What’s Warren Buffett buying? What Buffett is buying should be of interest to anybody, after all he is one of the best investors out there, not to mention one of the richest. His Berkshire Hathaway made two large acquisitions last year: NV Energy and Heinz. Find out more in these slides.
- 1.Invast Insights Week Commencing May 12, 2014
2. www.invast.com.au | 1800 468 278 This week we look at the following topics: Whats Warren buying? We follow the smart money and see what Buffett is buying for his investment vehicle. Bank earnings season, NAB and Westpac report Two more Australian banks reported last week, we find out what they said and where theyre going. The DAX and Draghi where to next? Its one of the most traded markets in Europe and very popular among our clients. We look at the numbers. Technical update on the Brent crude price The lifeblood of the global economy. We tell you where it is going. 3. www.invast.com.au | 1800 468 278 4. www.invast.com.au | 1800 468 278 Whats Warren buying? Some of you who read this report are purely traders focused on market movements. Some might be investors who look at fundamentals. Some occasionally fall into both categories. Others havent yet figured out which category they fall into. Regardless of what you trade and how you trade, following the smart money is always a clever choice in markets. Track record is important. Every experienced market participant will always want to look at the track record of a trade, an investment or anything else being sold to them which promises to make money. If you are a forex trader looking at implementing an ex - expert advisor trading robot, the first thing you do is backtest and look at track record. With that in mind, this week we focus on one of the most successful people in financial markets. He is Warren Buffett. One of the richest people in the world. Hes rich and he knows how to make money. This is not 5. www.invast.com.au | 1800 468 278 directly an article about ketchup but you will find out why we have a bottle as the feature image as you read on! Before all you savvy traders start discarding this post, take a deep breath and please read on. Its not a sin for a day trader to look at what Buffett is doing. Its ok! We arent proposing you drop your system, strategy or focus on markets and try to copy Buffett. This is inappropriate, what we are suggesting however is every now and then it is worthwhile looking at people in markets who have successful track records and seeing where they are placing their money. Even if you are a short term trading focused on immediate profits, it doesnt hurt at all to see where the big money is positioning themselves and hopefully getting on the right side of the momentum when it eventuates. Sometimes its good to get the big picture. Buffett hasnt been buying many things recently, certainly not as aggressive as he was during the depths of the financial crisis where he saw good opportunity and done some major deals. Buffett isnt perfect either. There 6. www.invast.com.au | 1800 468 278 are many traders out there who can beat his performance in the interim but over a long period of time it is hard to compete with Berkshire Hathaways performance. No matter how good you might think your trading strategy or system is, over the long term, consistent gains are difficult to replicate, unless you have patience and control of your strategy. That is why we constantly talk about having the right frame of mind in this publication. We have spent numerous occasions over the past year focusing on certain guides and forecasts to help you get the wiring of your mind right. To help you get your way of thinking in the right place and hopefully to get you in a position where you are organised, you are disciplined and consistent in your overall trading or investing strategy. What Buffett is buying should be of interest to everybody. We dont propose you go out and buy the same investments and hold them forever like him. What we do suggest is that the themes he is chasing will be prominent over the medium to long term and every time you place a trade it is helpful to have those long term themes in place. You might be day trading the Euro against the US Dollar for a few pips here and there but if the ECB comes into 7. www.invast.com.au | 1800 468 278 the market and starts cutting interest rates, to help export nations, your position might be at risk and having the fundamentals in the back of your mind does not hurt you at all. If there is a big shortage of a certain commodity into the future, traders can exploit the squeeze on price which will eventuate. So where is he placing his money? Buffetts Berkshire vehicle made two large acquisitions last year spending almost US$18bn. The companies he acquired were NV Energy and H.J. Heinz. Pretty simple really. NV Energy is a public utility based in the US state of Nevada. It has a very strong penetration into the energy distribution market. It provides natural gas and powers around 2.4m customers. This represents around 88% of Nevadas population. Its a retail distribution business but the reason