Tom Russo

Tom Russo

Last Update: 05-11-2017

Number of Stocks: 102
Number of New Stocks: 5

Total Value: $12,921 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 1%

Details: Top Buys | Top Sales | Top Holdings  Embed:

Tom Russo Watch

  • A Few Unorthodox Observations and Thoughts From Omaha

    Last week I made my annual pilgrimage to Omaha and had a ton of fun. The activity I enjoy the most is to talk to like-minded investors from all over the world and learn from them. I do have a bias toward talking to international investors as I’m really interested in what’s going on outside of the U.S. and how different cultural, geological and even language backgrounds influence the way value investing is practiced or the extent to which value investing is accepted.

    I did learn quite a bit from Warren Buffett (TradesPortfolio) and Charlie Munger (TradesPortfolio) during the annual meeting, but people have already posted their notes and thoughts and I don’t have much to add. Instead I’d like to share a few unorthodox observations from the Omaha trip that I hope you might find amusing.


  • Berkshire Hathaway Buyback Limit Crosses $140 Per Share

    Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B) reported first-quarter results after Friday’s close. While Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) covered the headline figures for a few minutes at the annual meeting, it’s always important (and interesting) to take a deep dive into the quarterly filing.

    With that, let’s begin.


  • Ruane Cunniff Sells Berkshire and Praxair, Exits Walmart

    Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc. was founded by William Ruane, and Ruane Cunniff (TradesPortfolio)'s current investment committee is directed by Richard Cunniff. He manages a portfolio composed of 92 stocks with a total value of $10.642 billion. During the fourth quarter the guru sold shares in the following stocks:

    The guru reduced its holding in Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class A (BRK.A) by 19.71% with an impact of -2.39% on the portfolio.


  • You Can Now Pre-Order 'Invest Like a Guru' on Amazon

    After 12 months of hard work, “Invest Like a Guru”, the book by GuruFocus founder Dr. Charlie Tian is set for release in April. You can now pre-order “Invest Like a Guru” on Amazon. Here is the link.

    The book has been endorsed by recognized value investor Tom Russo (Trades, Portfolio), Vitaliy N. Katsenelson, hedge fund manager Scott Fearon and Alpha Architect CEO Wesley Gray. These are their endorsements.


  • How to Steal Another Investor’s Style

    Someone emailed me this question:

    “Many investors seem to be characterized by a single distinctive style throughout their careers. How can we train to be good at all the following — great-businesses-at-fair-prices-type, special-situation-type, net-net-type — depending on the opportunities that the market presents at any point in time so that we can outperform the market most of the time?”


  • Yacktman Focused Fund Adds Unilever to Portfolio

    After selling out in the fourth quarter of 2015, the AMG Yacktman Focused Fund (Trades, Portfolio) established a new holding in Unilever NV (NYSE:UN) during the final quarter of 2016.

    Donald Yacktman (Trades, Portfolio) founded Yacktman Asset Management in 1992 where he served as a portfolio manager until stepping down into an advisory role in 2016. His son, Stephen Yacktman, now serves as chief investment officer, partner and portfolio manager. The fund seeks long-term capital appreciation through a disciplined, bottom-up investment strategy that combines features of both growth and value investing. When evaluating companies, the investment team looks for good businesses, shareholder-friendly management and a low purchase price.


  • Time to Plan for Your Annual Omaha Trip: 2017 GuruFocus Value Conference

    It is now time to plan for your annual Omaha trip to Berkshire Hathaway meeting in May. If you are going, make sure to join us at 2017 GuruFocus Value Conference.

    Register now before the seat runs out.


  • Tom Russo's Best Investments of the Year

    Tom Russo (Trades, Portfolio) oversees $3 billion as a general partner of the Semper Vic Partners and Semper Vic Partners (Q.P.) limited partnerships. He also oversees funds in discretionary, individually managed accounts for individuals, trusts and endowments. The following are the best performers of his investments this year.

    Martin Marietta Materials Inc. (NYSE:MLM) with a market cap of $14.55 billion has gained 69% year to date. The guru's stake represents 3.08% of his total assets.


  • The 8 Levels of Value Investing

    “Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Step by step you get ahead but not necessarily in fast spurts. But you build discipline by preparing for fast spurts. Slug it out one inch at a time, day by day. At the end of the day – if you live long enough – most people get what they deserve.” – Charlie Munger (Trades, Portfolio)


  • Anheuser-Busch, SABMiller Merger Approved by Shareholders

    Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) won the approval of shareholders for its takeover of SABMiller (LSE:SAB) on Wednesday.

    The $100 billion takeover was approved by an overwhelming majority of shareholders from both companies. The takeover is one of the largest corporate mergers in history and reinforces Anheuser-Busch’s position as a brewing powerhouse.


