Buffett Watch

  Thursday, 14 Feb 2019 | 12:48 PM ET

Watch: Charlie Munger speaks at the Daily Journal annual meeting

Posted ByThomas Franck

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Warren Buffett's longtime business partner Charlie Munger will on Thursday address shareholders of the Daily Journal, the Los Angeles-based publishing company where he serves as chairman.

The billionaire Munger, who turned 95 on New Year's Day, is credited by the Oracle of Omaha for transforming Buffett's initial bargain-based buying strategy and molding it into a long-term value strategy. Munger and Buffett have been partners for about 60 years.

Munger will speak with CNBC's Becky Quick following his annual speech.

Munger is one of the most celebrated investors in history and played a crucial role in Buffett's success. Munger's investing prowess preceded his move to Buffett's Berkshire. From 1962 to 1975, Munger's investment partnership generated 20 percent annual returns versus the S&P 500's 5 percent. Read more about his investment strategy here .

The billionaire's annual comments from the Daily Journal meeting, where he takes questions from shareholders, have been shared on Wall Street among his many followers for years.

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  Thursday, 14 Feb 2019 | 10:32 AM ET

Warren Buffett, Melinda Gates and Sheryl Sandberg agree on the most important decision you can make

In the HBO documentary, "Becoming Warren Buffett," the Oracle of Omaha says that there were "two turning points" in his life: "One when I came out of the womb and one when I met Susie."

"What happened with me would not have happened without her," Buffett said of his first wife, who died in 2004.

In fact, the billionaire says, the biggest decision of your life will be who you choose to marry.

"You want to associate with people who are the kind of person you'd like to be. You'll move in that direction," Buffett said in a conversation with Bill Gates at Columbia University in 2017. "And the most important person by far in that respect is your spouse. I can't overemphasize how important that is."

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  Wednesday, 13 Feb 2019 | 9:56 PM ET

Mastering these 5 skills will be key to career growth, according to LinkedIn

Young people are more optimistic than any other generation about their career prospects and the opportunities that lie ahead, despite the growing threat of job disruption.

That's according to a new study from professional services site LinkedIn, which found that the majority (52 percent) of people aged 18 to 29 are hopeful that the employment landscape will improve over the coming years.

The findings, which are based on a survey of over 11,000 people in nine countries across Asia Pacific, point to greater caution among older workers, who believe they will be adversely affected by the shifting jobs landscape. Just two-thirds (41 percent) of those aged 50 to 60 say they think their career prospects would improve this year. China was the only exception to that, with optimism at its greatest among older generations.

The findings reflect the wider uncertainties surrounding technology's impact on the workforce, said Roger Pua, LinkedIn's senior director of brand marketing and communications for Asia Pacific. However, he noted that employees of all ages can better prepare themselves by focusing on five key work skills.

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  Wednesday, 13 Feb 2019 | 10:35 AM ET

Warren Buffett: This is the 1 thing that truly separates the ultra successful from everyone else

Warren Buffett is no doubt one of the few business icons who can deliver the gift of wisdom and truth when we need it most. And those truths, when you really stop and consider them, are always spot-on.

In her biography of Buffett, "The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life," author Alice Schroeder writes about a time when Buffett gave a presentation at The University of Georgia. The students asked him about his definition of success.

When you're nearing your end of life, your only measure of success should be the number of "people you want to have love you actually do love you," he answered.

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  Wednesday, 13 Feb 2019 | 10:22 AM ET

Warren Buffett on managing people: Find the '.400 hitters' and don't tell them how to swing

Posted ByMarilyn Haigh
Warren Buffett
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Warren Buffett

Billionaire Warren Buffett's instinct on picking strong stocks may make him the Oracle of Omaha, but he knows when to let others take the lead.

Buffett and business partner Charlie Munger described their management style at conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway in this way: To identify good managers and then get out of their way.

