Don't Worry About the Goldman Muppet Show, Tune Your Ukulele and Join Buffett
Kyle is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
I used to enjoy “The Muppet Show” as a kid growing up, so much so I gained a miniscule amount of motivation from Animal, with my desire to be a drummer. I’m almost certain John “Bonzo” Bonham provided a bit of inspiration for the character, which justified those feelings in my young, developing, twisted mind.
Now for those of us in these great United States that have enjoyed our Muppets throughout the years, the word has an altogether different meaning across the pond in the United Kingdom offices of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS). Those blokes allegedly refer to stupid, easily manipulated people as “muppets”, a somewhat sophomoric combination of “manipulated puppet”. It is derogatory, it is intended to harm, and it is used with arrogance, reserved for some who are under the impression that they are better than most, even if those "inferior" people happen to be clients.
With all the news swirling around Goldman amid Greg Smith exiting the firm, the company has taken this somewhat seriously, attempting to get in front of the potential mess and venturing on a corporate “Muppet Hunt”. As a longtime holder of Goldman Sachs (please don’t judge), I can only hope they don’t come out of this looking like an Elmer Fudd foray into “wabbit hunting”. With the delicately written PR piece on the company’s website, I have some reservations. The company is currently undertaking the dubious task of combing through corporate emails with the mission of finding uses of the term “muppet”. I’m not at all sure what the goal of the great “Goldman Muppet Hunt” is, but I’m certain the mounted trophies will look fantastic in the conference room.
As this fine year of 2012 began, I offered a mildly bold opinion that financials deserved serious consideration, given the housing bubble burst and the healer of all wounds, time. The market game favors the big boys mightily, not so much for those of us that are individual home traders, but with all the tools at our disposal, there is no reason us little guys can't be successful (if I can do it, seriously, anyone can). I specifically mentioned Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), given the rather robust presence in the Oracle of Omaha’s stack of holdings.
Along with the vanilla press release, Goldman has made a few calls (increased M&A activity, now is the time to be in dividend stocks), and recently garnered an upgrade (“sector perform”), from RBC Capital Markets less than a year after they initiated coverage with an “underperform” rating. I think the time is coming where these ratings will start coming with balloons and Hallmark cards, but for now, let’s just take them with a grain of salt.
Back to my bold opinion; with Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B), accumulating enough Wells Fargo shares to be that company’s largest stakeholder, it is long overdue for me to have Buffett directly placed in my portfolio. Berkshire scoops up shares of these and other companies (Buffett’s 13F filing) making it a relatively “safe” way to play the financial sector, despite any rancid odor that may come from trading these companies individually. They hold these companies for a healthy amount of time (they began buying Wells Fargo long before the housing bubble), and it’s a fantastic way to be in the “game” without worrying about curling up in the fetal position anytime Eeyore and his storm cloud saunters into the market news. Berkshire recently broke an $80 trading level and could see the 52-week high above $85 sooner, rather than later. This is one of those rare “buy-and-hold forever” stocks, in my opinion, so for new folks hesitant trading individual stocks, take a look at Berkshire and assuage any trepidation you might have investing your hard-earned dollars. You just might even be able to afford a shiny, new ukulele so you can ring in the next Chinese New Year with Warren.
Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Berkshire Hathaway, Goldman Sachs Group and Wells Fargo & Company. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Wells Fargo & Company and has the following options: short APR 2012 $21.00 puts on Wells Fargo & Company, short APR 2012 $29.00 calls on Wells Fargo & Company, short OCT 2012 $33.00 puts on Wells Fargo & Company and short OCT 2012 $36.00 calls on Wells Fargo & Company. kmet312 owns shares of Goldman Sachs Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.