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The truth about Warren Buffett’s investment track record : Morning Brief – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Monday, March 1, 2021

Warren Buffett has had years of underperformance and a lot of bad stock picks

Warren Buffett, the billionaire head of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B), will probably go down as the greatest investor in history.

For more than half a century, he’s been responsible for the performance of Berkshire and its legendary stock portfolio, which have long track records of market-beating returns.

But here’s what every serious investor needs to know about Buffett: despite above-average performance, there have been many years Berkshire underperformed the market and there have been many individual stock trades that have lost mountains of money.

Long-term outperformance comes with many years of underperformance

Warren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire shareholders was released on Saturday, and as usual the first page compares the annual performance of Berkshire against that of the S&P 500 (^GSPC) since 1965.*

Berkshire shares have seen an average annual return of 20.0% compared to the S&P 500’s 10.2% gain during that period.

But as you can see from the individual data points, there are many years when the S&P outperformed Berkshire.

A good long-term investment strategy will not produce desired returns year in and year out. Rather, it’ll make progress toward some long-term goal over time as fat years more than offset lean years.

“Whatever today’s figures, Charlie Munger, my long-time partner, and I firmly believe that, over time, Berkshire’s capital gains from its investment holdings will be substantial,” Buffett wrote on Saturday.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that neither Berkshire nor the S&P saw many years where they delivered an average return. Most years either saw massive gains or very disappointing performance. Average almost never happens in markets.

Great stock pickers pick a lot of losers

And just because Buffett may be one of the greatest stock pickers in history doesn’t mean all of his stock picks have been winners over time.

Just a quick glance at Berkshire’s current top 15 stock investments reveals plenty of positions that are held below cost (i.e. they’ve lost money).

Berkshire's top 15 equity holdings includes winners and losers. (Berkshire Hathaway)

Berkshire’s top 15 equity holdings includes winners and losers. (Berkshire Hathaway)

To his credit, few people are more vocal about Buffett’s mistakes than Buffett himself.

In 2020, Berkshire booked a $9.8 billion write-down on those assets. One massive “mistake”he discussed in his annual letter was Precision Castparts (PCC), a once publicly-traded company that Berkshire acquired outright in 2016 in a $37 billion deal.

“I paid too much for the company,” Buffett wrote. “I believe I was right in concluding that PCC would, over time, earn good returns on the net tangible assets deployed in its operations. I was wrong, however, in judging the average amount of future earnings and, consequently, wrong in my calculation of the proper price to pay for the business.”

“PCC is far from my first error of that sort,” he added. “But it’s a big one.”

It’s not hard to find times Buffett lost money on a trade or missed out on a big opportunity. Just a year ago, Berkshire dumped airline stocks near their lows just before they roared back along with the other reopening trades.

But a successful investor shouldn’t be judged by his or her mistakes. Rather, they should be judged by the degree to which they are able to achieve their long-term goals.

This goes for all investors who will repeatedly buy too late, sell too early, and miss out on big opportunities that become obvious in hindsight.

So if you’re making a lot of mistakes but have a sound strategy and the discipline to stick to it during periods of underperformance, then maybe you too can be as imperfectly successful as Warren Buffett.

*Since 2019, Buffett has presented Berkshire’s performance as measured by market value. Prior to that, it was book value. Buffett made the change because he felt market value was going to better reflect the performance of the company. For our purposes, all you need to know is that both Berkshire’s book value and market value have smoked the S&P 500 over that half-century.

By Sam Ro, managing editor. Follow him at @SamRo

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RBC Dominion Securities fined $350K for supervisory failings – Investment Executive

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The friend — referred to as SC — acted as SK’s accountant and had trading authority over SK’s accounts. According to IIROC, Benson placed undue reliance on communications with SC as SK’s trading authority, rather than ensuring the account parameters were appropriate for SK.

SC went on to open margin accounts at RBC DS for himself and his spouse. The margin accounts were guaranteed by SKL, a business owned by SK that had a corporate account with RBC DS.

As with SK’s accounts, SC was the sole trading authority for SKL. SC signed the guarantees for his and his spouse’s margin accounts on behalf of SKL — representing a conflict of interest that Benson failed to address, IIROC noted.

“Benson did not take adequate steps to ensure that SK understood the nature, significance, and financial implications of the guarantees, and RBC DS failed to sufficiently supervise Benson in regard to confirming the extent of her direct communication with SK,” the settlement agreement read.

The use of margin in SC’s and his spouse’s accounts was several times their stated net worth, according to IIROC. SC’s most heavily traded account was almost always in a negative equity position, and his spouse’s account was always in a negative equity position.

When RBC DS inquired about the spouse’s account, Benson adjusted the spouse’s investment knowledge upward on a KYC form without undertaking the due diligence to support such a change, according to IIROC.

Following SK’s death in October 2014, SC began transferring money from SKL to his and his spouse’s margin accounts, beginning in December 2014. RBC DS approved three transfers totalling more than $3 million following discussions with Benson. The transfers amounted to “a substantial part of the assets of SKL,” according to the agreement.

Although Benson became aware of SK’s death shortly after it happened, she didn’t inform RBC DS of her client’s death until January 2015. When the transfers were approved, RBC DS had not been provided a copy of SK’s will or received instructions from SK’s estate trustees.