"And so the important thing we do with managers, generally, is to find the .400 hitters and then not tell them how to swing," Buffett said at the 1994 Berkshire annual meeting. "The second thing we do is allocate capital. And aside from that, we play bridge."

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  Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 | 2:16 PM ET

Warren Buffett: 'Don't ask the barber whether you need a haircut'

Warren Buffett
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Warren Buffett

Legendary investor Warren Buffett is no stranger to billion-dollar business deals. Regardless of size or scope of a transaction, the "Oracle of Omaha" uses the same research philosophy:

Don't trust forecasts or projections, especially from someone who has a financial interest in making those projections.

Whether you're buying a stock or a house or a business, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway advises to do your own research. Don't trust the "experts."

"Don't ask the barber whether you need a haircut," Buffett told the audience at Berkshire's 1994 annual meeting.

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  Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 | 8:00 AM ET

Tesla is staking its future on China — here's what it's up against

Tesla needs China, the world's largest auto market, in order to succeed. Customer demand and government support for so-called new energy vehicles there is skyrocketing.

CEO Elon Musk recently warned that without manufacturing in China, Tesla won't be able to produce 10,000 Model 3 electric sedans per week (as the company has aimed to do for years) and won't be able to offer the eagerly awaited base model at a price of $35,000.

"Bottom line is we need the Shanghai factory to achieve that," Musk said on the company's 2018 fourth-quarter earnings call.

However, Tesla — like other U.S. automakers — faces considerable competition in China.

According to Michael Dunne, founder of automotive advisory firm ZoZo Go, "China produced half of global electric vehicles last year. The U.S. produced about 20 percent. China is clearly way out in front in terms of size, production and scale."

Electric vehicle makers that are already up and running there include:

A bevy of electric vehicle start-ups are on the rise in China too, including Byton and WM Motor Tech.

Chinese automakers have benefited from some $60 billion worth of subsidies and incentives since 2012, designed to make new energy vehicles affordable for Chinese drivers, according to ZoZo Go.

But as Musk recently bemoaned, Tesla hasn't been able to cash in on those subsidies and tax incentives. As a result, a Model S that would cost around $80,000 in the U.S. today would cost around $140,000 in China after taxes, for example.

Tesla's vehicles will probably remain very costly in China until the company begins manufacturing at its planned factory there in Shanghai.

Even though Tesla broke ground on its Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, the company has yet to publish an 8-K filing with the SEC showing that it has secured funding, or secured a material partnership, to build it out.

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  Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 | 9:59 AM ET

40% of Americans want Warren Buffett's investment advice. Trump? Not so much: Survey

Posted ByAnnie Nova
68041277
Johnny Nunez | Getty Images

Americans want help from Warren Buffett.

More than 40 percent of people said they'd be most likely to take investing advice from the Oracle of Omaha, according to the Acorns 2018 Money Matters Report.

Buffett, the investing wiz who knocked on doors selling chewing gum as a child, is now worth $83.6 billion.

The report also found that 32 percent thought Oprah Winfrey is the best choice to discuss their finances. Just 17 percent think President Donald Trump should be their go-to guy.

Just 5 percent of people want financial wisdom from Jay-Z or Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, despite their success.

So what is Buffett's advice? "[I]n 10 or 20 or 30 years, I think stocks will be a lot higher than they are now," Buffett has said. "If you buy them over time, you basically can't lose."

Still, many Americans are delaying investing until their financial situation improves, the Acorns report found

"There's a sense that this is too big a mountain to climb," Acorns CEO Noah Kerner said.

Half of respondents didn't invest any money in 2018, while 80 percent of those who did put less than $5,000 in the market.

Acorns commissioned SurveyMonkey to conduct the research.The survey was not directed at Acorns customers. SurveyMonkey interviewed 3,403 people in November.

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  Monday, 11 Feb 2019 | 11:10 AM ET

'Free-rider problem'—Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes says he and other 0.1%-ers need to pay up

Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook and an advocate for wealth equality, told CNBC on Monday that he and other ultrawealthy Americans should be paying higher taxes to help make life better for everyone in society.

