Tuesday, January 8, 2019
A Look at Climate Change Disclosures

Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Quants: Point-in-Time Data for Backtesting

Friday, December 28, 2018
Now Showing: Controls & Procedures

Thursday, December 27, 2018
A Reminder on Non-GAAP Reporting Rules

Monday, December 17, 2018
Researching PG&E’s Wildfire Risk

Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Tracking Brexit Disclosures

Thursday, December 6, 2018
Campbell Soup: Looking Behind the Label

Sunday, December 2, 2018
SEC Comment Letters: The Amazon Example

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Measuring Big Pharma’s Chemical Dependency

Monday, November 26, 2018
Analysts, Can You Relate? A True Story

Monday, November 19, 2018
Digging Up Historical Trend Data: Quest Example

Sunday, November 11, 2018
Cost of Revenue, SG&A: Q3 Update

Monday, November 5, 2018
Lease Accounting: FedEx vs. UPS

Saturday, November 3, 2018
New Email Alerting Powers

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
PTC and Two Tales of Revenue

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
10-K/Q Section Text Change Detection

Sunday, October 28, 2018
Finding Purchase Price Allocation

Sunday, October 21, 2018
Charting Netflix Growth in Three Ways

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Interesting Data on Interest Income

Thursday, October 11, 2018
The Decline of Sears in Three Charts

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Obviously, the headline is a joke. I don’t know if anyone keeps track of how many silly “Invest Like Warren Buffet” articles come out every day, but i bet this one isn’t even in the first 100.

However, he knows how to invest. And while home over Christmas I couldn’t help but notice a dusty 1951 vintage copy of Graham and Dodd’s “Security Analysis” on an old out of the way shelf.


Plain green cover and generic title aside, these two Columbia biz school profs are credited by Buffet himself as the reason he attended Columbia (besides the fact he was rejected by Harvard). So what wisdom can this book contain for us in the year 2015? Let’s take a look:


First impression? Apparently railroads were a lot more important in 1951 than they are now, due to the large portion of the book dedicated to them. But, hey, railroads have been in the news lately due to low oil prices, so let’s read on.


What’s interesting is the 8.5% net income margin shown here on our FY 1949 income statement for Chicago, Burlington & Quincy is good, but still less than half of the eye popping 20% margin delivered (no pun intended) by Union Pacific (UNP) just last year. In fact, looking at the 9 railroads we have data for, seven had net income margins in the double digits in 2013:


What’s the take away? Well, Warren Buffet bought Burlington Northern Santa Fe in 2010. Apparently he has kept this book close all these years. Maybe we should too?

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