一个投资者的成长——读巴菲特的信(4)

2011-10-16 21:53阅读:

一个投资者的成长——读巴菲特的信(4)

Barrons

投资的本质

投资的本质是什么?是与自身人性的博弈。只有时时刻刻记住投资的终极目标“最快的长期复利增长”,时时刻刻保持从零开始的态度,不断学习,不断修正自己,才有可能达到目标。

Buying activities during the first half were quite satisfactory. This is of particular satisfaction to me since I consider the buying end to be about
90% of this business.

在上半年我们的买入活动相当令人满意。这对我来说尤其感到满足,因为我认为投资这门生意大约90%在于买入。

(1964年上半年给合伙人的信)

More investment sins are probably committed by otherwise quite intelligent people because of 'taxconsiderations' than from any other cause. One of my friends - a noted West Coast philosopher maintains that a majority of life's errors are caused by forgetting what one is really trying to do.


更多的由于“税务考虑”,很多其实非常聪明的人犯了太多的投资罪过我的一个朋友—一个著名的西海岸哲学家认为人一生所犯的大部分错都是由于忘记了自己真正想要做什么。
  
(1964年给合伙人的信)  

It is obvious that the performance of a stock last year or last month is no reason, per se, to either own it or to not own it now. It is obvious that an inability to 'get even' in a security that has declined is of no importance. It is obvious that the inner warm glow that results from having held a winner last year is of no importance in making a decision as to whether it belongs in an optimum portfolio this year.

显然,一个股票去年或者上个月的业绩,本质上并不是现在拥有或者不拥有这只股票的原因。同样,不能在一只已经下跌的股票上“翻本”也并不重要。当然,拥有一支去年的赢家股票会让自己的内心感到喜悦,但这在决定这只股票是否属于今年的最优组合时毫不重要。

(1964年给合伙人的信)

I don’t mention this because I am proud of such performance – on the contrary, I would prefer it if we had achieved our gain in the hypothesized manner. Rather, I mention it for two reasons: (1) you are always entitled to know when I am wrong as well as right; and,(2) it demonstrates that although we deal with probabilities and expectations, the actual results can deviate substantially from such expectations, particularly on a short-term basis.


(虽然业绩很好,但实现的方式与我们的预期不一致。)我举这个例子并不是我们对此感到自豪。正好相反,我更希望我们以事先假设的方式获得收益。我提这个是由于两个原因:(1)你有权知道我何时错了,何时对了。(2)这表明虽然我们与概率和预期打交道,但实际的结果有可能大范围的偏离这些预期,在短期内这更是如此。

(1964年上半年给合伙人的信)

After last year the question naturally arises, 'What do we do for an encore?” A disadvantage of this business is that it does not possess momentum to any significant degree. If General Motors accounts for 54% of domestic new car registrations in 1965, it is a pretty safe bet that they are going to come fairly close to that figure in 1966 due to owner loyalties, dealer capabilities, productive capacity, consumer image, etc. Not so for BPL. We start from scratch each year with everything valued at market when the gun goes off. Partners in 1966, new or old, benefit to only a very limited extent from the efforts of 1964 and 1965. The success of past methods and ideas does not transfer forward to future ones.

去年的好业绩之后,一个很自然的问题就是:“我们怎么才能重复这一好的业绩?”投资这门生意的坏处就在于无法保持一定的势头。如果通用汽车在1965年占有54%的国内汽车市场,那么很有可能他们在1966年的数字也会非常接近。因为他们有消费者的忠诚,经销商的能力,生产能力,在消费者心中的形象等因素。但巴菲特合伙基金不是这样的。每年我们都是从零开始,由市场估值。在1966年的合伙人,无论新旧,都只能从我们1964年和1965年的努力中获得非常有限的好处。过去的成功方法与想法无法转移到未来。

(1965年给合伙人的信)

复利的悲哀


成也萧何,败也萧何。巴菲特享受到了复利的好处,也很快感受到了复利的悲哀。当基金越来越大,复利增长也就越来越难。到了1965年,巴菲特向新投资者关闭了合伙基金。

Nevertheless,as circumstances presently appear, I feel substantially greater size is more likely to harm future results than to help them. This might not be true for my own personal results, but it is likely to be true for your results.


