Warren Buffett is Back again to Beat the Market

2015 was a tough year for Warren Buffett. With their biggest bet American Express (AmEx) struggling in the credit card market and losing customers right and left, it is no surprise that last year took a chunk out of Bershire. However, this year, Buffett finds himself back on the rise and in the very frequent position of beating the market. Shares from both Class A and the more affordable Class B of Berkshire Hathaway have risen by nearly 11%, a far cry from competitor S&P 500’s 2% increase. By outperforming other companies in the market, Kraft Heinz, Coca-Cola and IBM are essential in offsetting the weakness found in the stocks of several bands Berkshire has invested in. AmEx continues to low perform, even though its sales have hiked up from the previous financial year.

However, despite the recent success both Buffett and VC Charlie Munger warn investors and shareholders of the importance of investing on the long run. Their live stream of the investor’s meeting will be watched by millions on Yahoo Finance with several other thousands attending the event in Omaha. Investors intend to investigate on rumours on what venture Berkshire may buy next and with Buffett shopping for new additions to the Berkshire name over the recent years, it seems they may not have to wait long.

The acquisition of Kraft Heinz, 3G and notably Precision Castparts have already added to Berkshire’s growing presence with other ventures including Tim Horton’s and Burger King which are both well-known restaurant chains. While there were certain claims and concerns in the way 3G and Kraft Heinz was run, Buffett adamantly stated that he was getting rid of unnecessary costs. Earlier this year, there were also talks of politics in which both Munger and Buffet refused to support Trump, stating his hypocritical nature made him unqualified for the White House.

There are also speculations as to who will chair Berkshire once Buffett is gone. With the man himself at 85, and Munger at 92, it doesn’t take a lot of convincing to see that there will be a new person at the helm pretty soon. In fact, Buffet has often dangled the carrot in fromt of reporters stating that he has made up his mind on who will be taking over. While some take this as a sign that investment managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler will not be the new heads, Munger has hinted in his writing that Buffett would ultimately prefer an executive with experience in running a company, namely two Berkshire lieutenants who runs Berkshire’s utilities, Greg Abel and Ajit Jain.

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Saudi Arabia Tries to Look For Life Beyond Oil

While presenting at the “Saudi Arabia’s vision for 2030,” Mohammed bin Salman, the deputy crown prince of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia finally revealed what life after all the oil had been leeched may look like. Saudi Arabia has made a name for itself as the most powerful of the countries in the Middle East and as the world’s highest oil exporter. On Monday, it unveiled what seemed like an ambitious plan to diversify into areas other than oil export and to become one of the biggest economies in the developed world, something that has been put on the back burner for a very long time.

In an interview with Al Arabiya Television, the deputy prince expressed his concern over the strange and dangerous addiction that everyone in the country had developed for their oil resources. He claimed that this has been the reason for the underdevelopment of many other sectors these past years. The plan is to create a demand for non-oil revenues in Saudi Arabia, boosting them to as much as $266 billion by the year 2030, which is a sixfold increase. He also aims to sell part of Aramco, the national oil company on the stock market and with those funds, create a public fund of the order $1.9 trillion for local and international investments.

With oil making up almost 87% of Saudi Arabia’s revenues, the kingdom has suffered since the price collapse in world crude oil since 2014. In order to try and keep its head above water, the kingdom has cut subsidies and borrowed billions from the World Bank in an attempt to balance its ledger. According to an estimate by the International Monetary Fund, the kingdom will need to sell it at a minimum of $86 or twice the current market price, as opposed to its current price of $10 a barrel, which is the cheapest in the world.

The 2030 vision aims to provide the private sector a grander role, thus boosting its share in the economy by 65%. A majority of Saudi nationals work in government sectors and earn 1.7% more than their non-native private sector counterparts. By providing more job opportunities in the private sectors, the kingdom will be able to decrease the rate of unemployment by at least 4%, as the government will not be able to keep up with the increased job demand by itself. Further cuts on subsidiaries, international scholarships and a planned increase in tourism are all on the agenda.

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