Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

News Feed Item

Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Berkshire Hathaway, Market Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat Research ETF, iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average ETF and SPDR S&P Insurance ETF

CHICAGO, Nov. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights Features: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), Market Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat Research ETF, (NYSE: MOAT), iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average ETF (NYSE: IYT) and SPDR S&P Insurance ETF (KIE)

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

INVESTMENT IDEAS

Invest Like Warren Buffett with These ETFs

Warren Buffett is widely regarded as one of the greatest investors of all-time, and for good reason. The 'Oracle of Omaha' has built up the one time struggling textile manufacturer of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) into a global behemoth with investments in a variety of industries and sectors.

Buffett's incredible track record is best demonstrated by the rise of Berkshire Hathaway's stock price over the years; the security was trading around $340 in 1980 and is now well over $120,000/share today. Meanwhile, since mid-1990, an investment in BRK.A would have added about 1700% compared to an S&P 500 return of roughly 300% in the same time period (read Four ETFs up More Than 30% YTD).

Clearly, Warren Buffett has been able to perform quite well over a very long time period, further adding to his mystique and overall legend. This has led many investors to apply Buffett-like strategies to their own personal portfolios as well, hoping that the deep value strategies of Buffett would rub-off on their overall returns.

In order to tap into these techniques, investors can certainly buy up Berkshire Hathaway shares as a proxy for Buffett's methodology.  Yet one has to wonder if this is still the best strategy, given how large Berkshire has become. After all, it could be argued that Buffett, thanks to the size of his firm, can no longer apply his strategies as he once could when Berkshire was much more nimble.

Warren can now only make large bets in order to truly move the needle, a situation which has undoubtedly hurt the investor's impressive returns. In fact, a recent study suggested that in the 00's Buffett didn't add any alpha at all, a far cry from the nearly 19% alpha that he generated for Berkshire in 1956-1968 and the 'golden age' of Buffett's performance in the 1977-1981 period in which he added nearly 30% a year in excess gains (see Inside The Two ETFs Up More Than 140% YTD).

Given this trend, investors may be looking for another way to apply Buffett-like strategies to their portfolios without the clear issues that Berkshire is facing. Warren is no spring chicken at this point anyway, so why take on that added risk of his retirement (or worse) when it is very easy to apply his ideas to the broader stock market without Berkshire's help.

One easy way to do this could be by using a number of specialized ETFs in order to tap into the heart of Buffett's philosophy. These funds offer up Buffett-like exposure but at a fraction of the risk and overall cost as Berkshire, and furthermore, without the overhang of Warren's succession plans as well.

With this backdrop, any of the following three ETFs could make for excellent ways to invest like Buffett from a sector perspective. The Oracle has definitely developed a few favorite industries over the past few decades and we believe that the funds highlighted below offer excellent targeted exposure to some of Warren's favorite segments making them great ways for ETF investors to invest like Warren Buffett:

Wide Moat Investing

Arguably Buffett's most famous investing strategy is to go after so-called 'wide moat' businesses. This type of investing consists of targeting firms that have easily defendable positions thanks to their inherent businesses, strategies, or other market factors (see Time to Consider Wide Moat ETFs).

These companies generally have a huge advantage on one of the following five factors; intangible assets/brands, switching costs, network effects, cost advantages, or efficient scale. Any of these factors, or even a combination of them, generally can provide companies with a barrier against others, just like a moat.

Warren has definitely utilized this in his investing strategy over the years, targeting extremely wide moat companies for not only outright purchase, but investment as well.

In order to target a basket of wide moat firms, investors have a few choices at their disposal although the Market Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat Research ETF (MOAT) is arguably the best choice. 

This relatively new ETF tracks the Morningstar Wide Moat Focus Index which is a benchmark of 20 companies that have sustainable competitive advantages. Furthermore, the index only looks at the most attractively priced ones, ensuring a focus on deep value securities (read The Wide Moat ETF Explained).

Currently, the basket consists of a number of firms in the tech, materials, industrials, and financials sectors, with firms that have an advantage on the cost front comprising much of the portfolio. MOAT also zeroes in on large caps for the most part—suggesting a low level of volatility—although mid caps also make up roughly one-fourth of the assets as well.

Volume and AUM are still pretty light for this product, as it is still less than a year old. Still, the product charges a reasonable 49 basis points a year in fees and it has handily outperformed the S&P 500 since its inception, suggesting that there may be something to the strategy in ETF form.

