Berkshire Stakeholder Sells Stock

Longtime Berkshire stockholder David Rolfe, chief investment officer at Wedgewood Partners, wrote in his third-quarter letter to clients that he’s fed up with Berkshire Hathaway’s lackluster investments and missed opportunities during the decade-long bull market. This according to a recent CNBC article.

“Thumb-sucking has not cut the Heinz mustard during the Great Bull Market,” Rolfe wrote, adding, “The Great Bull could have been one helluva of an astounding career denouement for Messrs. Buffett and [Vice Chairman Charlie] Munger.”

Rolfe highlighted IBM as another disappointment—he reportedly sold his entire stake in 2018 after it had dropped by 20% since 2011. In the letter, Rolfe argued that these examples “do not inspire confidence that Buffett & Co. are still at the top of their game.” He went on to highlight what he sees as two major misses at the beginning of the bull market–credit-card companies Mastercard and Visa, the shares of which have surged by more than 1,800% and 1,300%, respectively. [Berkshire has stakes in both companies, the article notes, but they represent only small percentage of Berkshire’s equities portfolio.]

According to Rolfe, “These two stocks should have been layups for Buffett.”