A Record 1,645 Billionaires Made the 2014 List of the World’s Richest People with an Aggregate Net Worth of $6.4 Trillion, Up from $5.4 Trillion Last Year
Bill Gates Topped the List With the #1 Spot; Gates Has Been #1 for 15 of the last 20 Years
Bill Gates (#1) was back on top as the world’s richest person on Forbes’ 28th annual ranking of the world’s billionaires after a four-year hiatus; Gates has topped the list for 15 of the last 20 years. With a net worth of $76 billion, up from $67 billion in 2013, the technology guru moved up on the list by one slot this year. Gates beat out telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu (#2), who had maintained the #1 spot for the past four consecutive years but lost $1 billion of his net worth, now valued at $72 billion. Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega (best known for the Zara fashion chain) maintained his #3 spot from 2013, but increased his net worth $7 billion for a total of $64 billion, ahead of Warren Buffett (#4)with a net worth of $58.2 billion. American gambling tycoon Sheldon Adelson (#8), increased his net worth by $11.5 billion, and made it back into the top ten for the first time since 2007. >> Read More
21 February 2014 - 5:39 am
Berkshire Hathaway will no longer let high frequency trading firms license content from the news wire company it owns, Business Wire.
Cathy Baron Tamraz, Chairwoman and CEO of Business Wire announced that the firm came to the decision in conjunction with Berkshire Hathaway after a Wall Street Journal article cited Business Wire as one of the news sources high frequency traders can pay to get information seconds ahead of other investors.
The traders are getting news releases from Business Wire, which distributes corporate-earnings releases and economic reports such as the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s monthly manufacturing survey, and from Marketwired, a Toronto company that distributes earnings releases and the ADP monthly employment report.
The article, written by Scott Patterson, went on to say that while these practices aren’t illegal, they do give high speed traders an unfair edge. >> Read More
23 December 2013 - 13:26 pm
Fitch Ratings has downgraded South Korea-based steel producer POSCO’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and senior unsecured rating to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB+’. The Outlook for the ratings is Stable. The agency has also downgraded POSCO’s Short-Term IDR to ‘F3′ from ‘F2′.
The downgrade reflects POSCO’s deteriorating credit metrics caused by elevated levels of debt and moderate profitability, and the expectation of significant investments in coming years. Fitch expects the company’s FFO net leverage to exceed 3.5x in 2013 and 2014, above the agency’s previous threshold of 3.5x where negative rating action would have been considered. The Stable Outlook reflects Fitch’s expectation that POSCO’s earnings will slowly recover after bottoming out.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
Moderate Profitability to Continue: Fitch does not expect to see significant improvements in POSCO’s core steel margins as the steel industry continues to face severe over-capacity and a slow recovery in global demand. Fitch expects POSCO’s margins for its non-steelmaking businesses (such as engineering and construction) to remain at healthy levels as they benefit from the company’s expansion in steel manufacturing. >> Read More
18 December 2013 - 18:20 pm
American business magnate Warren Buffett made a fortunes of about USD 37 million per day in 2013, according to Wealth-X, making him the billionaire who made the most money this year.
With a gain of USD 12.7 billion in 2013, Buffett’s net worth at the end of the year stands at USD 59.1 billion. The notable philanthropist had a fortune of USD 46.4 billion at the beginning of the year.
However, Buffett is not the wealthiest billionaire on the top 10 list prepared by Wealth-X.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates added USD 11.5 billion to his personal fortune in 2013, ending the year with assets totalling USD 72.6 billion. Gates is also the richest person on the list. >> Read More
13 December 2013 - 19:46 pm
During a recent interview Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger had some interesting comments on how to outsmart people who are smarter than you.
Munger: We’ve learned how to outsmart people who are clearly smarter [than we are.]
Buffett: Temperament is more important than IQ. You need reasonable intelligence, but you absolutely have to have the right temperament. Otherwise, something will snap you.
Munger: The other big secret is that we’re good at lifelong learning. Warren is better in his 70s and 80s, in many ways, than he was when he was younger. If you keep learning all the time, you have a wonderful advantage.
Buffett: And we have a wonderful group of friends, from whom we can learn a lot.
11 November 2013 - 10:45 am
Finance even has its own high priests in the form of the analysts and fund managers who promise their clients heavenly rewards if only they listen to their advice. They preach regular sermons in the form of brokers’ notes and quarterly reports, and they house themselves in vast cathedral-like buildings that dominate the skyline. Each day also has its canonical hours as traders pray for profitable opportunities at the European, American and Asian market openings. Finance has its annual calendar, too, marked with festivals known as results seasons in which the lucky participants receive their temporal (rather than spiritual) dividends.
And like any self-respecting religion, finance has its doctrinal schisms as well. Active fund managers are a bit like the medieval Catholic church, offering eternal salvation to those willing to pay the appropriate sum, which are known in modern parlance as performance fees rather than indulgences. The active-investment sect has its elaborate rituals and language, with a liturgy (“information ratios” and “alpha generation”) as baffling to the layman as the Latin mass was to the medieval peasant. Clients are supposed to listen to their presentations in a reverential hush, trusting that all the mumbo-jumbo will deliver superior results. The passive fund managers, or index-trackers, are akin to early Lutherans. Investors have no need for priestly intermediaries between them and the market, say the index-trackers. All they require is the full text of those companies that are included in the benchmark. >> Read More
31 October 2013 - 12:00 pm
The fortunes of two of East Asia’s largest steelmakers are diverging, with Japan’s Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. lifting its earnings sharply, while its South Korean rival Posco struggles.
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal on Wednesday reported a big jump in consolidated earnings in the April to September period, after the company was created through the merger of Nippon Steel Corp. and Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. last October.
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, now Asia’s largest steelmaker by crude steel production, also raised its full-year pretax profit forecast for fiscal 2013.
In contrast, Posco, seen by its Japanese rival as a benchmark, with a production system seen by many as the world’s most efficient, faces to battle falling profits.
Industry watchers are puzzling over the sudden reversal. Posco logged an operating profit of 633 billion won (58 billion yen) in the July-September period, down 38% from a year earlier. >> Read More
30 October 2013 - 10:55 am
Today’s Smart Investor tip comes from billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who outlined the biggest mistakes amateur investors make for Adam Shell at USA Today.
The Oracle of Omaha warns investors against an incredibly common mistake: You shouldn’t try to time the market. He says it’s a mistake to predict or listen to others who predict the short-term movement of stocks. By the same token, he says you shouldn’t try to flip stocks like high-frequency traders do.
Instead, Buffett says the best thing the average investor can do is buy an index fund over time. That’s it. From USA Today: >> Read More