Wednesday, July 1, 2009

‘GOD OF STOCKS’ Chooses China as the Winner: Alice Schroeder

Warren Buffett is no mere Oracle in China; he is the “GOD OF STOCKS” (usually translated this way, in uppercase). Buffett is probably the most popular American in China other than President Barack Obama.

The Chinese don’t give a hoot about Obama’s politics; his appeal is his power, through which he, like Buffett, can make you rich. Faith in Obama’s ability to create wealth on a personal level is so strong that one Chinese author has even capitalized on it in a book: “Get Rich With Barack Obama’s Change We Can Believe In Principle.”


I appeared on a panel with former Taiwanese stockbroker Leon Hu, who travels the region as an Asian Tony Robbins known as the “Godfather of the Chinese Stock Market” (ranking a step below the GOD OF STOCKS if only in capitalization). Hu claimed to have predicted every major turning point in the SSE. He insisted valuations are meaningless, which is a more credible statement in China than elsewhere.

A volatile market full of gamblers should be value- investing heaven. Money managers who emulated Buffett thought they had the Rosetta Stone. Instead, they were laughed at when the market plunged in 2008. Now they question whether value investing can work in an emerging market in which few companies have a long-term track record and if they do, other forces may overwhelm its importance. One of these is whether Obama can repair the U.S. economy and thereby help their own.

While Americans debate whether Obama has put the U.S. on the road to socialism, the Chinese talk of Obama in terms of opportunities for themselves. They remain optimists about China’s long-term future and the role they have to play.

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