RBC DS did arrange a meeting with SK’s estate trustees and alerted them to the transfers from the SKL account. RBC DS also made a voluntary payment of $500,000 to SKL. IIROC considered both of these actions to be mitigating factors.

Nonetheless, IIROC said RBC DS “placed undue reliance on Benson’s representations regarding her knowledge and discussions with the clients at issue, when heightened supervision or direct contact with clients was required.”

In addition to a $350,000 fine, RBC DS agreed to pay $50,000 in costs.

In a separate settlement hearing, Benson agreed to a $30,000 fine and a five-year suspension from IIROC. She also agreed to pay $10,000 in costs. Benson retired from RBC DS in March 2016 and is no longer a registered representative.

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Euro Manganese Announces the Second Tranche of EIT InnoEnergy's Investment – Financial Post

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Highlights:

  • The Company has received a second tranche of investment from EIT InnoEnergy of €125,000, bringing the EU-backed body’s investment to date to €187,500.
  • The aggregate investment from EIT InnoEnergy is intended to be €250,000 and will help accelerate the Chvaletice Manganese Project’s successful integration into Europe’s electric vehicle (EV) battery value chain.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Euro Manganese Inc. (TSX-V and ASX: EMN; OTCQX: EUMNF) (the “Company” or “EMN“) is pleased to announce the receipt of a second investment tranche from EIT InnoEnergy amounting to €125,000 (CAD$185,162).

Pursuant to the terms of a Project Support Agreement entered into by the Company and EIT InnoEnergy (the “Agreement“), announced on February 22, 2021, the Company is to receive a three-tranche investment having an aggregate value of €250,000. The funds are being used to support ongoing work on the Chvaletice Manganese Project’s (the “Project”) definitive feasibility study and on the Chvaletice demonstration plant, which is intended to produce large-scale samples of high-purity manganese for supply chain qualification by prospective customers, including European electric vehicle makers and battery manufacturers.

EIT InnoEnergy is a Knowledge and Innovation Community supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. It leads the industrial stream of the European Battery Alliance, an initiative launched by The European Commission in October 2017 with the objective to build a strong and competitive battery industry in Europe. The support of EIT InnoEnergy, which also includes assistance in securing financing and offtake agreements, is intended to help accelerate the Project’s successful integration into Europe’s electric vehicle (EV) battery value chain.

The first EIT InnoEnergy investment tranche of €62,500 (CAD$92,850) was advanced to the Company on March 24, 2021, for which the Company will issue 147,380 common shares (“Shares“) at the price of CAD$0.63 per Share (refer to EMN news release dated March 30, 2021). The second investment tranche of €125,000 (CAD$185,162) was advanced to the Company on July 26, 2021. Accordingly, the Company will issue an additional 330,647 Shares to EIT InnoEnergy at the price of CAD$0.56 per Share being the 10-day volume weighted average stock price on the TSX Venture Exchange (“TSXV“) prior to receipt of the second investment tranche. This brings EIT InnoEnergy’s total investment to date to €187,500 (CAD$278,012). The issuance of the 478,027 Shares is not expected to occur until early January 2022 and remains subject to the approval of the TSXV. In accordance with Canadian securities laws and policies of the TSXV, Shares issued to EIT pursuant to the Agreement will be subject to a four month and one day statutory hold from their date of issuance.

For more information about EIT InnoEnergy’s support of the Chvaletice Manganese Project, see EMN’s news release dated February 22, 2021.

About Euro Manganese Inc.

Euro Manganese Inc. is a battery materials company whose principal focus is advancing the development of the Chvaletice Manganese Project, in which it holds a 100% interest. The proposed Project entails re-processing a significant manganese deposit hosted in mine tailings from a decommissioned mine, strategically located in the Czech Republic. The Company’s goal is to become a leading, competitive and environmentally superior primary producer of ultra-high-purity Manganese Products in the heart of Europe, serving the lithium-ion battery industry, as well as other high-technology applications.

Authorized for release by the CEO of Euro Manganese Inc.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange), or the ASX accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact:
Marco A. Romero Fausto Taddei
President & CEO Vice President, Corporate Development
+1 (604)-681-1010 ext. 101 & Corporate Secretary +1 (604)-681-1010 ext. 105
Media Inquiries:
Ron Shewchuk
Director of Communications
+1 604-781-2199
E-mail: info@mn25.ca
Website: www.mn25.ca
Company address:
#709 -700 West Pender St.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6C 1G8

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” or “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such statements and information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company or the Project to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. Such statements can be identified by the use of words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “intend”, “expect”, “believe”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “scheduled”, “forecast”, “predict” and other similar terminology, or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved.

Such forward-looking information or statements relate to future events or future performance about the Company and its business and operations, which include, among other things, the use of proceeds of the funds advanced by EIT, receipt of additional funding from EIT, TSXV approval for the issuance of Shares to EIT, the completion and timing of the definitive feasibility study, the timing of the delivery and operation of the demonstration plant, and other statements with respect to the continued development of the Chvaletice Manganese Project.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information or statements. Forward-looking statements and information involve significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indicators of whether or not such results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements or information, including, but not limited to, the factors discussed under “Risks Notice” and elsewhere in the Company’s MD&A for the year ended September 30, 2020 and its most recent Annual Information Form.

The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Subject to applicable securities laws, the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this news release.

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