This article is authored by MOI Global instructor and Zurich Project participant Bogumil Baranowski, co-founder and partner of Sicart Associates, a New York-based investment advisory firm serving families and entrepreneurs.
Bogumil discussed his book, Outsmarting the Crowd, on The Zurich Project Podcast.
When John asked me about my takeaways from Berkshire Hathaway’s meeting, my first thought was that I usually care more about what I didn’t hear rather than about what I heard. Somehow that quality has helped me tremendously in my equity research all these years.
I’m the biggest fan of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, no question about it. I don’t think there is anyone who can put the complexity of the financial and economic world in simpler terms – I doubt they will ever stop to impress me. I also credit them both for my career choice of being a lifelong stock picker aspiring to wisely compound capital over the next hundred years, but I do have a big, glaring question that remains unanswered.
The big question I have is – why now? — and it pertains to the recent high profile, even bigger acquisition of Apple shares at an all-time high. Apple’s success has been no secret to hundreds of millions of consumers, and possibly most stock investors, I even used it as a familiar brand example in my recent TEDx Talk, but the timing of Berkshire’s Apple purchase is what leaves me wondering.
Whenever I look at a new idea or someone recommends an investment to me, the first question I always ask myself and others is – why now? In my mind, if there is no good answer, there is no investment case. Any security I don’t have to buy today — I can buy another time, any security I haven’t bought — I don’t mind waiting to see a better price. As investors with very long-term investment horizon guiding multi-generational families with their wealth growth and preservation, the one thing we have is — time.
Berkshire Hathaway was built to last for generations, and they too have time, and as patient, long-term value contrarian investor, I would have the hardest time to convince myself to buy even a wonderful company at an all-time high.
Again, why now is the question that is on my mind.
Is it just me?
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a client‐specific suitability analysis or recommendation, an offer to participate in any investment, or a recommendation to buy, hold or sell securities. Do not use this report as the sole basis for investment decisions. Do not select an asset class or investment product based on performance alone. Consider all relevant information, including your existing portfolio, investment objectives, risk tolerance, liquidity needs and investment time horizon. This report is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to predict or guarantee the future performance of any individual security, market sector or the markets generally.