Opportunities Across the Pond

I have recently been thinking about European holding companies. With the U.S. markets focusing on whether the Fed will taper its quantitative easing program and other such silliness, bargains have become harder to find. However, when the subject of the large European companies came up not long ago, I realized that I find them fascinating and, potentially, incredibly profitable investments.

There are a few U.S. holding companies – such as Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) and Leucadia National (LUK) -- but the structure is used a lot more in Europe that it is here. In fact, it is often the major investment vehicle for the wealthy families there. They invested directly in businesses and have large shareholdings in publicly traded companies. They often have rather complex ownership structures for reasons that I expect have to do with taxes and regulatory issues. They are managed to protect and grow the assets of their primary shareholders, which would seem to be in line with almost any reasonable person's investment goals. Best of all they can usually be purchased at a pretty good discount from their Net Asset Value (NAV)....493 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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