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巴菲特发表在10月16日纽约时报的文章  

2008-10-28 22:21:59|  分类: 股市 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Buy American. I Am.

By WARREN E. BUFFETT
New York Times, Published: October 16, 2008
Times Topics: Warren E. Buffett
 
THE financial world is a mess, both in the United States and abroad. Its problems, moreover, have been leaking into the general economy, and the leaks are now turning into a gusher. In the near term, unemployment will rise, business activity will falter and headlines will continue to be scary.
So ... I've been buying American stocks. This is my personal account I'm talking about, in which I previously owned nothing but United States government bonds. (This description leaves aside my Berkshire Hathaway holdings, which are all committed to philanthropy.) If prices keep looking attractive, my non-Berkshire net worth will soon be 100 percent in United States equities.
 
Why?
A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. And most certainly, fear is now widespread, gripping even seasoned investors. To be sure, investors are right to be wary of highly leveraged entities or businesses in weak competitive positions. But fears regarding the long-term prosperity of the nation's many sound companies make no sense. These businesses will indeed suffer earnings hiccups, as they always have. But most major companies will be setting new profit records 5, 10 and 20 years from now.
Let me be clear on one point: I can't predict the short-term movements of the stock market. I haven't the faintest idea as to whether stocks will be higher or lower a month ― or a year ― from now. What is likely, however, is that the market will move higher, perhaps substantially so, well before either sentiment or the economy turns up. So if you wait for the robins, spring will be over.
 
A little history here: During the Depression, the Dow hit its low, 41, on July 8, 1932. Economic conditions, though, kept deteriorating until Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in March 1933. By that time, the market had already advanced 30 percent. Or think back to the early days of World War II, when things were going badly for the United States in Europe and the Pacific. The market hit bottom in April 1942, well before Allied fortunes turned. Again, in the early 1980s, the time to buy stocks was when inflation raged and the economy was in the tank. In short, bad news is an investor's best friend. It lets you buy a slice of America's future at a marked-down price.
 
Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.
You might think it would have been impossible for an investor to lose money during a century marked by such an extraordinary gain. But some investors did. The hapless ones bought stocks only when they felt comfort in doing so and then proceeded to sell when the headlines made them queasy.
 
Today people who hold cash equivalents feel comfortable. They shouldn't. They have opted for a terrible long-term asset, one that pays virtually nothing and is certain to depreciate in value. Indeed, the policies that government will follow in its efforts to alleviate the current crisis will probably prove inflationary and therefore accelerate declines in the real value of cash accounts.
 
Equities will almost certainly outperform cash over the next decade, probably by a substantial degree. Those investors who cling now to cash are betting they can efficiently time their move away from it later. In waiting for the comfort of good news, they are ignoring Wayne Gretzky's advice: "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been."
 
I don't like to opine on the stock market, and again I emphasize that I have no idea what the market will do in the short term. Nevertheless, I'll follow the lead of a restaurant that opened in an empty bank building and then advertised: "Put your mouth where your money was." Today my money and my mouth both say equities.
 
Warren E. Buffett is the chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, a diversified holding company.
 
Times Topics > People > B > Buffett, Warren E.
E-MAILSave
Warren E. Buffett
Warren E. Buffett is a legendary investor whose folksy image and crafty acquisition strategies have given Berkshire Hathaway a unique cachet among the nation's largest companies.
While Berkshire is best known for its insurance operations, its holdings include such varied interests as Benjamin Moore paints, See's Candies, Dairy Queen and NetJets. Its stock is not priced for the fainthearted ― in excess of $100,000 a share ― and those who hold it have become devoted followers of its chief. His management style is noted for a homespun annual letter to shareholders and a yearly investor gathering that some came to refer to as Buffettpalooza.
In the wreckage left by the housing bust, Mr. Buffett emerged in 2008 as the banker of choice to embattled blue-chip companies during the credit crisis that ensued. In September he made what may be the boldest play of his career, investing $5 billion in Goldman Sachs in the midst of a Wall Street panic.
And eight days later, he announced that he would invest $3 billion in General Electric. The industrial giant had been potentially vulnerable to the credit squeeze because of GE Capital, whose global portfolio spans aircraft leasing, commercial real estate, credit cards and home mortgages.
For both investments, Mr. Buffett drove a hard bargain and extracted favorable terms. His investments, analysts say, are based on the assumption that the companies would come through the financial turmoil in good shape.
In 1990, a profile in The New York Times said of Mr. Buffett:
"His discipline as an investor, his devotion to a rational, coherent strategy, are legendary. As a shrewd purchaser of stock and, on occasion, whole companies, he has compiled a record of unparalleled success. Yet in many ways, he is very different from the popular image of the financial titan.
"With his off-the-rack suits and unruly, thinning hair, Buffett resembles nothing so much as a mildly eccentric clerk in a discount shoe store. He lives in a middle-class Omaha neighborhood in the house that he bought in 1958 for $31,500. He collects model trains. In fact, he has sometimes been portrayed as the quintessential cornfed, 'aw-shucks' hick. Nothing could be further from the truth."
Mr. Buffett's investment philosophy owes much to Benjamin Graham, regarded as the father of modern securities analysis, who saw the stock market as a highly irrational place where a disciplined, rational investor could thrive. Mr. Buffett looks for what he has called "sleeping beauties" ― stocks selling substantially below book value. Notably, he has made large stock purchases in companies threatened by takeover, receiving financial concessions in exchange.
As Mr. Buffett's wealth has soared, he has become perhaps the most widely admired member of the financial community.
He has won plaudits for what he has done with his wealth ― donating the bulk of his fortune, about $37 billion, and not to a foundation with his name on it, but to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an arrangement he saw as more efficient. He has also won praise for what he has not done ― notably, for avoiding both the tech bubble of the late 1990s and the housing/mortgage bubble that followed. (Oct. 9, 2008)

