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.