Weekend Reading: 5-4-14

Here are some stories that caught my attention this past week. Topics include: Investment advice you wish you had, Omaha Nebraska, Why a man who owns $9,000 in Berkshire stock has the right to stand up to Buffett, and more.

Chart(s) of the weekend:

On Friday, the latest employment numbers were released…almost back to where we were in 2008:

Charts from qz.com

us-total-nonfarm-employment-in-millions-peak_chartbuilder

overview_apr_jobsday1

Ask The Experts: What retirement money tip do you wish you’d given yourself when you were 30?

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304734304579515653894734382

Certainly a simple common theme for most of these. “I wish I invested more when I was young” is included within a majority of these answers:

Think about it. We’re the first humans who will live to 80, 90, and even 100. If we knew this in advance, we’d quickly realize that this requires some long-term planning. We’ll need to figure out how to maintain our health and vitality, how to reinvent ourselves at work and at play, how to get back up when we get knocked down, and how to pay for all this and more.

And so, here’s what I would say to my 30-year-old self.

1.       Start early. In order to leverage the power of compounding, start saving as early as you can, at least 10% of your income.

2.       Make it automatic. If you don’t have to think about it, you barely notice the money is gone.

3.       Save, save, save. No matter what.

 

 

Retirement Investors Piling Into Stocks

http://money.msn.com/investing/post–retirement-investors-piling-into-stocks

 

It only took one of the best 5 year periods in market history to get people back into investing in stocks.

stock AA

 

I’m not of the camp calling this a sign of a bubble or top in the market. I only note this because this will be the same people claiming “the stock market is rigged” in the future when the market inevitably turns down and they underperform because they tried to swing trade the markets.

 

Recap: Berkshire Hathaway 2014 shareholder meeting

http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/05/03/live-blog-the-2014-berkshire-hathaway-annual-meeting/

One of the biggest events in investing took place this past weekend in Omaha, Nebraska. The annual meeting of shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. The place has become an investor’s ‘Mecca’, with nearly 40,000 flocking to see Buffett and Munger on stage.

This is the recap of a live blog that was updated by the Wall Street Journal during the meeting. Full of funny quotes, question and answers and much more from 2 of the most successful investors in history.

 

Meet the Man Behind Berkshire’s Latest (Doomed) Dividend Push

http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/05/02/meet-the-man-behind-berkshires-latest-doomed-dividend-push/

 

What does it mean to be a shareholder of a company? We frequently say here on Begin To Invest that you should consider your investments just as if you were buying the company you are investing in, because shares really do represent ownership in a company. Nothing proves that point better than an example from this weekend’s Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting.

Buffett has been against Berkshire paying a dividend since its inception. But as a shareholder, you have the right to be heard, even if you are standing up against one of the world’s richest investors.

The investor who started the push for Buffett to start paying a dividend owns just $9,000 worth of Berkshire stock! And he was able to bring up his concern directly to Warren Buffett at the shareholder meeting.

 

The measure failed by a final tally of 98% against a dividend to 2% for a dividend, but the fact remains, being a shareholder, no matter how many shares, means you are an owner of the business.

 

 

101 ETF Fun Facts

http://etfdb.com/2014/101-etffunfacts/

 

A random list of some interesting facts from ETF database.

“1. If investors took the $158 billion out of SPY (0.0945% ER) and put it into VOO (0.05%), they’d save $70 million annually in management fees”

What else I’m reading this week:

I have been out of town for work, and busy with a few other things. Still slowly paging through: Warren Buffett Speaks: Wit and Wisdom from the World’s Greatest Investor

A very light, fun read about Buffett, with the best collection of Buffett quotes I have come across. Best yet, you can get it for about 5 cents used on amazon by clicking the link above. Enjoy!

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