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Investment Blogger IB
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Pension funds withdraw proposal after Disney updates Corporate Governance Guidelines clarifying its Chairman-CEO role and Independent Lead director.  However, they also threaten to re-file the proposal if Disney doesn't continue to show "transparency".  CalSTRS though still had concerns about CEO pay.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/19/disney-shareholders-idUSL2N0MF1Q920140319
 
Does the Proxy Access Proposal supported by a large number of public pension funds & trusts who own #Disney shares $DIS really enhance shareholder accountability?  Or just accountability to the interests of pension funds & trusts?  Vote carefully!  Sounds like conflicts of interest. I voted AGAINST it!
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Does the Proxy Access Proposal supported by a large number of public pension funds & trusts who own #Disney shares $DIS really enhance shareholder accountability?  Or just accountability to the interests of pension funds & trusts?  Vote carefully!  Sounds like conflicts of interest. I voted AGAINST it!
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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway stock holdings for Q4 2013 was filed on 2/14/2014. Lots of buying activity during the fourth quarter of 2013, with a new holding in $GS, $LBTYA. Increases were made to $DVA, $XOM, $GE, $USB, $USG, $WMT.  Stakes in $COP, $LMCA, $MCO, $STRZA, $SU were reduced. $GSK, $DISH, were eliminated. The filing is for the quarter ended of 12/31/2013.
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Have been away from writing on my blog lately, but decided to pick up from the Investment Myths series with a short post on one of the biggest myths!  Enjoy!
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An update on investment strategies and opportunities, based on my investment & market outlook. General investment strategies to employ, investment opportunities in the current market environment, areas of risk, and investments to avoid.
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Have him in circles
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Dierdre Bolton will make her FBN debut on March 31, 2014, in a new and unique show “Risk and Reward with Deirdre Bolton” weekdays at 1PM/ET. What’s interesting about the show is that it revolves around alternative assets! Having invested in alternative assets over the course of my investing career, I can say that they can definitely help investors expand returns.  This show could be a great resource for investors! 
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Its clear that #Markel #MKL is in the beginning stages of new long term growth due to the acquisition of Alterra as well as several other smaller acquisitions.

Price/Book:
Today's price of $570 gives a new P/B of ~1.19. However, with the broader market being quite fairly valued, there may be better pricing opportunities in the short-medium term.  Regardless of market movements, the important thing is that the price you pay is at a discount to its intrinsic value.  Today Markel is still trading well below that.  


Disclosure:
I hold shares of MKL and added to my position within the last 10 days, and I am still planning to add to it going forward, the timing of which depends on pricing and other opportunities.

#Stocks #investing
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Investment Blogger IB

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Highlights of #Markel's $MKL Q4 2013 Earnings released on Feb-10-2014:

Book value per common share outstanding increased 18% to $477.16 at December 31, 2013 from $403.85 at December 31, 2012. 

Over the five-year period ended December 31, 2013, compound annual growth in book value per common share outstanding was 17%.

Operating revenues increased 44% to $4.3 billion

Recently completed the acquisition of Abbey Protection plc in January 2014.

Net income to shareholders increased by 11%.  Diluted net income per share decreased 13% to $22.48/s.   The increase in net income to shareholders during 2013 was driven by more favorable underwriting results and higher investment income, partially offset by higher income tax expense compared to 2012. The decrease in diluted net income per share during 2013 was due to the increase in weighted average diluted shares outstanding, which is attributable to shares issued in connection with the acquisition of Alterra.

The consolidated combined ratio was 97% in both 2013 and 2012. In 2013, a lower current accident year loss ratio and lower expense ratio were offset by a less favorable prior accident years' loss ratio compared to 2012.

Earned premiums for 2013 increased 51% compared to 2012. The increase was primarily attributable to the inclusion of premiums earned by the Alterra segment and higher earned premiums in the Specialty Admitted and Excess and Surplus Lines segments.

Net investment income for 2013 was $317.4 million compared to $282.1 million in 2012.  Net investment income in 2013 included $74.3 million of net investment income attributable to the Alterra investment portfolio

Net realized investment gains for 2013 were $63.2 million compared to $31.6 million in 2012.  

Net cash provided by operating activities was $745.5 million in 2013 compared to $392.5 million in 2012. The increase in net cash provided by operating activities was due to higher cash flows from underwriting and investing activities, primarily as a result of the acquisition of Alterra. The increase in cash flows from underwriting activities was also driven by higher premium volume, primarily in our Specialty Admitted and Excess and Surplus Lines segments.
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Were you surprised by Bernanke's testimony and the market's reaction today? Do you understand the implications and what it means for stocks & bonds? Got questions, want answers?
Get some insight, read my Investment Update & Outlook!!
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Creator of The Function-Centric Investing Paradigm
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I'm a private investor who blogs from time to time, not a blogger invests from time to time.  I like to share my investment knowledge & experiences and bring perspective & strategy to other investors.  I am the creator of the Function-Centric Investment paradigm.
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Foresaw and took advantage of the real estate & financial crisis.
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Warren Buffett: Why stocks beat gold and bonds - The Term Sheet: Fort...
finance.fortune.cnn.com

In an adaptation from his upcoming shareholder letter, the Oracle of Omaha explains why equities almost always beat the alternatives over ti