一个投资者的成长——读巴菲特的信(3)

2011-10-16 21:41阅读:

一个投资者的成长——读巴菲特的信(3)

Barrons

复利的威力

在投资中,巴菲特逐渐体会到了复利的威力。实际上,巴菲特最终成为首富就是靠长期高速的复利增长。关于复利的威力这一点,巴菲特在32岁的时候就非常清楚。

I have it from unreliable sources that the cost of the voyage Isabella originally underwrote for Columbus was approximately $30,000. This has been co
nsidered at least a moderately successful utilization of venture capital. Without attempting to evaluate the psychic income derived from finding a new hemisphere, it must be pointed out that even had squatter's rights prevailed, the whole deal was not exactly another IBM. Figured very roughly, the $30,000 invested at 4% compounded annually would have amounted to something like $2,000,000,000,000 (that's $2 trillion for those of you who are not government statisticians) by 1962. Historical apologists for the Indians of Manhattan may find refuge in similar calculations. Such fanciful geometric progressions illustrate the value of either living a long time, or compounding your money at a decent rate. I have nothing particularly helpful to say on the former point.

我从不太可靠的消息来源得知,当年西班牙女王伊萨贝拉资助哥伦布远航的成本大约是3万美金。这被认为至少是一个相当成功的运用风险资本的例子。不考虑发现一个新半球的精神上的收获,即使算上强占的土地的权利,这个投资也比不上IBM的例子。简单估算,3万美金投入4%复利增长,到了1962年将会是2万亿美元。同情曼哈顿岛的印第安人的人们也会找到类似的计算。这种奇异的几何级数增长揭示了两种事物的价值:长寿或者让你的金钱以相当好的速度复利增长。我对前一个事情没什么可讲的。

The following table indicates the compounded value of $100,000 at 5%, 10% and 15% for 10, 20 and 30 years. It is always startling to see how relatively small differences in rates add up to very significant sums over a period of years. That is why, even though we are shooting for more, we feel that a few percentage points advantage over the Dow is a very worthwhile achievement. It can mean a lot of dollars over adecade or two.

下面的表格显示的是10万美元以5%,10%和15%的速度复利增长10,20和30年。让人吃惊的是,相对较小的速度差别,经过多年的积累,逐渐变为巨大的数字差异。这就是为什么虽然我们的目标是更高的增长,但我们感觉,对于道指的几个点的优势是非常有价值的成就。假以时日,10年或20年,这意味着很多钱。

一个投资者的成长——读巴菲特的信(3)
(1962年给合伙人的信)

Since the whole subject of compounding has such a crass ring to it, I will attempt to introduce a little class into this discussion by turning to the art world. Francis I of France paid 4,000 ecus in 1540 for Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. On the off chance that a few of you have not kept track of the fluctuations of the ecu 4,000 converted out to about $20,000.

由于复利这个话题牵扯的范围很广,我就试着把这个讨论转向艺术世界,来引入一门小课程。1540年,法国的弗兰西斯一世花了4000克朗把达芬奇的蒙娜丽莎买下。你们可能没关注克朗的波动,这4000克朗相当于今天的2万美金。

If Francis had kept his feet on the ground and he (and his trustees) had been able to find a 6% after-tax investment, the estate now would be worth something over $1,000,000,000,000,000.00. That's $1 quadrillionor over 3,000 times the present national debt, all from 6%. I trust this will end all discussion in our household about any purchase of paintings qualifying as an investment.

如果弗兰西斯还活着,他(和他的受托人)当时能够找到一个税后6%的投资,这笔财产现在会价值超过1000万亿。这是目前国债的3000倍,都是从这6%而来。我相信这将结束所有家庭中关于购买画作算不算投资的讨论。

(1963年给合伙人的信)

基金无法战胜市场

巴菲特发现即使是领先的大基金也无法战胜市场指数。他认为这源于这些投资机构的机制。
The results continue to show that the most highly paid and respected investment advice has difficulty matching the performance of an unmanaged index of blue-chip stocks. This in no sense condemns these institutions or the investment advisers and trust departments whose methods, reasoning, and results largely parallel such investment companies. These media perform a substantial service to millions of investors in achieving adequate diversification, providing convenience and peace of mind, avoiding issues of inferior quality,etc. However, their services do not include (and in the great majority of cases, are not represented to include) the compounding of money at a rate greater than that achieved by the general market.

