Warren Buffett’s right-hand man, Charlie Munger, once called Al Gore an “idiot” and “not very smart.” The former US vice-president’s investment firm bought the same two stocks that Buffett and Munger added to their portfolios last quarter.
Generation Investment Management, which Gore cofounded and chairs, boosted its stake in Alibaba by 94% to almost 3 million shares in the three months to March 31, regulatory filings show.
Daily Journal, a newspaper publisher that boasts Munger as its chairman and stock picker, established a stake in the Chinese e-commerce group last quarter as well. Alibaba was its only new position in the period.
Munger disparaged Gore’s intelligence at Daily Journal’s annual meeting in 2017, according to GuruFocus. He wanted to underscore how surprising it was that Gore had made hundreds of millions of dollars from investing.
Gore, who starred in an “An Inconvenient Truth” and won a Nobel Peace Prize for raising awareness of the climate crisis, simply refused to invest in carbon-intensive companies, and partnered with a skilled value investor named David Blood. The upshot was that Generation invested in software and service companies such as Microsoft and delivered stellar returns, Munger said.
Generation’s long-term, sustainable investing approach has resulted in it owning billion-dollar stakes in Google-parent Alphabet, Cisco, Equifax, Charles Schwab, and Baxter International.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a new bet on Aon in a portfolio update on Monday. It also revealed that it took a knife to several positions and virtually eliminated its Wells Fargo stake last quarter.
The famed investor’s company bought 4.1 million shares of Aon, a British health insurer and pensions administrator, in the three months to March 31. It also boosted its Verizon stake by about 8% to 159 million shares – worth over $9 billion at the end of the period. Moreover, it ramped up its Kroger bet by over 50% to north of 50 million shares.
Buffett and his team trimmed several positions, which was expected given Berkshire’s recent earnings showed that it sold $3.9 billion of stock on a net basis last quarter. They slashed their Chevron stake, despite only establishing it last year, by just over half to 24 million shares worth $2.5 billion. They also reduced their pharmaceutical bets – AbbVie, Bristol Myers-Squibb, and Merck – as well as Liberty Global, Axalta, and StoneCo.
Notably, Berkshire cut its Wells Fargo stake from more than 50 million shares to fewer than 700,000. The bank had been one of Buffett’s biggest positions until last year.
The lack of purchases last quarter chimes with Buffett’s comments at Berkshire’s recent shareholder meeting. The investor said he was looking to invest about $80 billion of Berkshire’s roughly $140 billion cash hoard in stocks and businesses, but admitted he was struggling to find bargains in the current market.
Buffett cited the Federal Reserve’s continued efforts to pump liquidity into markets, which has boosted asset prices and fueled competition for acquisitions, as a key factor.
But some actions have gone beyond statements: Businesses and other entities are severing their financial connections to Trump and the Trump Organization.
In the wake of the insurrection and impeachment, some groups formerly affiliated with the Trump Organization are opting to sever ties. The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Here are all the businesses and entities that have publicly split from the Trump Organization.
SAG-AFTRA planned on holding a hearing on whether to expel Donald Trump from the labor group – but he resigned in a pointed letter.
“I write to you today regarding the so-called Disciplinary Committee hearing aimed at revoking my union membership,” Trump wrote.”Who cares!”
He went on to say he was “not familiar with your work” but that he’s proud of his own performances in movies such as “Home Alone 2” and “Zoolander” and television shows including “Saturday Night Live” and “The Apprentice.”
He closed his letter with: “I no longer wish to be associated with your union. As such, this letter is to inform you of my immediate resignation from SAG-AFTRA. You have done nothing for me.”
In a statement to The Washington Post, the Trump Organization said it was “a breach of a binding contract and they have no right to terminate the agreement.”
Trump was more upset about no longer hosting the tournament than getting impeached for a second time, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman reported.
Deutsche Bank and Signature Bank are reportedly ending their banking services for the Trump Organization.
Bloomberg reported on Monday that both banks were severing ties. In a statement to Bloomberg, Signature said, “We believe the appropriate action would be the resignation of the president of the United States.”
According to the Bloomberg report, Trump owes Deutsche Bank over $300 million, and Signature Bank will close two personal accounts with about $5.3 million in them.
Professional Bank won’t provide services for Trump or the Trump Organization.
“Professional Bank has decided not to engage in any further business with the Trump Organization and its affiliates, and will be winding down the relationship effective immediately,” the bank said in a statement to Bloomberg on Tuesday.
Bloomberg reported Trump borrowed $11 million from the bank in May 2018 to buy a home for his sister Maryanne Trump Barry next to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.