Wednesday, May 11, 2011

2011 Markel Breakfast Notes

Dear Readers,

I hope everyone has enjoyed the notes from the Berkshire Meeting and from the Value Investing Congress. I have heard from a lot of people and so far the consensus has been that the notes were pretty comprehensive. I feel very fortunate to have readers all around the world who I can communicate with and get to know. This has been a very busy time of year for me and I wanted to make sure I took the time to thank everyone for following my blog and my career. I am still looking for the right full-time opportunity for after graduation so feel free to email me if you know of any equity value funds who are looking for a research analyst.

Before I move on I wanted to apologize again. For about a 6 hour period on Sunday night the version of the Value Investing Congress notes available through Scribd was not a complete version. Accordingly, if you downloaded a version that is missing stock charts for each of the companies, please feel free to email me and I will send you the polished version.

I know that you all have a lot to read right now but I wanted to post my notes from the 2011 Markel Breakfast while the comments and content were still very relevant and timely. For those of you who have not been to Omaha during the Berkshire weekend, the Markel Breakfast is held the Sunday after the Berkshire meeting and is a standing room only event. I was lucky enough to get a seat right in front and had the opportunity to hear CIO Tom Gayner and Vice Chairman of the Board Steve Markel discuss a number of topics, including:
  • The state of the municipal bond market
  • The state of the property and casualty insurance market
  • Markel's approach to buying whole companies
  • Inflation, hedging and currency risk
  • The David Sokol affair
As usual, I have embedded a Scribd document of my notes in this post. While they are only a little over 8 pages, they are a bit too long to read on a regular blog post. If you have any trouble with Scribd, click this link to access a Google Docs copy (with no sign-in required). If neither of those options works, feel free to email me at and I will gladly send you a PDF copy of the notes.

Finally, I wanted to let you know that there is still one more set of notes yet to be released. I attended the Creighton Value Investing Panel in Omaha and got to hear investors such as Vitaliy Katsenelson and Whitney Tilson answer questions from two moderators. It was an interesting event and I encourage you to stay tuned for the notes.

Thanks again for all of your support and I hope you enjoy the Markel notes.


Ben Claremon
UCLA Anderson 2011
The Inoculated Investor

Markel Breakfast 2011 Notes

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Detailed Notes from the 2011 Value Investing Congress

Dear Readers,

It has been a very busy 10 days and I am not even done editing all of my notes yet. However, after 24 pages of Berkshire annual meeting notes, I am now posting over 70 pages of notes from this past week's Value Investing Congress in Pasadena. Unlike the BRK meeting notes, these are in bullet point form because there are far too many data points and the speakers often move too fast for me to type the notes in paragraph form. These were taken in real time and I apologize for any errors or omissions. In any case, I think they provide a very comprehensive summary of what was discussed at the event.

For those of you who do not have the time to go through all of the notes, I have highlighted the companies that were pitched and discussed. I also included tickers and stock charts for most of the companies that were extensively analyzed. I think there were a number of compelling ideas pitched and I will briefly highlight a few that stood out in my mind as deserving some more research:
  • Guy Gottfried of Rational Investment Group pitched Morguard Corp (TSE: MRC), a Toronto-listed real estate company that is run by a great investor and whose stock looks to be trading a fraction of the value of its real estate properties. Not to take anything away from the other great speakers, but I think Guy made the best presentation.
  • Ori Eyal of Emerging Value Capital Management discussed a share arbitrage opportunity with PRISA (NYSE: PRIS) A and B shares. His compelling analysis made it seem unlikely that an investor could lose money and very likely that there would be significant upside in the next 6 months.
Aside from those two, there were also a number of interesting international and domestic stocks and other securities discussed. Some of you may notice that a few of the speakers have started their funds very recently and do not have long track records. As such, some people I spoke to voiced their concerns that it is hard to know if these guys are truly great investors. However, I have noticed that the young guys who run their own funds perform some of the most comprehensive and thoughtful research of any investors I know. As such, I highly recommend reading through the notes to see if anything piques your interest.

Also, if you like what you see in the notes, I suggest signing up to attend the next Value Investing Congress. The event will be held in New York on October 17th and 18th and the organizers are offering a very attractive early bird special for those who can commit to attending early. Please visit if you would like to take part. I cannot promise that I will be there so there may not be much in terms of notes published in the blogosphere.

As always, I am unable to attach a PDF of the notes to this posting. However, I have created a Google Doc that anyone who clicks this link can access. Also, I have embedded the Scribd copy of the notes below. If neither of those works for you, feel free to send me an email at and I will send you a PDF copy.

I hope you enjoy the notes. I appreciate all of the emails and offers to help me in my job search that I have received. I am looking forward to hearing more from all of you in the future.


Ben Claremon
UCLA Anderson 2011
The Inoculated Investor

*****Update: The Scribd document attached is the correct one. My apologies, for a little while last night (between 2am and 8am LA time) a not-complete version was available on Scribd. I am sorry if anyone downloaded a non-polished copy and would be happy to send you an updated PDF version if you email me.
2011 Value Investing Congress Notes

Monday, May 2, 2011

Comprehensive 2011 Berkshire Meeting Notes

Dear Readers,

After 6 hours of continuous typing and close to 15 hours of editing, my notes from this year's Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting are complete. At the end of it all, the total tally is over 18,000 words and over 24 pages of wisdom from Buffett and Munger. As always, these notes were taken by hand, without the use of a recorder. For those of you who were not able to make it to the meeting this year, I hope the notes serve as an adequate substitute. For those of you who were in attendance, I hope the notes provide a comprehensive review of what was said.

Unfortunately, Blogger does not allow me to attach PDFs to posts. But, to make it easier on everyone I have created two ways for you to view the notes. First, you can click this link and access the notes through Google Docs. You don't even need an account with Google. Also, I have embedded a Scribd document to this post for those of you who like Scribd. However, as always, I am happy to email out PDF versions upon request. Just shoot me an email at if you want a PDF copy.

Lastly, I am asking the value investing community for some assistance. I will be graduating from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA in June. Accordingly, I have been selectively looking for the right full-time position. Ideally, I would like to work as an equity research analyst for a value-focused buy-side firm. If you know of anyone who is looking for a diligent analyst with a passion for stocks, I would really appreciate it if you would think of me. You can view examples of my research on this site under the "Equity Research" link on the right side of the page. I am also happy to provide a copy of my resume upon request. Thanks so much for any help you can provide.

Enjoy the notes and please stay tuned for notes from other Omaha events and the upcoming Value Investing Congress.


Ben Claremon
The Inoculated Investor

2011 Berkshire Annual Meeting Notes