Good Wells Fargo article

I needed to share this great Fortune article about Wells Fargo. Owning 630 shares, at around 30 dollars/share, it currently represents my biggest portfolio position.

It’s funny I just thought that it also represents Warren Buffett’s biggest position, he increased his positions by a bit over 5% in 2011 while I increased them by a bit over 50% during that same year. It’s not the first time we add at the same time, recently I bought a small Tesco position just to learn a few days later that he added on the same date. I bought Harley Davidson in the last quarter of 2008 to later read in February 2009 that he lent them 600 millions at 15% interest rate (quite higher than their recent 2.7% 5 year notes issuance). I remember how pleased I was to hear that he loved to invest in companies whose customers use the company name in their tattoos, isn’t that a loyal customer :) ? I bought quite a lot of BNI in the 60′s (also back in 2008/2009), while he was also buying it, frenetically must I say, he was even selling puts against it (yes he uses options, at least of the vanilla type). Some months later he bought the whole company for 100 dollars per share. It was one of the biggest and fastest profits I ever made (let’s hope for more). Every time something like this happens it makes me feel great. But we do not coincide in all, for example I recently sold BYD China, I bought it just after he did in October 2008. I think he still owns it, at least there is no official information saying the contrary (yet), but I would not hold BYD having the amount of debt that it has and being so dependent on Chinese government subsidies and policies. So after thinking of all this I must say thanks to Warren Buffett, not only he inspired me to develop a framework and mindset to do the job I currently do and love (managing my money) but he also made me earn money !

Oups… the paragraph above ended up spontaneously being much longer than what I initially expected, my original idea was just to mention that it is worth reading the Wells Fargo article I referred to at the beginning of the post because it gives a lot of specific qualitative information about management and the company culture. It is hard to find articles of that type.


About jrv

I was born in Spain and lived in Belgium, Chile, France, USA, Argentina among other places. Currently I am trying to settle down in a wild place. I am "retired", even though now I dedicate more hours "working" for my investments than I ever worked in the real labor market where I used to work in IT and Banking. I am a family man, I have a lovely wife, several sons and one step daughter. I have humble tastes, I like to stay home and read about companies and investments. I started investing at 25 before the internet bubble exploded. I did not know much about investing and liked technical analysis so my results were pretty bad. Fortunately I did not have much to lose. Some years later in 2006 bored of doing only real state investments and with quite a lot of money saved I opened an account in a cheap and excellent online broker and started again. This time I did not want to commit the same mistake, so I decided to follow a model. I heard that Warren Buffett was the best at making money via stocks so I started by reading a lot about him, all of his shareholders letters and several of the books that he recommended. I learned a lot, started applying his investing principles and reading a lot of 10K's. Digested news from lots of different sources. Basically I started buying very good and cheap companies and holding them for ever if possible and if nothing changed fundamentally. When the housing crisis started I was more than 75% cash. At that time I identified good companies at incredibly cheap prices so I invested most of my savings in stocks. In less than I year I doubled. By the second semester of 2009 I turned my software company into an investment vehicle and dedicated myself full time to it. My wife and I decided to change our lifestyle and moved from Belgium to the beach in a wild country. The goal was to keep fixed costs low in order to be able to live with a minimum 6-8% yearly return but specially to move away from the inhuman life of civilization and to have finally some peace and sunny weather to concentrate better on investing. Now I can think and study about companies 60 hours a week and I am doing great. I can finally do what I want full time and can proudly say that I have never been so happy, specially also with my just born 4th son, my other great kids and my sweet wife who supports me fully while I study most of the day and patiently wait for the opportunity to make a swing ! You can learn a bit more about my portfolio by viewing it at or you may learn more about me and my family by following the link "Author's site" from the menu above.
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