Dalton — Berkshire Hathaway, the multinational conglomerate headed by famed investor Warren Buffett, held its annual shareholder meeting this past weekend. It’s like Woodstock for investors of the Omaha, Nebraska-based company, drawing roughly 40,000 people to an arena—Buffett-stock, if you will. There were multiple hours of conversation, too much to detail for a short article, so I did you the favor of boiling much of it down to my version of CliffsNotes. Anything following in quotation marks is from the meeting or was said during a Monday morning follow-up interview with Becky Quick of CNBC.
Dalton — The U.S. economy went from stalled out in the first couple months of the year to a rapid recovery in the month of March, with the advanced estimate of U.S. GDP for the first quarter coming in at 3.2 percent last Friday. That’s the best first quarter in four years, and well above the consensus. I’m not going to spend much time on those numbers as they’re now five days old and have been well-covered over those days. However, it’s worth mentioning because, last week, I explained that I was becoming nervous about where the stock market was trading and…
Dalton — The markets are feeling good, and investors are feeling even better.
As I write this on Easter Sunday, the S&P 500 has rallied 23.6 percent since hitting a bottom on Christmas Eve, echoing the 24.1 percent climb for the index in the same number of trading days after it hit a bottom in August 1998. The good news is that, in 1999, the index rallied nearly 60 percent before the Tech Bubble collapsed, a recession hit, the averages got cut in half and other companies disappeared completely. So there is a precedent for significantly much more stock market gains. But that is like saying that if you won the lottery, it’s going to happen again—t’s possible, but is it really all that likely?
Dalton — In June of 2007, when stock market indices were near all-time highs prior to the Great Recession, I started to short the market (i.e., buy investments that go up in price when stock prices go down). I made that first bet that stocks would go down not because of what I saw in stocks, but because of what I saw in bonds.
Dear Fellow Decision Maker,
Thank you for attending today’s live panel – Finders Keepers: The Search for Qualified Employees.
You want to hire qualified workers, but you can’t. We’re going to talk about that. We’re going to tell you a few things to give you some leverage over other potential employers who are trying to hire your candidates and even trying to take your current employees.
According to some of my colleagues in the financial advisory world, I’ve been disturbingly, even recklessly, blunt about saying that when it comes to investing, you don’t need me or any other financial advisor. Whether I’m right or I’m wrong is probably a moot point because most of you don’t want to work with us anyhow.
When I work with a business owner to improve their company, one of my main points is that whatever your industry looks like today will be much, if not totally, different in the not-too-distant future. Whether you, my dear reader, are a business owner or valued employee looking to climb the corporate ladder, it is of value to you see this pseudo-physician heal thyself.