这些结果继续显示,那些获得最高额收入和最受尊敬的投资建议也很难比得上一个无人管理的蓝筹股指数的业绩。这并不是指责这些机构或投资顾问,以及与这些投资公司有着大体上类似的方法、推理,和结果的信托部门。这些机构给成百万的投资者起到了重要的服务作用,以获得足够的分散投资,提供便利,让人感到踏实,避免质量低下的问题等。但是,他们的服务不包括(在大部分情况下也不声称包括)以高于市场的速度复利增长金钱。

Our partnership's fundamental reason for existence is to compound funds at a better-than-average rate with less exposure to long-term loss of capital than the above investment media. We certainly can not represent that we will achieve this goal. We can and do say that if we don't achieve this goal over any reasonable period excluding an extensive speculative boom, we will cease operation.

我们的合伙基金存在的根本原因就是要以高于平均水平的速度复利增长基金,而且与上面所说的投资公司相比,我们要有更少的长期资本损失的风险。我们当然无法声称会达到这一目标。我们能说的而且是确实说的是,除了在长时间的投机性牛市中,如果我们在相当长的一段时期内,达不到这一目标,我们将停止运营。

(1963年上半年给合伙人的信)

The repetition of these tables has caused partners to ask: 'Why in the world does this happen to very intelligent managements working with (1) bright, energetic staff people, (2) virtually unlimited resources, (3) the most extensive business contacts, and (4)literally centuries of aggregate investment experience?' (The latter qualification brings to mind the fellow who applied for a job and stated he had twenty years of experience - which was corrected by the former employer to read “one year's experience -twenty times.”)

这些重复出现的表格让一些合伙人不禁问道:“这些聪明的投资经理究竟怎么了?他们有(1)聪明而精力充沛的手下(2)几乎无限的资源(3)最广泛的商业联系(4)加在一起几个世纪的投资经验。”(这最后一点让我想起一个家伙在求职时声称有20年的经验。后来前任雇主纠正说是“1年的经验,20次”。)

This question is of enormous importance, and you would expect it to be the subject of considerable study by investment managers and substantial investors. After all, each percentage point on $30 billion is $300 million per year. Curiously enough, there is practically nothing in the literature of Wall Street attacking this problem, and discussion of it is virtually absent at security analyst society meetings, conventions, seminars, etc. My opinion is that the first job of any investment management organization is to analyze its own techniques and results before pronouncing judgment on the managerial abilities and performance of the major corporate entities of the United States.

这个问题极其重要。你可能会认为投资经理和大投资者们对这个议题有着很多的研究。毕竟300亿美元的百分之一就是一年3亿美元。令人好奇的是,实际上在华尔街没有任何文章探讨这个问题。在证券分析师会议和讲座等活动中也几乎没有讨论。我的想法是,任何一个投资管理机构的首要任务都是分析自己的技术和结果,而不是判断整个美国的主要投资机构的管理能力和业绩。

In the great majority of cases the lack of performance exceeding or even matching an unmanaged index in no way reflects lack of either intellectual capacity or integrity. I think it is much more the product of: (1) group decisions - my perhaps jaundiced view is that it is close to impossible for outstanding investment management to come from a group of any size with all parties really participating in decisions; (2) a desire to conform to the policies and (to an extent) the portfolios of other large well-regarded organizations;(3) an institutional framework whereby average is 'safe' and the personal rewards for independent action are in no way commensurate with the general risk attached to such action; (4) an adherence to certain diversification practices which are irrational;and finally and importantly, (5) inertia.

在大多数情况下,投资机构缺乏超越无人管理的指数的业绩,甚至连与指数一致的业绩都少见。这绝不是由于缺少智慧或者诚信。我认为这主要是以下几个原因的结果:(1)集体决策-我的可能有些偏颇的看法是:如果所有成员都真正参与决策,出色的投资管理几乎不可能从任何大小的集体中产生。(2)希望与其它备受尊重的大型投资机构的投资政策保持一致,甚至在某种程度上与其投资组合保持一致。(3)机构的体制让平均成为“安全”。对个人的回报与激励无法补偿独立行动所带来的全面风险。(4)拘于某些不合理的分散投资做法。最后,也是最重要的是(5)惰性。

(1964年给合伙人的信)

关于保守的问题

那些著名的大型投资公司,号称保守,以传统的方式行事。但巴菲特认为真正的保守来自于事实和逻辑,而不是投资方式。

In looking at the table of investment company performance, the question might be asked: “Yes, but aren't those companies run more conservatively than the Partnership?' If you asked that question of the investment company managements, they, in absolute honesty, would say they were more conservative. If you asked the first hundred security analysts you met, I am sure that a very large majority of them also would answer for the investment companies. I would disagree. I have over 90% of my net worth in BPL, and most of my family have percentages in that area, but of course, that only demonstrates the sincerity of my view - not the validity of it.