Buffett wants the business is because the underlying utility it distributes to its customers is likely to continue rising in price over the medium to long term. The real upside in the business is from its investments in the renewable energy space. Buffett doesnt just want to purchase a renewable energy technology business with a lot of promise, he wants a solid business with huge market penetration that 8. www.invast.com.au | 1800 468 278 has upside through renewable energy. This should be a careful reminder for all you investors out there when trying to seek upside. The smart money shows us that upside is possible but the vehicle you invest in matters just as much. Its all very well to invest in a potential life changing technology a new drug, a new form of energy, a new piece of technology but you dont want to be in a business that has one product and its future is dependent on that technology working. You want to buy a drug company that has a nice position in the market with potential upside from new products, or a mining or energy company with existing operations with potential upside form new ventures. You want to purchase an IT or online business that is dominant in its field with potential upside from new services like eBay for example and the upside it has through PayPal etc. Buffett made the energy acquisition through his energy holding company called MidAmerican. The business has become one of its largest non- insurance arms within Berkshire, generating US$10.8bn in pre-tax earnings for 9. www.invast.com.au | 1800 468 278 2013. Buffett clearly sees energy prices rising into the future despite all the rhetoric about the United States becoming energy dependent over the next few decades. If you are trading energy markets, you want to keep an eye on future acquisitions by Berkshires MidAmerican division and see just what types of renewable energy. The other acquisition is also fairly simple Heinz. We all know the brand from our pantry shelves and super market aisles. Heinz manufactures thousands of food products in plants across the globe and markets these products in more than 200 countries and territories. The company claims to have 150 number one or number two brands worldwide. It is really an amazing business. The business is now owned by Berkshire and 3G capital and Buffett said last month that he intends to never sell a share in the business. Heinz is basically a play on food prices, there is a fair amount of volume growth opportunity as global populations increase but we are talking about a mature business here, not necessarily something with low penetration. The argument about China and India is perhaps not that relevant here. Diets and different and both the Chinese and Indian consumer food markets are very well developed and 10. www.invast.com.au | 1800 468 278 serviced anyways. What Heinz can do though is continue to increase its prices over time to reflect the diminishing value to currency and hence become a perfect inflation hedge, like Coca Cola, which is without surprise, a major investment of Berkshire Hathaway already. Warren is investing on two things rising energy prices and rising food prices. The cost of things is going up. This is important to note if you are trading stocks, forex or commodities. You wont necessarily make an immediate profit by just buying anything, but over the medium to long term you need to realise that the smart money is investing to hedge themselves against the value of paper currency. The average food price only needs to rise by a small amount of money each year to make the compounding effect on Heinzs business significant over the next few decades. MidAmerican is buying guaranteed earnings with leverage to gradually rising energy prices and potential upside to renewable energy without having to worry about new technology working or not in the near term. 11. www.invast.com.au | 1800 468 278 Bank earnings season, NAB and Westpac report Last week we wrote about one of Asias largest banks ANZ, which is listed in Australia. We spoke about the rising loan arrears and the potential trends which are emerging. We said that we would need to pass judgement on which geography is actually seeing an elevation in loan arrears until we had a better look at both National Australia Bank (NAB) and Westpac (WBC) numbers which came out last week. The data from NAB and WBC confirms what we were thinking arrears in Australia are under control. The beauty about NABs reporting is that it breaks down its business segments and provides excellent disclosure. The Australian business is performing strongly and arrears in Australian loans have not seen a major increase over the period. The same story goes for Westpac which is a completely Australian focused bank. 12. www.invast.com.au | 1800 468 278 The problems for both NAB and Westpac though is that the Australian businesses are suffering from margin pressure. Its becoming difficult for the domestic banks to maintain their pricing power as competition heats up. NABs result was driven by an improvement in the UK business which has been problematic for the past