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I am not a regular watcher of Jon Stewart’s show. In fact, I don’t think I have ever watched more than five minutes at a time. However, the following vignette was sent to me last night by a friend who is an investment advisor with a major firm. I enjoyed it and thought you might too.

http://tinyurl.com/bd5soh

Using his own dry humour and some clips from business media over the last eighteen months (including notables like Kramer and Bartiromo) he illustrates the folly of taking business talking heads as being experts with their fingers on the pulse of all investment matters.

About eight years ago I decided to take on responsibility for management of my investment portfolio. This doesn’t necessarily mean managing an account and executing trades, as I do. But it does mean not acceding an understanding of what one owns and why.

There are lots of suspect investment managers and brokers who, frankly, don’t know anything more than how to sell. But there are also lots of investment advisors who know what they are talking about and always work toward their clients’ best interests.

This topic of understanding one’s portfolio and choosing their advisors is of some interest to me. I will write more on it in the future.

BRK.B

March 1, 2009

There is not much good news being published in the stock and bond markets these days.  While I have no idea when the current economic malaise will subside, I do have hope that we are closer to the bottom than the top (although I don’t believe I am able to time the market, so I don’t try).  

As a class B shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway stock I haven’t been been totally insulated from market meltdown.  I was pleased, though, to see that while the S&P 500 was down 37% in 2008, Berkshire was down “only” 9.6% for a difference of 27.4%.  

Since 1966 there are only five years where the S&P has come out ahead of Mr. Buffett.  Let’s hope Berkshire keeps up this trend even when the Oracle retires.