# Berkshire, Berkshire Hathaway, United States discussed on We Study Billionaires - The Investors Podcast

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Well I think their different ways of doing it. I tend to be more on the simplistic side of my investment stuff. Like if I can't write it on the back of an envelope or on a short piece of paper and a few sentences then it's probably too complicated for me to take a swing at so for Berkshire. The first passed a look at it. And this will sound a little bit Glib because the answer is going to be kind of silly but if you imagine Berkshire as a bond that yielded ten percent and I think that's a reasonable actual approximation because their return on equity has been ten percent for quite a while and it's likely to be around ten percent for a long time just based on the projects that they're putting money into thinking specifically regulatory yield of NSF and be h energy. So if you imagine a bond that yielded ten percent and you could reinvest the coupons in the business at a continuing ten percent. What would you pay for that bond? Today how much would the market pay for bond? That yielded ten percent in my mind. Safer than Treasury's Today's rates right now. I mean it's like approaching it goes towards infinity right. I mean that's why I said this is sort of like the Glib answer. It's a ridiculously high number. Which I think is more a reflection of today's rates being in my mind kind of ridiculous and not so much a reflection of Berkshire so let's go to a more real answer than some of the parts is away a very popular way of analyzing Berkshire which is basically. Just take all the different little business lines. Add them up and come up with some kind of a number so my back of the envelope. Math for some of the parts is yeah. Let's call energy worth about fifty billion the railroad worth about one hundred billion the. Ms Are the manufacturing service retail is calling one hundred fifty billion insurance call at a thirty billion and then an investment or folio. Three hundred seventy billion ish. You add all those up and you totals up to about seven hundred billion which implies about two hundred eighty dollars per share for the B shares. Quite a bit north of where we are right now so another way of looking at it the business would be. Let's just do a simple? What has Berkshire typically traded around as far as price to book goes into the answer. There is roughly. Let's call it one point. Seven five times price-to-book-value. Today's book value. Let's call it. Four hundred twenty five billion that gets us to a seven hundred and forty billion dollar range of potential valuation. Okay that's in the Ballpark of r sum of the parts. That makes sense. All of these things are all just triangulation. Data points like anyone is not better than the other but if there are all kinds of telling you the same story then maybe you're onto something that's how I think about this. And then maybe the last one would be called like a two pronged approach. And that's basically like add up all of the investments and then try to put some multiple on the actual earning businesses and then add those together. And what does that number tell you in my rough calculations? Let's call it. Two hundred sixty billion for Equity Securities and other one hundred thirty billion for cash. That gives us a three hundred. Ninety billion dollar for Prong One and impromptu will take twenty four billion dollars of operating earnings and multiply that by ten that gives us two hundred forty billion. Add those two numbers together and you end up with six hundred thirty billion as another mark so all of them. In the seven hundred ish billion dollar valuation range so just to recap that. You're saying that the price of the BCS that's right now trading around one hundred ninety five we'll looking at around two hundred and eighty plus minus very interesting. Thank you for breaking that down for us. It is interesting what you would mention there about the potential discount because it is a conglomerate. I guess you would even have. People say that is actually the competitive advantage offer that is a conglomerate to the money would go where it's best used. I guess there's also a discount to Berkshire hathaway because it has not been performing as well. He'll the pastor. Yes it's actually been trading this p five hundred. I think that's probably also one of the reasons why whenever I talk about being good price and all that and I think most listeners were already know I am long. Berkshire Hathaway Cynthia take it for what it is whenever I'm complimenting Jag about why that's a great investment I am obviously biased and it kind of leads me into the next question which is something that which is about position sizing but it's just always such a interesting topic to discuss especially for company like Berkshire Hathaway many investors have different rules from cells when it comes to assisting sizing for example invest might have ruled that he or she won't bill position in a single stock would more than ten percent of their portfolio now. Warren Buffett is previously in his letters to shareholders commented on how many investors holding to how the way as their biggest position in the portfolio most notable himself with more than ninety nine percent of his net worth estimated that more than ninety percent of the shareholders has books. Halloway ask by far the biggest position. Please elaborate on how you see position sizing and if Berkshire Hathaway is an exception to the rules that we may have imposed ourselves giving that is such a diversified company already and may have the downside protection that you mentioned before it very much comes down to your own personal preferences at risk tolerance of how much exposure you're willing to take on any one facet of business or economy or anyone person so the first thing you have to ask yourself is about the opportunity cost. Do you have anything else that might do better than a relatively safe. Call at ten percent or Anam type of return profile if you do then Burke Shire may be sort of an anchor in your portfolio and maybe you don't want too much of it. I don't think that Berkshire is terrible. As a bond proxy maybe especially for someone who's a little bit younger relative to the prices of bonds today? So how much are you willing to do you want as a bond allocation for? Shire may fit the bill of that a little bit like we just talked about you know if it was a ten percent on a lot of portfolio managers who I've talked to and respect. They often will use Berkshire as a cache proxy so if they don't have anything else to invest in rather than whole cash they'll just stick it in Berkshire. I don't think that's a terrible strategy. However the whole point of cash that it doesn't move around at all and Berkshire definitely moves around. I mean in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight or was trading at three times price to book value. Right and typically. It's been one point seven but we've seen a below book value also so to think that it's just this like solid anchor that never moves around provides the liquidity that you want when you need it and I'm not so sure about that. The last thing I would say is that because it is so. Us centric it could form a bit of a home country bias. That is common for a lot of shareholders. People tend to own more whatever country that they live in because they feel like they know it better and if so if you are a US investor and you already own a lot of other US based securities and things that are tied to the US economy then being long Berkshire is just more of that same thing and so you may not have as much diversification geographically speaking when you may end up suffering even stronger to a home country bias but all in all I mean. It's pretty hard to imagine that. Berkshire in Penn. Twenty years is not worth more than five hundred billion dollars so if you have the stomach for long term. You could sleep comfortably at night. Earning probably a ten percent. Roughly return on equity over a long period of time and there are definitely scarier and harder ways of making money. I think you bring up a really interesting point and a good point so jake thank you for your thoughts about burkes. Halloway is always a pleasure to hear how people think about that business that we've been following since the very first episodes here and the masters podcast now. Speaking of that I wanted to end the interview on the slightly more abstract note. Because not only are you a great investor self you also one of the thought leaders in the value investing community or like to relate this to whenever I first started become interested in value investing. I think my motivation was like any other. I wanted to replicate if possible. Howard Buffett pick stocks and that was why.