If we see each other in late December, you might want to wish me a happy birthday but today’s message is meant for ‘the other Warren’ in the investment world, Warren Buffett. He turned 90 a couple of weeks ago.
Last week I wrote about the idea that a bubble might be forming in the stock market. This week I’d like to delve into some of the reasons I’m concerned.
Flags, affinity license plates, garments with team logos. There are lots of ways to use a symbol as an abbreviation for a full name. Investors use what are known as ticker symbols when buying and selling stocks. These date back to the ticker tape machine, an improvement on the telegraph.
Today’s title is generally attributed to Mort Sahl, America’s first widely televised stand-up comedian. He was well known for his commentaries on the times but before he became famous, he did, in fact, wash and sell cars for a living. The phrase came to mind recently when I saw actor Tom Selleck promoting reverse mortgages on TV.
My great aunt Irma was quite well off, living in a small grove in Orange, California next door to entertainer José Feliciano. We visited her every few years and she took us to nice restaurants, always picking up the tab. As I got older, I was more a part of the adult conversations going on during those visits.
As diligently as I try to polish my crystal ball, the future still looks a bit cloudy to me. Here in Indiana in mid-May, some businesses are re-opening. However, it seems unlikely that decisions being made locally and regionally will prove to be well coordinated nationally.
Does anyone remember a professional boxer named Cassius Clay? He later became famous as Muhamad Ali but back in February of 1964 he was scheduled to fight Sonny Liston, then heavyweight champion of the world. Because newspaper writers are paid to produce articles, the bout was well previewed with fifty-nine of sixty-two sports columnists picking Liston to win.
Better known in English as Leo Tolstoy, the author of War and Peace is widely considered to have been one of the world’s greatest writers but his potential aptitude for financial planning may be somewhat less well known.
At least to a limited extent, Warren Buffet and I had the same teacher: Benjamin Graham. The other Warren studied under him in grad school at Columbia and I’ve read his most famous book multiple times.