Note: As of April 7, 2011, The Rational Walk’s Berkshire Hathaway Corner has been discontinued in conjunction with the site ending regular operations. Existing subscribers, all of whom will receive full refunds, may continue to access content at this link.
When most investors think of Berkshire Hathaway, the focus immediately shifts to the remarkable career and investment track record of Warren Buffett. While Mr. Buffett’s leadership has been the most important factor contributing to Berkshire Hathaway’s outstanding record over a nearly fifty year period, the company today is a massive conglomerate with operations “covering the waterfront” from key industries such as insurance, electric utilities, and railroads to smaller unglamorous enterprises manufacturing candy, furniture, underwear and bricks. With complexity comes misunderstanding and much of what the business media reports on Berkshire, from quarterly results to succession planning, is shrouded is misunderstanding and dubious assumptions.
Our Goal: Rational and Comprehensive Ongoing Coverage of Berkshire Hathaway
The Rational Walk was founded in early 2009 and has devoted a significant amount of attention to coverage of Berkshire Hathaway over the past two years. As shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway since 2000 and followers of the company since the mid 1990s, we have made it a point to focus on the aspects of the business that matter to shareholders interested in compounding their wealth over time frames measured in decades rather than mere quarters or years.
Berkshire Hathaway Corner Member Benefits
We are now pleased to offer readers the opportunity to receive more frequent updates on developments at Berkshire Hathaway that cut through the inaccurate or otherwise dubious mainstream business articles that often appear following major events such as quarterly earnings releases. Subscribers to the Berkshire Hathaway Corner will receive the following benefits:
Free Copy of Berkshire Hathaway: In Search of the Buffett Premium, a $99 Value
Berkshire Hathaway: In Search of the Buffett Premium, published on March 1, 2011, takes a close look at management succession issues in the context of a careful examination of the drivers of intrinsic value. Incorporating the data contained in Berkshire’s recently released 2010 annual report and related SEC filings, The Rational Walk’s 118 page report provides extensive coverage of all key facets of Berkshire Hathaway and an estimate of intrinsic value based on three well regarded valuation methodologies. The report also includes a complete data set in Microsoft Excel format. Click here to download a sample of the report.
Free Copy of The Rational Walk’s 2010 Berkshire Hathaway Briefing Book
The Rational Walk’s Briefing Book on Berkshire Hathaway, published in February 2010 provides background on the company, highlights from key divisions, estimates of intrinsic value, and a complete data model. Selected reader comments:
“I have read many books and articles about Berkshire Hathaway, Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett and your briefing book was great! I learned a lot and will probably start over and read it again. It was logical, sound and came across as very credible.”
“I want to congratulate you for a very lucid analysis. It amazes me that this company is so misunderstood by the general business media. I hope your analysis contributes to a greater understanding of the company.”
“Your presentation is easy to follow and conservative in approach. I deeply appreciate your the work, effort and analysis you put into it. I feel I have a much better understanding of Berkshire Hathaway because of your efforts.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed your briefing book. It was very well written and covered every aspect of the business very well.”
“You’ve done a terrific job. It’s by far the best thing I’ve read on Berkshire.”
Comprehensive Quarterly Business Updates
Three times per year, following the release of Berkshire Hathaway’s quarterly results filed on Form 10-Q, The Rational Walk will provide members with a comprehensive summary of the business developments that took place during the quarter with particular attention on developments that could have a material impact on intrinsic value. Although we do not believe that it is useful to focus excessively on intrinsic value changes from quarter-to-quarter, we will highlight areas that could “move the needle” substantially.
Readers of The Rational Walk are familiar with quarterly updates that have appeared on this site in the past, most recently covering Q3 2010 results with a focus on NetJets. Typically our quarterly coverage has focused on one key area in some depth and we will continue to select areas to focus on going forward. However, we will aim to provide Berkshire Hathaway Corner members with a more comprehensive quarterly recap than what has been provided for free in the past.
Comprehensive Quarterly Portfolio Updates
Four times per year, following the release of Berkshire Hathaway’s Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, The Rational Walk will provide members with a comprehensive summary of Berkshire’s equity portfolio. As with quarterly business results, journalists often report on these developments in a superficial manner. We will instead focus on portfolio moves that appear to have meaning in terms of providing a signal to investors regarding Warren Buffett’s views on Berkshire’s large array of portfolio holdings. In addition to Mr. Buffett’s decisions, Berkshire shareholders will be focusing on the moves of Todd Combs who has been recently named to manage a “small portion” of Berkshire’s portfolio. To the extent possible with the information in regulatory filings, we will attempt to identify and comment on moves made by Mr. Combs.
Periodic “Member Only” Articles
From time to time, we will publish articles regarding Berkshire that will only be available to members of the Berkshire Hathaway Corner. Although we cannot anticipate the timing or nature of these articles in advance, we will focus on material developments that take place during the quarter and alert members when we believe something important has taken place. Some Berkshire Hathaway content will still be available on the free Rational Walk website but in depth reporting and analysis will be restricted to Berkshire Hathaway Corner members.