Allan Mecham’s New Big Bet

Last month, we met Allan Mecham of Arlington Value Management, a.k.a. The 400% Man. This week, SmartMoney profiled Mecham’s newest big bet: a levered position in Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B):

[L]ast year he levered up the fund and has invested half the money in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. 

“Able to borrow at around 1.5%, we levered (Berkshire) into a 50%+ position,” he wrote in his annual letter to shareholders. “Though not advocates of leverage, we believe the . . .

→ Read More: Allan Mecham’s New Big Bet

Longleaf versus Fairfax: Two Value Investors’ “Opposing” Views

From Tom Bradley of Steadyhand (another Ivey MBA!) via Advisor Analyst:

The year-end report is interesting for a couple of reasons, the first being the conviction behind Mr. Hawkins and Chief Investment Officer Staley Cates’ view that stocks will beat bonds. “Never in our investing careers has the prospective return on corporate ownership so surpassed the return on long-term lending. Never has the risk of permanent capital loss from long-term lending been so great. Oft-discussed macro fears and the accompanying . . .

→ Read More: Longleaf versus Fairfax: Two Value Investors’ “Opposing” Views

Prem Watsa Warns of Economic Fragility

Yesterday the Globe and Mail ran an interview with Canadian value investing legend, Prem Watsa of Fairfax Financial. He confirms that the firm still maintains a full hedge on its equity positions due to continuing worries over the macro environment:

“We don’t feel comfortable with our common stock position without it being fully hedged,” he said. “We think for the long term, 10 years, stocks will be very, very good. But the next few years we have to be . . .

→ Read More: Prem Watsa Warns of Economic Fragility

Back in the Saddle

Back in the Saddle

I am now back from traveling. I’ll be responding to your emails and returning to my regular post activity over the next few days. 

Some quick thoughts:

The market has finally begun to recognize the strengths of TSRA and ITIC, both up more than 14% YTD. (see my posts on TSRA here and ITIC here) It is great to see the right steps . . .

→ Read More: Back in the Saddle

Homeowners Choice, Inc: Relatively New P&C Insurer Appears Cheap ($HCII)

Dominic over at the Pretoria Investment  blog recently sent me a link to his analysis of Homeowners Choice, Inc (NASDAQ: HCII), a property and casualty insurer focused on the Florida market. Given my interest in the insurers Investors Title Company and Stewart Information Services Corporation, he thought I might be interested in the opportunity he sees in HCII.

Dominic believes there is a value opportunity in part due to the fact that HCII has $80 million . . .

→ Read More: Homeowners Choice, Inc: Relatively New P&C Insurer Appears Cheap ($HCII)