但是,基于目前的情况,我认为基金越大,则越有可能伤害而不是帮助我们未来的业绩。这对我自己的收入可能不是如此(因为我的管理费和分成会随之增加),但对你的业绩确实如此。


Therefore, unless it appears that circumstances have changed (under some conditions added capital would improve results) or unless new partners can bring some asset to the Partnership other than simply capital, I intend to admit no additional partners to BPL.

所以,除非这种情况得到改变(即在某种情况下增加的资本会改善业绩),或者合伙人不仅能给合伙基金带来资金,我有意停止接收新的合伙人进入巴菲特合伙基金。

(1965年给合伙人的信)
  

集中投资


这是巴菲特投资理念中极其重要的一部分。与传统的“分散投资”相反,巴菲特崇尚集中投资。在35岁的时候,他就清晰的认识到,要想超越指数,就必须集中投资。这种集中投资不仅与预期的回报高低有关,更与潜在的损失相关。最新的《数学研究》也表明,巴菲特的这种集中持股方式符合最优的长期复利增长,具有最高的几何平均增长速度。

This year in the material which went out in November, I specifically called your attention to a new Ground Rule reading, '7. We diversify substantially less than most investment operations. We might invest up to 40% of our net worth in a single security under conditions coupling an extremely high probability that our facts and reasoning are correct with a very low probability that anything could drastically change the underlying value of the investment.'


今年11月发出的材料里,我特意让你注意一条新的基本原则。“7.我们比大部分投资机构都要较少的进行分散投资。如果我们的事实与逻辑推理有极高的可能性是正确的,而且投资的内在价值剧烈变化的可能性极低,我们最多可能把净值的40%投入单支股票。”


We are obviously following a policy regarding diversification which differs markedly from that of practically all public investment operations. Frankly, there is nothing I would like better than to have 50 different investment opportunities, all of which have a mathematical expectation (this term reflects the range of all possible relative performances, including negative ones, adjusted for the probability of each - no yawning, please) of achieving performance surpassing the Dow by, say, fifteen percentage points per annum. If the fifty individual expectations were not intercorrelated(what happens to one is associated with what happens to the other) I could put 2% of our capital into each one and sit back with a very high degree of certainty that our overall results would be very close to such a fifteen percentage point advantage.


很明显,我们的分散投资政策与绝大多数公众投资机构有着显著的不同。坦率的讲,我最愿意拥有50个不同的投资机会,每一个都有每年超过道指15%的数学期望。(这里的数学期望是指所有可能的相对业绩的范围,包括负值,经过概率调整后的结果。)如果这50个期望不是相互关联的(一个的结果与其它结果的联系),我能把2%的资本平均分配给每个机会,然后就能高枕无忧而且非常确信我们的整体业绩将非常接近对道指15%的优势。


It doesn't work that way.


根本不是那么回事。


We have to work extremely hard to find just a very few attractive investment situations. Such a situation by definition is one where my expectation (defined as above) of performance is at least ten percentage points per annum superior to the Dow. Among the few we do find, the expectations vary substantially. The question always is,“How much do I put in number one (ranked by expectation of relative performance) and how much do I put in number eight?' This depends to a great degree on the wideness of the spread between the mathematical expectation of number one versus number eight. It also depends upon the probability that number one could turn in a really poor relative performance. Two securities could have equal mathematical expectations, but one might have .05 chance of performing fifteen percentage points or more worse than the Dow, and the second might have only .01 chance of such performance. The wider range of expectation in the first case reduces the desirability of heavy concentration in it.


