While there are executives who leave their companies to return for a second term and often reap questionable results or companies that bet on one executive after another without finding any that fit, there are those who have been betting on the same card since 1964.
Warren Buffett, at 92, has been the soul of Berkshire Hathaway for sixty years, the investment vehicle with which this financier has built an empire and has become one of the richest men on the planet. In other words, he has been the top manager at the same company for almost 60 years. Yours.
Known as the oracle of Omaha, a supporter of the long term when it comes to investing, he has gone through several stages, from moments of euphoria to crisis and has always emerged unscathed and faithful to himself and his recipe: buy shares of businesses that are understood, that guarantee solid cash flows and balance sheets and offer diversification. Buffett has interests in technology (Apple, Amazon), finance (Bank of America), food (Coca-Cola) or energy (Chevron).
One of Buffett's characteristics is that he does not rest on his laurels and knows how to adapt to changes. “There is no guarantee of success. We have made many mistakes and we will make more. But we are not subject to pressure from colleagues who have an interest in maintaining the status quo. This is something important: if the horses had controlled the investment decisions, we would not have the automobile industry today, ”he repeats. It is true that the American investor was criticized for having focused too much on American values when investing and for not having understood the technological transformation in time (his time as a shareholder in IBM was not very successful).
But today these criticisms seem out of place, because the mythical investor has just announced (ten days ago) an investment of about 4.1 billion dollars in the chips, by entering the Taiwan firm TSMC, the largest manufacturer in the world. .
Once again, Buffett has decided to go against the current and showed a great capacity for adaptation, because the shares of the Asian firm were trading at a two-year low at that time due to the sharp slowdown in global demand for semiconductors in view of a possible recession. worldwide.
Still TSMC, which makes chips for the likes of Apple Qulacomm and Nvidia, posted an 80% rise in quarterly profit last month, making it a cheap, high-growth company.
"It's not a typical Buffett investment because it's outside the US and very technological," says Luis Torras, wealth director at EDM Asset Management, which has also recently invested in TSMC. "But the valuations are attractive, it's growing in double digits and it's almost monopoly," he adds.
Berkshire Hathaway's latest results offer a mixed picture. Formally, the accounts present losses in the third quarter of 2,690 million dollars, due to the devaluation of some shares. Another factor is the losses possibly attributable to the recent hurricanes, which affect its reinsurance division and some other adjustment of accounting regulations.
However, operating profit grew by 20%, even exceeding analysts' expectations. “The variations of the prices in any case do not affect the fundamentals. The company buys back shares at large, which protects it from falls and also pays dividends thanks to generating cash as if there were no tomorrow”, minimizes Torras.
"Given inflation, higher interest rates and troubled supply chains, the numbers show strength and resilience," Edward Jones analyst Jim Shanahan told Reuters.
It does not seem that these turbulences call into question the leadership of the Oracle of Omaha. Not even time seems to have made a dent in Buffett's lucidity, which is still at the foot of the canyon. Even if it is by biological age, the focus is on how his inheritance will be managed the day he and his partner Charlie Munger (98 years old) are no longer in command positions. But the feeling is that Buffett's heritage in the investment community will remain an inspiration to many.