2008-04-12

What Buffett’s Been Doing Lately—And Does Kiplinger’s Have a Man Crush?

Since I seem to be talking a lot about Warren Buffett lately, it’s no harm disclosing that I’m a big fan. But not compared to some. I don’t belong to any fan clubs, don’t have any posters of him, have never trekked out to a Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, and have never rummaged through his garbage looking for personal effects to take as mementos.

I’m a little worried that Kiplinger’s may be moving in those directions.

In the May 2008 issue of Kiplinger’s, I counted 13 articles mentioning Warren Buffett and 256 mentions of him overall. Okay, I’m exaggerating.

I can’t really count to 256.

But let's go through the ones I could find relatively quickly.

On page 26, James Glassman refers to Buffett as support for his view on the high appeal of utility stocks:

Is it any wonder that Warren Buffett has been scooping up utilities for Berkshire Hathaway? It owns 88% of MidAmerican Energy Holdings, which does business in the United Kingdom and in Midwestern and western states.

On page 34, Andrew Tanzer refers to Buffett in introducing one of “The 25 Best Funds”:

Warren Buffett counsels that stock investors should stay within their circles of competence. By this he means pick your spots carefully, invest in what you understand, and give a wide berth to that which you don’t comprehend.

On page 49, Andrew Feinberg refers to Buffett in advising you to ignore the predictions of experts—seeming to concentrate on current doomsday prophesies:

Brilliant investors with fabulous records, such as Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch, say trying to forecast the economy is a waste of time. . . .

What, then, should you care about? First, actions speak more loudly than words. Warren Buffett has been buying stocks with a vengeance for more than a year. I care about that.

On page 52, Russell Kinnel frames much of his article's first several paragraphs around Buffett to lead into his own fondness of municipal bonds:

Municipal bonds are a good bet. At least, Warren Buffett thinks so. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway plans to start its own municipal-bond insurance business. . . . .

Buffett was interested in the one thing that the insurers haven’t messes up: muni bonds.

And on page 96, the cherry on top, a full page on: “A Young Warren Wannabe.” The tagline:

The 24-year-old money manager bought his first Berkshire Hathaway share ten years ago. He emulates Warren Buffett’s approach to investing—and to life.

With the academic research that suggests you can copy Buffett’s investment moves even a while after the fact and beat the market (see my post, So A Slow-Moving Ape Can Beat The Market?), I’m all for watching and talking about Buffett. The takeaways here are endorsements of utility stocks (with specific mention of MidAmerican Energy Holdings) and municipal bondsand a general endorsement that you should consider continuing to buy stocks despite the economic climate.

But c'monyou started off thinking I was kidding about Kiplinger’s. Five different articles in a 96-page magazine. That’s a lot.

Way more than two blog mentions in a week, in case you were wondering.


Related Posts
Where I Outperform Warren Buffett (And What I Think It Means)
So A Slow-Moving Ape Can Beat The Market?

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