Berkshire Hathaway Phenomenon In the Context of Modern Finance Theory

2608 WordsOct 12, 201311 Pages
Berkshire Hathaway Phenomenon In the Context of Modern Finance Theory Septtember 2013 Berkshire Hathaway Phenomenon In the Context of Modern Finance Theory Introduction Over the 46 years ending December 2012, Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) has achieved a compound, after-tax, rate of return in excess of 20% p.a. Such consistent, long term, out performance might be viewed as incompatible with modern finance theory. This essay discusses the Berkshire Hathaway phenomenon in the context of modern finance theory. Part 1 Modern Portfolio Theory Berkshire Hathaway’s investing strategies mainly differ with modern portfolio theory on two aspects. The first one is the attitude towards the undesirable thing in…show more content…
Having compared the differences, it is still worth noting that Markowitz did not rule out fundamental analysis in portfolio selection process, as is said in his foregoing paper,(Markowitz, 1952)“the process of selecting a portfolio may be divided into two stages. The first stage starts with observation and experience and ends with beliefs about the future performances of available securities. The second stage starts with relevant beliefs about future performances and ends with the choice of portfolio. This paper is concerned with the second stage”. Part 2 Efficient Market Hypothesis The strong form of efficient market hypothesis states that all information, no matter public or private, instantaneously affects current stock price. Semi-strong form is only concerned with public information, while the weak form suggests that current stock price reflects information in the previous prices. In short, they simply imply that in the long run, no one should be able to beat the market in terms of investment return. As is said in Fama’s paper in 1970, (Eugene F, 1970)“the evidence in support of the efficient markets model is extensive, and (somewhat uniquely in economics) contradictory evidence is sparse”. However, Warren Buffet has always criticised efficient market hypothesis as much as he could. The major

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