"We have a free-rider problem. The top 1-percent — and even more specifically the top 0.1-percent, those with household wealth above $50 million — aren't paying their fair share," said Hughes.

Hughes' argument echoes that of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who officially launched her 2020 Democratic presidential campaign on Saturday. The Massachusetts Democrat wants to impose an annual wealth tax of 2 percent on households with assets over $50 million and 3 percent on households with assets over $1 billion. Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman socialist firebrand from New York, wants to slap a 70 percent marginal tax rate on income above $10 million.

"As a member of that 1-percent, 0.1-percent, I can tell you, I can afford a little bit higher taxes and it would make my life better," Hughes said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "The point is clear — my taxes should be higher."

Hughes, a Harvard dormmate of co-founder and Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, was the early spokesperson for the social network. Hughes said he made about $500 million for three years of work. He left Facebook in 2007 to work on Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

In 2016, Hughes co-founded the Economic Security Project, an effort to explore how to provide financial security for all Americans through cash transfers. Appearing on CNBC in 2018, he said workers who make less than $50,000 per year should get a government stipend of $500 per month — paid for by raising taxes on the top 1-percent.

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  Monday, 11 Feb 2019 | 10:57 AM ET

Warren Buffett explains why he doesn't fear stock market sell-offs, but welcomes them instead

Posted ByJohn Melloy
Warren Buffett speaks to CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin
CNBC
Warren Buffett speaks to CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin

Legendary investor Warren Buffett has seen it all in the financial markets. After all, he bought his first stock during World War II.

With that kind of long-term track record, the 88-year-old has a special perspective on market sell-offs. Buffett does not believe they are something to be feared, rather they are an opportunity.

He explained during the 1994 annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway:

"We are going to be buyers of things over time. And if you're going to be buyers of groceries over time, you like grocery prices to go down. If you're going to be buying cars over time, you like car prices to go down. We buy businesses. We buy pieces of businesses: stocks. And we're going to be much better off if we can buy those things at an attractive price than if we can't."

The "Oracle of Omaha" has a simple long-term value philosophy. For the regular investor, he says you should be a steady buyer of an equity index fund over the long term and be agnostic to the market or economic environment. Buffett believes this simple kind of investing will always pay off over the long term because you're making a long-term bet on the American economy.

"So we don't have any fear at all," Buffett added during the '94 meeting. "I mean, what we fear is an irrational bull market that's sustained for some long period of time."

Buffett would go on to show he really meant what he said when he put this philosophy to work during the financial crisis, when many investors were panic selling. In October 2008, he wrote an Op-Ed for The New York Times saying he was buying American stocks and other investors should, too.

The S&P 500 is up more than 270 percent since he penned that piece. Berkshire Hathaway shareholders benefited from astute investments made by Buffett during the crisis in financial stocks.

"You, as shareholders of Berkshire, unless you own your shares on borrowed money or are going to sell them in a very short period of time, are better off if stocks get cheaper, because it means that we can be doing more intelligent things on your behalf than would be the case otherwise," he told the audience at his annual meeting.

Because of Buffett's disciplined value approach to buying stocks and other businesses, Berkshire has returned 20 percent annually the last 40 years, double the return of the S&P 500 over that same time span, according to FactSet.

For more classic Warren Buffett advice, see CNBC's Buffett archive.

— With reporting by CNBC's Alex Crippen .

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About Buffett Watch

  • Warren Buffett is arguably America’s most-admired and most-followed investor. Buffett is the largest shareholder and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and one of the world’s most famous and most generous philanthropists. Legions of investors - from all walks of life - follow Buffett's homespun investment philosophy: invest in what you know, invest in value. Here on CNBC.com's Warren Buffett Watch, we’ll keep you up to date on what the “Oracle of Omaha” is doing by following Buffett's trades, words and deeds.