The Media Doesn’t Want To Cover What Buffett Has To Say About This…
As an older millennial, I’ve been told more than once that I was born in the wrong generation.
I don’t know if that’s true. But I will admit that I’d rather use my Spotify account to blast Merle Haggard while driving down the highway than listen to anything in the Top 40 today.
When I listen to songs like “Big City,” “Are the Good Times Really Over,” “Fightin’ Side of Me,” “Okie From Muskogee,” and “Rainbow Stew”… I can’t help but wonder what old Merle would think about things today.
Are the good times really over? Well, if you listen to the song closely, then you know that by the end of the song the answer is “no” – but not until we start doing some things differently. And one of those things we need to do, particularly as investors, is appreciate the incredible wealth and prosperity this country has to offer.
It’s never been a better time to be an investor. The playing field has been leveled like never before. We have the chance to invest in “the next big thing” that could change the world (and our bank account) – and all it takes is a little bit of money and a few clicks of a mouse.
Sure, there are some things we need to do better. But to paraphrase the Hag, before you start runnin’ down the country, take a look around at what we have.
I was reminded of this when my colleague Jimmy Butts talked about an aspect of Warren Buffett’s shareholder letters that the media routinely fails to cover. You see, if Merle Haggard was still alive today, he and Buffett probably wouldn’t agree on much politically. But they would agree on this…
I’m going to hand things over to Jimmy for the rest of today’s issue, because I think every one of our readers deserves to see what he (and Buffett) has to say…
– Brad Briggs
Anyone interested in the markets knows that Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder letter is mandatory reading. These annual letters are always chock-full of wisdom, humor, humility, and golden nuggets of investment advice.
The latest shareholder letter really struck a chord with me. It seems that the Oracle of Omaha — Warren Buffett — knows exactly what needs to be said and when.
But not surprisingly, my favorite part of this year’s letter wasn’t touched on in any of the mainstream media.
Longtime Buffett fans know that he has a strong belief in America and America’s ingenuity. And when we needed to hear it the most, he reminded us all just how great of a country we live in.
You see, in today’s society, social media, and mainstream media, it seems that too many people take America — and the freedoms we enjoy — for granted. Sure, this country isn’t perfect, and there is plenty of room for improvement. But it’s hard to argue that there’s a better place than the United States that will allow you to become successful.
Unfortunately, that tone about America doesn’t really seem to resonate these days. Instead, it seems that it’s more popular — and garner more “clicks” — to bash our country. If you’re too patriotic, you’re automatically funneled into some political group and labeled an “extremist.”
In fact, I read somewhere that one brewery owner actually took down his American flag because of the stigma that it conjured, not wanting to lose potential customers over it.
The mainstream media also doesn’t want to cover the great things about America, including the two and a half pages that Buffett dedicated to this very topic.
Never Bet Against America
“Today, many people forge similar miracles throughout the world, creating a spread of prosperity that benefits all of humanity. In its brief 232 years of existence, however, there has been no incubator for unleashing human potential like America. Despite some severe interruptions, our country’s economic progress has been breathtaking.” — Warren Buffett
In the letter, Buffett recounted several success stories.
Since our country’s birth, “individuals with an idea, ambition and often just a pittance of capital have succeeded beyond their dreams by creating something new or by improving the customer’s experience with something old.”
Then he launched into the story about Mary See who set out to deliver an age-old product that she had reinvented with special recipes. After 100 years, her candy company, See’s Candy — owned by Berkshire Hathaway — continues to grow and remain a dominant force in the candy space.
Then there’s “Big Jim” Haslam who started what became Pilot Travel Centers in 1958 by purchasing a service station for $6,000.
Then there’s my personal favorite…
Rose Blumkin, who arrived in Seattle in 1915 as a Russian emigrant, unable to read or speak English. She eventually settled in Omaha, Nebraska. And after squirreling away $2,500 she decided to start a furniture store.
It was by no means an overnight success. Roughly 10 years into her endeavor the company’s net worth had grown to a meager $72,000. The cash she had both in the till and on deposit, was just $50. But she persevered, along with her son who had just come back from World War II. And by 1983, they’d built it into a $60 million company. That very same year, Berkshire purchased 80% of the company — Nebraska Furniture Mart.
Today, Nebraska Furniture owns the three largest home-furnishings stores in the United States, and each set a sales record in 2020.
My favorite part of the story… when Mrs. Blumkin’s large family gathered around for holiday meals, she would ask that they sing a song before eating. Her selection never varied: Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America.”
Buffett finished up this section of his letter with this statement: “Our unwavering conclusion: Never bet against America.“
There’s Never Been A Better Time To Be An Investor
Not every human on this planet is so fortunate to have such a wealth-building machine at their fingertips as we do.
Not only can we start or buy a business with relative ease in America, but we can enjoy the fruits and labor of other people’s success via the stock market. Many of us might take for granted that we can hop online, open a brokerage account with as little as $50 and begin investing alongside some of the greatest entrepreneurs on the planet.
There are millions of folks who don’t have access to this wealth-building marketplace.
Granted, investing in the stock market isn’t a sure thing. We will have ups and downs. Some investments will make us money while some will lose us money. Too many people want overnight success and become frustrated when they don’t hit a home run on their first pitch.
But think about some of our staple investments in the Top Stock Advisor portfolio…
We’re up more than 2oo% on Visa (NYSE: V). Our investment in the company that facilitates derivatives trading on Wall Street is up close to 250%. We’ve doubled our money on the “no-brainer” Google parent, Alphabet (Nasdaq: GOOGL), in just two years.
We decided to take advantage of the booming housing market with a first-class homebuilder watched our investment climb more than 75% in just over a year. We’re up 115% with a “boring” insurance stock in less than 10 months.
And remember, we didn’t show up to work at any of these American companies. We didn’t have to log into a Zoom meeting or commute anywhere. We haven’t done anything. We simply made a few clicks on our computer screen and taken part in their success.
It’s truly remarkable.
So, while there’s a choir of people who want to harp on America’s shortcomings, I’d rather heed the advice of a 90-year-old mogul whose mantra is “never bet against America.”
Editor’s Note: Are you one of the millions of Americans that have noticed some “strange” lights shooting across the sky?
Do you have any idea what they are? They’re NOT military drones… stars… or UFOs. They’re the next frontier in big tech and it could hand early investors the gains of a lifetime…
Jimmy Butts and his team have been researching this phenomenon closely for months… Their findings are nothing short of “shocking” — and they’re saying now is the time to strike.