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Prem Watsa: “Warren Buffett of the North”

Courtesy of Guru Focus, a quick look at Prem Watsa, the boss of Fairfax Financial Holdings who many consider to be the “Warren Buffett pf the North.  We are going to look at Mr. Watsa in more detail in future posts; here is just an introductory report:

“…Prem Watsa … seems to have more flexibility and ingenuity in the past couple of years than Warren Buffett. During the housing/financial and credit crisis in the past couple of years, Prema Watsa made one billion dollars by shorting CDS that are tied to residential mortgages. And Buffett stayed long on everything. He doesn’t approve people playing with financial derivatives, yet he sold put options on stock index that will expire in distant future, which essentially is still a long strategy.

Of course, Buffett makes good money on the long side as well. His investment into GE and Goldman Sachs at the late stage of the crisis is paying off handsomely.

It is just the expectation for Guys like Buffett are so high that he should be able to make money both ways.

The difference? Watsa manages a balance sheet of a couple of billions of dollars and Buffett manages a couple of hundred billions. It is much more easies for the former to get in and out of market, either long or short.

And Watsa can have both ways. Having had made his billion dollars, he took away the hedges on the equity late last year and start to buy into stocks he thinks he can hold forever. Watsa is going long again.

But as we discovered, he started from the list of stocks that Buffett owns and bought his stakes in many of them…”



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About This Blog And Its Author
Global Buffetts is dedicated to compiling a compendium of elite international money managers & investors.  While the U.S. is indeed home to a number of world-class financiers, the rapid economic development and dynamic rise of financial acumen around the world has changed the playing field in the past decades.  There are now a number of global "Buffetts" plying their trade & demonstrating their expertise in their own markets.  Often, however, there is little written about such individuals as most popular media is focused on the big names in U.S. investing.  This personal interest blog is one individual's attempt to uncover other elite money managers from around the world.

Educated at Yale University (Bachelor of Arts - History) and Harvard (Master in Public Policy - International Development), Monty Simus has lived, worked, and traveled in more than forty countries spanning Africa, China, western Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Southeast & Central Asia, and his personal interests comprise economic development, policy, investment, technology, natural resources, and the environment, with a particular focus on globalization’s impact upon these subject areas.  Monty writes about frontier investment markets at www.wildcatsandblacksheep.com and geopolitical pressures in the global agricultural sector at www.seedsofarevolution.com.