我们必须极其努力才能找到仅有的几个有吸引力的投资机会。这种机会是指我的预期(如上面的定义)是业绩至少每年超过道指10个百分点。在找到的仅有的几个机会中,我们的预期非常不同。问题总是在于“我在第一个投多少(这里的第一是指按预期的相对业绩排),在第八个投多少?”这取决于第一和第八的数学期望的差异度有多大。这也取决于第一个会取得非常差的相对业绩的概率。两只股票可能有相同的数学期望,但是一个有0.05的概率低于道指15%或更差的业绩,而第二个则只有0.01的概率会有这样差的业绩。由于第一个例子中数学期望的范围差异度很大,这就减少了重仓集中在这个股票的意愿。


The above may make the whole operation sound very precise. It isn't. Nevertheless, our business is that of ascertaining facts and then applying experience and reason to such facts to reach expectations. Imprecise and emotionally influenced as our attempts may be, that is what the business is all about. The results of many years of decision-making in securities will demonstrate how well you are doing on making such calculations – whether you consciously realize you are making the calculations or not. I believe the investor operates at a distinct advantage when he is aware of what path his thought process is following.


以上的论述让整个过程显得非常精确。其实不是的。但是,我们的投资生意就是搞清事实,然后运用经验和逻辑推理,从而得出预期。我们的努力可能不精确,并受到情感的影响,但这就是投资。多年股票投资决策的结果将证明我们在做那些计算时有多精确— 无论你是否意识到,你都在进行计算估计。我相信当投资者意识到他自己所遵从的思路时,他在投资方面就有了明确的优势。


There is one thing of which I can assure you. If good performance of the fund is even a minor objective, any portfolio encompassing one hundred stocks (whether the manager is handling one thousand dollars or one billion dollars) is not being operated logically. The addition of the one hundredth stock simply can't reduce the potential variance in portfolio performance sufficiently to compensate for the negative effect its inclusion has on the overall portfolio expectation.


我能向你保证一件事。即使基金的业绩表现是一个次要目标,一个有着100支股票的投资组合是不合理的(无论基金经理是管理1千美金或者10亿美金)。增加第100支股票根本无法把投资组合业绩的潜在波动足够降低,反而无法弥补加入这支股票对整个投资组合的预期回报所带来的负面效应。


Anyone owning such numbers of securities after presumably studying their investment merit (and I don't care how prestigious their labels) is following what I call the Noah School of Investing - two of everything. Such investors should be piloting arks. While Noah may have been acting in accord with certain time-tested biological principles, the investors have left the track regarding mathematical principles. (I only made it through plane geometry, but with one exception, I have carefully screened out the mathematicians from our Partnership.)


任何拥有这么多股票的人,估计是学了某种投资价值观(我才不管这些人有多著名),我称之为诺亚学派的投资哲学,就是任何东西都来一对儿。这种投资者应该去开诺亚方舟。虽然诺亚每种生物都选一对儿的方式是根据了经过时间检验的某种生物规律,但投资者这么做却是偏离了数学的基本原理。(我只学过平面几何,但是我已经仔细筛选过我们的合伙基金,把数学家排除在外了。)


Of course, the fact that someone else is behaving illogically in owning one hundred securities doesn't prove our case. While they may be wrong in overdiversifying, we have to affirmatively reason through a proper diversification policy in terms of our objectives.


当然,别人不合逻辑的拥有100支股票,这并不能证明我们是对的。他们可能过度分散是错的,而我们则必须确实推理出基于我们自己目标的合适的分散投资策略。


The optimum portfolio depends on the various expectations of choices available and the degree of variance in performance which is tolerable. The greater the number of selections, the less will be the average year-to-year variation in actual versus expected results. Also, the lower will be the expected results, assuming different choices have different expectations of performance.


最优的投资组合取决于现有的不同投资选择的数学期望,以及我们所能容忍的业绩变化的程度。选取的股票越多,平均每年的业绩与预期的结果差异越小。但是,假定不同的投资选择有不同的预期业绩,随着选取股票数量的增加,则预期的业绩也将降低。


I am willing to give up quite a bit in terms of leveling of year-to-year results (remember when I talk of “results,” I am talking of performance relative to the Dow) in order to achieve better overall long-term performance. Simply stated, this means I am willing to concentrate quite heavily in what I believe to be the best investment opportunities recognizing very well that this may cause an occasional very sour year - one somewhat more sour, probably, than if I had diversified more. While this means our results will bounce around more, I think it also means that our long-term margin of superiority should be greater.


