risk, diversification, and when to sell in Visual Studio .NET

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risk, diversification, and when to sell
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You should sell when the stock price is high in relation to its intrinsic value In other words, you should sell when there are better alternatives, including investing in short-term securities or holding cash Buffett sold PetroChina stock in the second half of 2007 for about $4 billion after its price had gone up eight times since the stock s acquisition in 2002 and 2003 for $488 million Some in the press speculated that he sold PetroChina because he was criticized for investing in it in the rst place: It is alleged that PetroChina supported the Sudanese government s involvement in genocide against people in the Darfur region Buffett, denying this speculation, has said that his decision was based only on price considerations Both PetroChina and the S&P 500 index declined by about 40 percent over the next 18 months Buffett s timing on this sale was correct from the price point of view In 1997, Berkshire sold about 5 percent of its portfolio to increase bond holdings in relation to stocks Buffett writes, Some of the sales we made during 1997 were aimed at changing our bond-stock ratio moderately in response to the relative values that we saw in each market, a realignment we have continued in 1998 3 In 2008, Buffett sold partial holdings in several stocks, including Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble I estimate the dollar amount of these sales to be about $5 billion Berkshire sold these stocks to fund large purchases in bonds and preferred stock in Wrigley, Goldman Sachs, and General Electric Buffett must have thought that the alternatives were better Because of psychological reasons, investors sometimes do not sell when they have to take a loss They should think about the sunk-cost fallacy and sell Overall, if you know you have made a mistake, or if there are better alternatives, you should sell
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Why Were McDonald s and Disney Stocks Sold
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Buffett confessed that he should not have sold McDonald s stock Just as with purchases, it is not possible to time sales perfectly This is one additional reason to plan for the long run when buying in the rst place He wrote in Berkshire s 1998 annual report, I need to make a confession (ugh): The portfolio actions I took in 1998 actually decreased our gain for the year In particular, my decision to sell McDonald s was a very big mistake Overall, you would have been better off last year if I had regularly
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When to Sell
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snuck off to the movies during market hours 4 He sold McDonald s soon after the Dairy Queen acquisition, which was announced in October 1997 and consummated in January 1998 It is possible that he did not want to hold both Dairy Queen and a major holding in McDonald s because the two compete directly with one another A critic could argue that Berkshire was trying to monopolize the fast-food market Buffett would like to avoid those speculations to protect his reputation Similarly, when Berkshire announced its acquisition of Burlington Northern Santa Fe in November 2009, he sold Berkshire s $900 million investment in Union Paci c (2 percent stake in the company) and the company s roughly $100 million investment in Norfolk Southern (1 percent stake in the company) Even if there is no impropriety of any sort, impressions matter, and, if so, why risk reputation at all by holding competitors shares Buffett probably also sold Disney shares for reasons of reputation Berkshire sold Disney stock in 1999 There are two potential explanations for this decision First, he did not seem to like the management at Disney at the time Until 1995, Buffett s longtime friend Tom Murphy was the chairman of the board and CEO of Capital Cities/ABC Inc However, Murphy retired when Disney acquired Capital Cities/ABC Berkshire received Disney stock in exchange for its holdings in Capital Cities/ABC Buffett has spoken highly of Murphy but has never been as complimentary of Disney s follow-up management Second, Disney s executive compensation had been subject to unfavorable publicity on at least two counts Michael Eisner, Disney s chairman of the board, exercised stock options at a pro t of about $565 million in 1993, following a pro t of $202 million in 1992 Even without the stock options, Eisner was among the highest-paid executives in the United States Furthermore, he had been granted an additional 10-year contract that would have kept him as chairman and chief executive of the company through 2006 The compensation issues were hotly debated in several Disney annual shareholders meetings Buffett does not believe in extremely high compensation Hence, it is likely that he was unhappy with the controversy surrounding Eisner s compensation package Another controversial issue had been the departure of the company president, Michael Ovitz, who received a $57 million severance package Overall, it is not a complete surprise that Buffett decided to sever his association with Disney
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