春天与知更鸟的叫声

张志雄/文

2008年10月17日的《纽约时报》刊登了巴菲特的《购买美国,算我一个》,值得倾听。
  巴菲特声称,要用个人账户购买美国股票。“如果股价继续保持吸引力,我个人的除伯克希尔哈撒韦公司的净值将很快100%地转变为美国股票。”
  巴菲特的投资思想还是一以贯之,人弃我取,在恐慌的时候用打折的价格买好股票——“一个简单的法则指导着我的行为:当别人贪婪时,恐惧;当别人恐惧时,贪婪。”
  “非常肯定的是,恐惧现在正到处传播,慑住了哪怕是经验丰富的投资人。需要明确的是,投资人的确应该对那些高杠杆率的公司和在竞争中处于弱势的企业保持一份警惕。但是,没有必要对这个国家中许多稳健公司的长期前景怀有恐惧。就像他们以往经历的那样,这些企业肯定会遭受盈利上的波动。但是,5年、10年或20年以后,绝大多数大型公司将创出新的盈利高峰。”
  这就像伯克希尔哈撒韦公司刚刚通过优先股形式买的高盛与通用电器,久经考验,属硕果仅存者。投资者也在中国寻找这类企业,但争议很大。中国的市场经济历史太短,大多属于成长型公司,兴也勃,亡也忽。
  第二点,巴菲特强调,股市的复苏早于经济达到谷底。“让我澄清一点:我并不能预测股票市场的短期走向。我对股票市场在一个月或一年后会更高还是更低没有一丁点的想法。但是,很可能基本上会是这样:在人们的情绪或经济好转以前,股市已经走高了。因此,如果你痴等知更鸟的叫声,那么,春天将会过去。”
  “历史小片段:在大萧条时期,道指在1932年7月8日创下了最低点41点。但是,经济环境持续恶化,直到富兰克林罗斯福于1933年3月就任总统。不过,那时,股市早已反弹了30%。再回想一下第二次世界大战的早期,即美国在欧洲和太平洋两线上诸事不利的时候。市场创出底部的时间是1942年4月,也是在同盟国的命运转变之前。同样的,在20世纪80年代初,购买股票的最佳时间就是在通胀肆虐和经济下滑的时候。”
  第三点,巴菲特认为,未来十年里,好公司的股权收益一定好于现在。“今天,那些手握现金等价物的人会感觉很安心。他们不该如此。他们选择的这个糟糕的长期资产,几乎没有任何的回报,其价值也注定会贬值。政府为减缓当前危机实施的政策有可能会引发通胀,并因此导致现金的实际价值加速下滑。”
  西方各国央行为了拯救此次金融危机,现在已出手数以千亿的美元、英镑和欧元,这得多印票子,中长期的通胀恐难以避免。
  也许是因为出言谨慎,巴菲特没说他现在与自己20世纪70年代的境遇何其相似乃尔。
  1969年,巴菲特在美国股市高点解散了合伙人基金,又于1973年的跌势中入市,股市在1974年再次大跌中才见底,然后在1975年和1976年反弹。当时,西方国家都差不多,英国股市波动得更为剧烈,1973年跌了40%左右,只有1920年可以相提并论。接着的1974年和1975年创了英国股市百年的记录。
  如果我们目前和今后的处境与20世纪70年代的西方国家有相似处,看看由伦敦商学院几位教授长达14年的研究成果《投资收益百年史》中的数据,还是很有意思的。
  《投资收益百年史》中,对英国、美国等12个国家的20世纪股票收益率(经通货膨胀调整)比通常的统计“低估”2个百分点,却仍跑过长债与短债的收益率,最高的六个国家是瑞典(8.2%)、澳大利亚(7.6%)、美国(6.9%)、加拿大(6.4%)、荷兰(6.0%)和英国(5.9%)。最低的三个是日本(4.2%)、法国(4%)和意大利(2.7%)。
  有了百年的收益率参考坐标,再看看20世纪70年代这十年的实际收益率。美国这一期间的实际收益率是-0.7%,英国的是-1.4%,其他国家也都表现一般,与英美差不离,最差的意大利竟然大跌11.7%。
  关键是熬过20世纪70年代这十年,后来的20年收益率都比较好。
  巴菲特可能是例外,1973年和1974年的绝对收益率只有4.7%和5.5%,但后面的几年都不错;即便1977年标普500又下跌7.4%,伯克希尔哈撒韦仍上涨了31.9%。在1973年,巴菲特确实以极低的价格买到了像《华盛顿邮报》这样的好公司,为他后来的成功打下了飞跃的基础。
  问题是,你能否在中国找到穿越重重迷雾、仍能在下个经济周期胜出的好公司?
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