Sep 182019

Tracy Britt Cool, one of Warren Buffett ’s key lieutenants in recent years, is leaving Berkshire Hathaway to create a mini Berkshire of her own, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Ms. Britt Cool joined Berkshire in 2009 at age 25 as Mr. Buffett’s financial assistant, a job he created for her. In 2014, she became chief executive of Pampered Chef, a cookware company owned by Berkshire.

Now 35, Ms. Britt Cool wants to build an investment vehicle that acquires companies for the long term, like Berkshire does.

Ms. Britt Cool, who is based in Chicago, plans to leave Pampered Chef at the end of March. She will also resign from the board of Kraft Heinz in the first quarter of 2020, she said.

In her decade at Berkshire, Ms. Britt Cool specialized in helping Berkshire companies that were struggling. At various points, she served as chairman of Benjamin Moore & Co., Larson-Juhl, Johns Manville and Oriental Trading Co., meaning that those companies’ CEOs reported directly to her. She took over Pampered Chef when its sales and earnings were falling.

“She was the fireman,” Mr. Buffett said in an interview. “Anything I’ve assigned her she’s done a first-class job on.”

In the second quarter of 2019, Pampered Chef’s sales rose 19% and its pretax earnings rose 52% from the prior year, Mr. Buffett said.

 Posted by at 5:23 pm
Sep 122019

I am quoted in this Kiplinger’s Personal Finance article:


Bank of America

Getty Images

MARKET VALUE: $266.5 billion


We’ve heard a lot lately about the inverted yield curve, where short-term interest rates are above long-term interest rates. This can hurt traditional banking companies, which rely on borrowing money at lower rates to lend out to businesses and individuals at higher rates.

However, the likelier it seems that the Federal Reserve will lower short-term rates in the near-term, the likelier that curve may return to its normal configuration. That’s good news for out-of-favor banks.

David Kass, clinical professor of finance at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, recommends Bank of America (BAC, $28.63) to investors seeking out cheap stocks to buy. Its forward-looking P/E of around 9 is its lowest in years, and half the S&P 500 average.


BofA has improved its earnings per share steadily every year since 2014. Earnings per share (EPS) have increased steadily every year since 2014, and in fact roughly doubled from $1.31 per share in 2015 to $2.61 last year. Analysts expect EPS to improve by high single digits in each of the next two years.

Bank of America also gets a vote of confidence from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B). BofA is Berkshire’s second-largest holding, with a 927 million-share stake worth roughly $27 billion.

 Posted by at 6:46 am