Friday File: Annual Review pt. 4 (Insurance, India, Candy and more)

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, February 1, 2019

I haven’t yet gotten to a few of my largest holdings in our Annual Review, so that’s where I’ll begin today — with the insurance conglomerates Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B), Markel (MKL), and Fairfax Financial (FFH.TO, FRFHF), as well as the somewhat related names Fairfax India (FIH-U.TO, FFXDF) and Boston Omaha (BOMN).

I should be clear about some bias up front: I’m very unlikely to ever sell Berkshire Hathaway or Markel shares. I consider these to be “hold forever” positions — it’s certainly possible that I’ll change my mind if these companies change in some substantial way in the future, but they are generally stocks that I grit my teeth and hold when they seem overvalued, and buy more of when they seem undervalued. Along with Fairfax, they are also stocks that are largely (though not as much for Berkshire anymore) driven by the performance of their insurance companies, and they carry that sector risk — which means I’m always mindful of not concentrating too much of my portfolio in these names. About 25% of my individual equity portfolio is in these three stocks right now, and that Real Money equity portfolio is about 40% of my total investment portfolio (the rest is in diversified funds) so that means a bit more than 10% of my family’s investments are in these three names… I’m very comfortable with that level. I