阅读那些投资公司的业绩表格,有人可能会问:“确实,你的业绩更好。但是那些投资公司难道不比你的合伙基金运营的更保守吗?”如果你对那些投资公司的经理问这个问题,他们绝对会诚实的回答他们更保守。如果你问你所碰到的前100个分析师,我确信他们当中的很大一部分也都会认为那些投资公司更保守。但我不同意。我把我自己超过90%的净值放在巴菲特合伙基金中。我大部分的家庭成员也差不多把90%的净值投入了合伙基金。当然,这只表明了我看法的真诚度,而不是证明我的看法的正确性。

It is unquestionably true that the investment companies have their money more conventionally invested than we do. To many people conventionality is indistinguishable from conservatism. In my view, this represents erroneous thinking. Neither a conventional nor an unconventional approach, per se, is conservative.

的确,那些投资公司比我们投资的方式更加传统。对许多人来说传统与保守没有区别。但在我看来,这是错误的思维。无论是传统的还是非传统的方式,在本质上都不能说是保守的。

Truly conservative actions arise from intelligent hypotheses, correct facts and sound reasoning. These qualities may lead to conventional acts,but there have been many times when they have led to unorthodoxy. In some corner of the world they are probably still holding regular meetings of the Flat Earth Society.

真正保守的行为来自于聪明的假设,正确的事实和合理的推理。这些特点有可能导致传统的投资行为,但在很多时候也会指向非正统的方式。在世界的某个角落有些人可能仍然坚持曾经的“正统”理念,认为地球是平的,并定期开会。

We derive no comfort because important people, vocal people, or great numbers of people agree with us. Nor do we derive comfort if they don't. A public opinion poll is no substitute for thought. When we really sit back with a smile on our face is when we run into a situation we can understand, where the facts are ascertainable and clear, and the course of action obvious. In that case - whether conventional or unconventional – whether others agree or disagree - we feel - we are progressing in a conservative manner.

仅仅因为重要人物,评论家,或者非常多的人赞同我们,这并不能让我们感到安心。反之,如果他们都不同意我们的做法,也并不能让我们感到安心。民意测验无法替代思考。只有当我们能理解我们的形势,事实清晰确定,行动方案显而易见的时候,我们才能真正放松,面带笑容。这时候,无论传统与否,无论他人同意与否,我们都认为自己是以一种保守的方式取得进展。

(1964年给合伙人的信)

耐心与保密

投资需要耐心与保密。

(1)Our business is one requiring patience. It has little in common with a portfolio of high-flying glamour stocks and during periods of popularity for the latter, we may appear quite stodgy.

It is to our advantage to have securities do nothing price wise for months, or perhaps years, while we are buying them. This points up the need to measure our results over an adequate period of time. We suggest three years as a minimum.

我们的生意必须耐心。这与满是高高在上的热门股的投资组合不同。在这些热门股票流行的时期,我们会显得非常古板枯燥。

在我们购买股票的时候,这些股票的价格几个月,甚至几年不变,这对我们来说是个优势。这清楚的表明在衡量我们结果的时候,需要足够长的时间。我们建议三年是最短的时间。

(2)We cannot talk about our current investment operations. Such an open-mouth policy could never improveour results and in some situations could seriously hurt us. For this reason, should anyone, including partners, ask us whether we are interested in any security, we must plead the “5th Amendment.”

我们不能谈论我们目前的投资运营。这种公开张扬的政策永远也无法提高我们的结果,在某些时候还可能严重损害我们自己。由于这个原因,如果任何人,包括合伙人,问我们是否对某个股票感兴趣,我们必须援引“宪法第五修正案”,保持沉默。

(1963年给合伙人的信附录)