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Portfolio management: lessons learned from Buffett

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“Be Greedy When Others Are Fearful”: Why Buffett Didn’t Buy More at the Bottom (Yahoo Tech-ticker)

More importantly, I think controlling one’s emotion is key in this market (like yesterday and today :-(. Obviously easily said than done. Yesterday I read the WSJ top page story on people trading AIG stock, most of them lost money eventually (I believe so, at least most people gave back the gains). Trading AIG stock is an extreme example, because of its volatility in last month (August).

Other lessons from Mr. Buffett:

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Berkshire sold some ConocoPhillips shares in Q1 and April

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(Update) RationalWalk has a much more comprehensive piece on Berkshire Q1 results.

(Original) News from San Jose Mercury News. Quote:

Berkshire says it sold 13.7 million of its 79.9 million shares of ConocoPhillips during the first quarter to generate a loss that can offset past capital gains taxes.

More details from its Q1 earning report (PDF). Again quote:

…Investment losses from other-than-temporary impairments for the first quarter of 2009 predominantly relate to Berkshire’s investment in ConocoPhillips common stock. The market price of ConocoPhillips shares declined sharply over the last half of 2008. In the first quarter of 2009, Berkshire sold approximately 13.7 million shares of ConocoPhillips and sold additional shares in April. Although Berkshire expects the market price for ConocoPhillips shares to increase over time to levels that exceed original cost, Berkshire may sell some additional shares before the price recovers. Sales in 2009 were or may be in anticipation of other investment opportunities, to increase overall liquidity and to carry back realized capital losses to prior years for income tax purposes…

My thoughts
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Berkshire Buffett COP Conoco Phillips stake

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(Update Feb 29 2009) CNBC is putting up some nice words on Buffett today. After all, he lent $3 b to GE (the parent co. of NBC) last fall.

(Original) In these turbulant days, investors, ordinary and professional alike, look for directions from investor guru more than ever. Of course among gurus people pay attention, is Warren Buffett quarterly stock holdings change: people are interested in what he bought and what he sold, some (like yours truely) tried to understand his move and thinking, and follow him if makes sense. To avoid copycats, Buffett usually tries to delay his 13G filings as late as possible (within the deadline of SEC, or other regulatories). He famous sent a regular mail to Hongkong Securities Exchange after he sold the PetroChina stock, postmarked by the deadline of HSE.

Warren Buffett pic

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