Originally Posted by Sam
Should I? Anything I should know before doing it? Anyone? Nords?
It's possible that a number of mutual funds bought Berkshire last fall on news that he was buying companies (and due to publicity from CNBC's "Buffett Watch"). Once the quarter was over and they moved on to other opportunities, they stopped window-dressing and dumped Berkshire.
A couple months ago Barron's claimed that Berkshire was 10% overvalued at $150K. The stock almost immediately shed 10%.
Four ex-Gen Re execs are still on trial, accused of arranging a 2002 reinsurance policy for AIG that didn't actually transfer risk, but which AIG used to claim they'd boosted their reserves. One of the "co-conspirators" has turned against the other for a reduced prison sentence and is claiming it's all ex-CEO Ferguson's fault. Ferguson's lawyers, in turn, are claiming that Buffett knew all about it. The full details are a lot sleazier than this summary, but Buffett has not been charged although the prosecution may call him as a witness.
Buffett's Cort Rental Furniture recently bought its British equivalent, "Roomservice". Berkshire has bought more of Burlington Northern, now owning over 17% of the shares, and is probably still buying. NetJets Europe is also spending over $350M to buy 39 additional rental jets, a 29% fleet expansion. Looks like they're finally making money as European execs find that it's faster/easier to fly NetJets than commercial.
A number of insurance-industry analysts have downgraded Berkshire to the equivalent of "hold" due to concerns that reinsurance premiums will be softer next year.
Berkshire's annual report will be due out 2 Feb. If Buffett pulls out another stellar letter then the price will go up. If people expected more insurance profits then the price will go down.
Buffett's first authorized biography, by insurance analyst Alice Schroeder and titled "Snowball", is due out in April.
Oh, and we're selling the Berkshire shares in our kid's college fund sometime this month or next. She's a high school sophomore now and we're going to CDs until she sorts out the NROTC/USNA situation. But our sale is highly unlikely to even be noticeable in Berkshire's rising daily share volume.