Saturday, March 21, 2009

Even Buffett Isn't Perfect: Chapter 5

In this chapter, Janjigian discusses some further criteria Buffett considers before buying a company. It is stressed that Buffett puts a tremendous amount of weight on the quality of management. He has often spoken about the importance of good managers.

The author examines the details (that are public) of various purchases Buffett has made over the years, including those of Forest River, Business Wire, Iscar Metal, PacifiCorp, and Russell Corp.

Buffett's approach to finding investments is also explored. The author says he does not go looking for companies, instead preferring to wait for the right opportunity to come to him. He is certainly not afraid to hold cash, unlike most of the trigger happy portfolio managers littering the finance industry.

Although Buffett is known as a buy and hold investor, Janjigian points out many instances where a stock has remained in Berkshire's portfolio for only a short period of time. Examples of such companies include Best Buy, Gap, and PetroChina.

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