为了取得总体更好的长期业绩,我愿意放弃相当一部分的年度结果(记住当我说“结果”时,我指的是相对于道指的业绩)。简而言之,这意味着我愿意相当集中的重仓持有我坚信是最好的投资机会。与此同时,我清楚的意识到,与更加分散的投资相比,我这种方式有可能造成偶尔一个业绩非常糟糕的一年。虽然这意味着我们的业绩将上下波动,但我坚信这也意味着我们长期的优势将更大。


You have already seen some examples of this. Our margin versus the Dow has ranged from 2.4 percentage points in 1958 to 33.0 points in 1965.If you check this against the deviations of the funds listed on page three, you will find our variations have a much wider amplitude. I could have operated in such a manner as to reduce our amplitude, but I would also have reduced our overall performance somewhat although it still would have substantially exceeded that of the investment companies. Looking back, and continuing to think this problem through, I feel that if anything, I should have concentrated slightly more than I have in the past. Hence, the new Ground Rule and this long-winded explanation.


已经看到了一些例子。我们对道指的优势从1958年的2.4个百分点到1965年的33个百分点大范围波动。你如果把这个与第三页的投资基金与道指的差异相比,你就会发现我们业绩变化的范围更广。我本来可以按那些基金的方式运营,以减少业绩变化的范围,但是那样会降低我们的整体业绩,虽然我们也能大范围的超过那些投资基金公司。回顾过去,我对这个问题经过持续深入思考后认为,如果要改变什么的话,我会比过去的方式稍稍更加集中持股。所以,我就制定了这个新的基本准则,并且花了这么大的篇幅进行解释。


Again let me state that this is somewhat unconventional reasoning (this doesn't make it right or wrong - it does mean you have to do your own thinking on it), and you may well have a different opinion - if you do, the Partnership is not the place for you. We are obviously only going to go to 40% in very rare situations – this rarity, of course, is what makes it necessary that we concentrate so heavily, when we see such an opportunity. We probably have had only five or six situations in the nine-year history of the Partnership where we have exceeded 25%. Any such situations are going to have to promise very significantly superior performance relative to the Dow compared to other opportunities available at the time. They are also going to have to possess such superior qualitative and/or quantitative factors that the chance of serious permanent loss is minimal (anything can happen on a short-term quotational basis which partially explains the greater risk of widened year-to-year variation in results). In selecting the limit to which I will go in anyone investment, I attempt to reduce to a tiny figure the probability that the single investment (or group, if there is intercorrelation) can produce a result for our total portfolio that would be more than ten percentage points poorer than the Dow.


让我再次声明,这是有些反传统的推理思考(这并不决定其对错,但这意味着你必须对此做自己的的思考)。你完全可能有不同的看法。如果你有不同的看法,那么这个合伙基金不适合你。很明显,我们只会在非常罕见的情况下把净值的40%投入单支股票。当然,正是这种罕见的机会才让我们必须如此集中重仓。在合伙基金的9年历史中,我们可能只有5到6次超过25%集中持股的情形。任何这些情况,与当时其他的机会相比,都具有更大幅度超越道指的希望。不仅如此,它们还具有如此优异的定性和/或定量因素,以至于严重的本金永久损失的机率是最小的。(在短期内,在账面价值上,任何事情都有可能发生。这也是为什么我们的风险更高,年度业绩波动扩大的部分原因。)在选择任何单一投资的限度时,我意图把单一投资(或者一组投资,如果有内部的相关性)使我们整个投资组合的业绩低于道指10个百分点的概率减到极小。


(1965年给合伙人的信)


Interestingly enough, the literature of investment management is virtually devoid of material relative to deductive calculation of optimal diversification.


有趣的是,有关投资管理的文献几乎没有推理计算最优分散投资的材料。


All texts counsel 'adequate' diversification, but the ones who quantify 'adequate' virtually never explain how they arrive at their conclusion. Hence, for our summation on overdiversification, we turn to that eminent academician Billy Rose, who says, 'You've got a harem of seventy girls; you don't get to know any of them very well.”


所有的教科书都建议“足够”的分散投资。但是量化“足够”的人从来没有解释他们如何得到其结论。所以,为了总结我们关于过度分散投资的论述,我引用知名学者Billy Rose的话“如果你的后宫有70个女孩,那么你对哪一个也不会有深入的了解。”


(1965年给合伙人的信)