Feels Lousy, Sounds Frightening, but It's a Buying Opportunity
Inner peace and emotional stability appeared to be in short supply on Wall Street the last couple of sessions. The keynote-of-the-day is more of the fiscal cliff paranoia that's taking the media by storm. This seems strangely familiar to me and smacks of all the fretting over the "debt ceiling" last year and the fallout from The Great Recession in 2010.
If you don't know what the fiscal cliff is all about then count yourself fortunate. All I can say is it's a perfect set-up for a really great stock market holiday sale-a-thon. If you've been faithful with your trailing stop orders you're likely to have the cash to do what every investors longs to do -- buy low!
If you're a bit squeamish about all this trauma-drama, why not look at a company that's been compared to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) yet doesn't cost more than $128,000-per-share.
Have you ever heard of Leucadia National (LUK) which is a well-diversified holding company? How diversified? I was hoping you'd inquire.
LUK owns businesses that engage in beef processing, manufacturing, land based contract oil and gas drilling, gaming entertainment, real estate activities, medical product development and winery operations in the U.S. and internationally.
The company is also involved in remanufacturing, manufacturing, and/or distributing dimension lumber, home center boards for retailers, pine decking and other specialty wood products. LUK also has a stake in the manufacturing and marketing of lightweight plastic netting used in building and construction, erosion control, packaging, agricultural, carpet padding, filtration and consumer products.
LUK will directly benefit from the mega-billion dollar reconstruction efforts that are coming as a result of the horrendous destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. Everyone seems to forget that between the insurance payouts and the federal government, there's going to be a post-destruction economic boom.
Its land based contract oil and gas drilling operations means LUK's holdings provide drilling services through 26 drilling rigs to independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies in the mid-continent region of the U.S. That's an ongoing contractual source of revenue.
On top of all that, it agreed to purchase the rest of the shares of Jefferies Group (JEF) that it doesn't already own. Now LUK will completely control a multi-billion dollar financial firm that operates as a securities and investment banking company in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
The question might be asked, "Who'll be controlling who?" Even if the question doesn't make a lot of sense, it's interesting to note that JEF's Chairman and CEO Richard B. Handler will become the CEO of Leucadia after the deal closes in the first quarter of 2013. LUK CEO Ian Cummings will retire.