consistency in his investments. He has a system that works and, God bless him, he sticks to it. We should all be that disciplined.
Yet, aren’t we supposed to play a little bit with our portfolio? Have a little fun with some of our money. Why not throw a small percentage into a potential “hot stock”? I thought that change was happening when it was announced he invested in the cloud-based data platform, Snowflake ($SNOW) last year. Then this quarter came along - and nothing.
Come on Warren! Shake things up and live a little.
In other news this week, we had the Congressional hearings examining the GameStop trading controversy. Predictably, this was nothing more than political theatre.
Congressional hearings when done in person are always made-for-TV spectacles. This time it took a whole new turn as we got to watch the 2021 stay-at-home version via Zoom. What a sh*t show.
Technology issues, boomers unable to mute their microphones, political leaders clueless to even the most basic financial concepts questioning experts in the industry played out like a bit you would see on Saturday Night Live.
I was hoping we would learn more about Pay for Order Flow, T+2 settlement, investor education and unproven conspiracy theories. Sadly, the focus turned to these topics…
Vlad is also very thankful for every “important questions” he was asked. I didn’t get the final “thank you” total, but if it were included in a drinking game, we’d be out of alcohol.
I did like how his legal team prepared him. In my biased opinion, he did surround himself with the best legal advisors (if you know, you know).
The star of the hearings was by far Keith Gill, aka Roaring Kitty. Here’s my favorite highlight of the entire hearing…
So what did we learn and where do we go from here? I really don’t know. We will see new regulations proposed and much more finger pointing, otherwise it was a poorly executed made-for-TV event.
Also this week, the golf world celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Happy Gilmore defeating Shooter McGavin to win the Tour Championship.
Thankfully, Shooter replied..
My Shooter McGavin Story…
I’ve been lucky to see some amazing people walk the floor and ring the iconic NYSE bell. I’ve been asked many times who my favorite was guest was. There are so many people to chose from, but one of the best ever was actor Christopher McDonald - aka Shooter McGavin.
In 2008, he rang the closing bell while promoting his film, SuperHero Movie. Yet, from the second he walked onto the floor the cries of “SHOOTER!” rang out. Without hesitation he started with his trademark shooter fingers and played it up to the trading community. He couldn’t have been more fun and nicer.
So many times celebrities get pigeonholed into one character. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for them when they are trying to focus on new projects. Yet, Chris McDonald was a champ. He embraced it and had fun in that moment. It’s a memory at the NYSE that is still talked about.
Shooter McGavin will always be an NYSE legend.