  • Tom Russo's 1st Quarter Semper Vic Partners Investor Letter

    Tom Russo will be a speaker at the 2017 GuruFocus Value Conference. Don't forget to get a ticket before they sell out



  • Tom Russo Comments on MasterCard

    MasterCard (NYSE:MA) shares have suffered during the first half of 2016 in part as a reaction against all the global disruption ongoing in financial markets and global political corridors. Terrorist bombings throughout Europe slow travel and slow cross-border transactions, the growth of which had over the past decades fueled growth in interconnect revenues. Decline in consumer confidence also pressures revenues and growth in gross dollar volumes billed.

    Finally, MasterCard and other domestic payment networks suffer from concern over the overturning of an agreed settlement with retailers over alleged anticompetitive pricing activities. The repeal of the settlement in the United States coupled with a judicial loss in the United Kingdom in a law suit alleging anticompetitive pricing has triggered concerns over regulatory and legal environment, now weighing on MasterCard’s share price.


  • Tom Russo's 2nd Quarter Semper Vic Partners Investor Letter

    Tom Russo will be a speaker at the 2017 GuruFocus Value Conference. Don't forget to get a ticket here



  • Ruane Cunniff Cuts Allergan, Berkshire, IBM

    Ruane Cunniff (Trades, Portfolio) is a value investor focused on the intrinsic value of business. It manages a portfolio composed of 118 stocks with a total value of $10.499 billion. During the second quarter the guru traded the following stocks.

    The investor reduced shares in Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class A (BRK.A) by 19.52% with an impact of -2.78% on the portfolio.


  • How to Fish in the Right Ponds

    It’s been widely quoted that in investing, just like in fishing, choosing the right pond to fish in can be more important than the skill and the equipment possessed by the fish man. If you are a skillful fish man with best in class equipment and you choose the right pond, you will have wonderful results. In investing, this is when skill, experiences and circle of competency meet the “strike zone.”

    In the past two years or so, I have noticed a pattern among a few outstanding investors. For instance, Tom Russo (Trades, Portfolio) has historically had an overwhelming overweight to consumer staples; Don Yacktman’s investments have been mainly in consumer staples and entertainment; Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) and Charlie Munger (Trades, Portfolio) have historically heavily invested in financials, just like Bruce Berkowitz. One of Vanguard’s most successful funds is the Vanguard Health Care Fund, which has crushed the S&P 500 in any given five-year and 10-year period.


  • Thomas Russo on Global Value Investing

    Tom Russo is a partner at Gardner Russo & Gardner LLC. According to, his company managed to beat the Standard & Poor's 500 index by 4.7 percentage points annually between 1984 and 2011.

    Last year, Russo gave a talk on his value investing philosophy at Google which I’ve posted below. This video was my first exposure to Russo, and I learned a lot. Russo was a student at Stanford University in 1982 when he attended a presentation given by Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio). He credits Buffett’s presentation for inspiring him to pursue a career in the investment industry.


  • Dealing With Foreign Currency

    Most value investors are bottom-up. Yes, our focus should be the fundamentals of the business, not the macro economic factors that are less predictable and less controllable. But how far up should we get? Should macro factors be totally ignored? If not, how much attention should we devote to macro factors such as foreign exchange rates?

    Somehow the answer came to me when I was reviewing an article I wrote earlier this year, which discussed how long is long-term. Of course it depends on your holding period; the longer it is the less important macro factors are.


  • Tom Russo's Global Stock Picks

    Tom Russo recently spoke with Bloomberg's radio show "Taking Stock." The guru manages about $10 billion. He likes family-controlled companies because families think long term and don't care as much for quarterly numbers, and also tend to be more conservatively financed. He also likes to invest in companies with high ROE numbers. On the show he touts four stocks, three of which are non U.S. companies.

    Nestlé SA (NSRGY)


  • Altria, Cigna, Philip Morris Are Outperforming the S&P 500

    The following are some of the stocks that outperformed the S&P 500 Index over the last 12 months and have been bought by gurus during the last quarter.

    Altria Group Inc. (MO) has a market cap of $120.66 billion, and during the last 12 months has outperformed the S&P 500 Index by 19.4%. Currently six gurus are holding the company that has returned 9% year-to-date and 146% during the last five years. It is now trading with a P/E ratio of 23 and according to the DCF calculator, it looks overpriced by 115%.


  • Tom Russo on Emerging Markets and Berkshire Share Buy Back

    Tom Russo (Trades, Portfolio), partner at Gardner Russo & Gardner, told Bloomberg yesterday that value investors will make money over time, and it will depend on the ability of the companies in which they've invested to reinvest the money over time. Russo has large positions in Richemont (XSWX:CFR), Pernod (XPAR:RI), Heineken (XAMS:HEIA), which have large exposure to emerging markets. But most of his companies have a long-term outlook and ability to withstand sudden downturns such as China, he said.

    Russo also said he maintains confidence in Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio)'s ability to deploy large amounts of capital but he likely lacks opportunity at the present time. He doubts Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B) will repurchase shares on their recent slump because Buffett would rather spend the money on buying businesses.


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