Transportation Stocks

Another wide moat business is that of the transportation sector. Competition is oligopolistic as barriers to entry are extremely high, both in the general delivery business and especially in the railroad sector.

After all, the building, buying, and maintenance of a massive railroad empire isn't something that anyone can start in a short period of time. It is a very capital intensive endeavor, especially if one is looking to build one that can traverse across vast distances of the American landscape.

Probably due to this, the railroad industry has always intrigued Buffett as he was a major investor of Burlington Northern Santa Fe for quite some time, and he had a modest holding in Union Pacific as well. Then, Warren went 'all in on the American economy' buying up the rest of BNSF in a $44 billion dollar deal that cemented Buffett's love of the train industry.

While there isn't a pure railroad ETF at this point in time, investors still have a popular transport ETF in the form of the iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average ETF (IYT).

This ETF unsurprisingly tracks the Dow Jones Transportation Average, which is a broad benchmark of transport stocks based in the U.S. This includes all types of transportation stocks, including passenger, industrial, and general transportation service firms (see Is It Time to Buy the Transportation ETFs?).

Currently, the ETF consists of just 21 holdings overall with the biggest chunk going to railroads at roughly 31% of assets. Additionally it should be noted that railroads account for three of the top five holdings, including Buffett's own UNP at the top with 13% of assets.

The ETF isn't much of a yield destination, however, as it has a payout below 1.3%, although its beta is below one, suggesting that it is a lower volatility choice. Additionally, the product is reasonable from a fee perspective at 47 basis points a year; while volume and assets are relatively high, suggesting extremely tight bid ask spreads for this popular fund.

Insurance Industry

Another long-time favorite of the Oracle is the insurance industry, the segment that arguably gave Warren his real start in the investing world. That is because Warren is attracted to the 'float' that these companies have or the investable assets that firms have before they have to pay out claims on various insurance policies.

If these assets can be invested effectively, and if they can be easily paid out when claims eventually rise, they can be a huge asset for an insurance company that can greatly expand margins over the long term. Furthermore, Warren argues that these insurance premiums have a near-zero cost of capital that allows Warren to make acquisitions and various other investments, virtually interest-free (see Three Overlooked High Yield ETFs).

These companies currently form the backbone of Berkshire, providing the company with billions in float. Some of the more famous names in the Berkshire portfolio include GEICO and General RE, giving the firm exposure to both general insurance activities and reinsurance as well, both of which provide incredible amounts of cash premiums.

Obviously, this can be easily replicated by any other insurance company, suggesting that a broad look at the space, in order to diversify away risk if there is a catastrophe, could be the way to go. In order to do this, investors have a few insurance ETFs including the popular SPDR S&P Insurance ETF (KIE).

This ETF tracks the S&P Insurance Select Industry Index, which is a modified equal-weight benchmark. It includes companies in the American insurance industry including personal and commercial lines, property/casualty insurance, life insurance, reinsurance, insurance brokerage and financial guarantee.

With its equal weight methodology, the fund does a great job of spreading assets around its roughly 46 components, putting no more than 2.7% in any one security. Still, the product is somewhat concentrated in property and casualty insurance firms as these companies account for just under 40% of the fund (read Protect Your Portfolio with These Insurance ETFs).

The fund has a mediocre yield of just 1.7% though, but the P/E is under ten and the P/B is below 0.9. Investors should also note that the product charges a reasonable 35 basis points a year in fees, while its  AUM and volume—assets above $110 million—suggest a pretty low bid ask spread.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978. The company continually processes stock reports issued by analysts from numerous brokerage firms.  It monitors more than 200,000 earnings estimates, looking for changes. Then when changes are discovered, they're applied to help assign more than 4,400 stocks into five Zacks Rank categories:  #1 Strong Buy, #2 Buy, #3 Hold, #4 Sell, and #5 Strong Sell. This proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin.  The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter Profit from the Pros.  In short, it's your steady flow of profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time.  Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros.

Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/ZacksResearch

Join us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ZacksInvestmentResearch

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
[email protected]
http://www.zacks.com

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
@ThingsExpo has been named the ‘Top WebRTC Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @ThingsExpo ranked as the number one ‘WebRTC Influencer' followed by @DevOpsSummit at 55th.
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
"What is the next step in the evolution of IoT systems? The answer is data, information, which is a radical shift from assets, from things to input for decision making," stated Michael Minkevich, VP of Technology Services at Luxoft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions with...
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, discussed the best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...