Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, a staunch advocate of buying strong businesses and holding them for the long term, “isn’t big on diversification” according to a recent article in The Motley Fool that lists the holdings that account for 71% of Berkshire’s invested assets ($288 billion) as of March 31st:
- Apple ($110 billion) which accounted for 38% of the portfolio and has been a holding for five years. “Buffett affably refers to Apple as Berkshire’s third business,” the article reports.
- Bank of America ($40 billion): “Although Berkshire has only, technically, been a Bank of America common stockholder since the third quarter of 2017,” the article notes, “Buffett has been riding the BofA train to profits for nearly a decade.” The article adds that bank stocks are “probably Buffett’s favorite place to park his company’s money. Even though banks are cyclical industries, they’re natural moneymakers during periods of economic expansion.”
- American Express ($21.8 billion), has been a holding for about 28 years, the article reports, the “third longest-tenured holding in Berkshire’s portfolio” backed by a similar “buy-thesis” to BofA: “Buffet is counting on the U.S. and global economy to grow over time, which’ll lead to higher processing fees for AmEx, as well as the opportunity to rake in interest income and credit card fees.”
- Coca-Cola ($21.2 billion): As Berkshire’s longest-tenured holding (33 years), the article notes, “I highly doubt Buffett has any intention of selling this 400-million share stake anytime soon.”
- Kraft Heinz ($13 billion): Described as perhaps the “biggest mistake” in the portfolio, the article explains, “Buffett has plainly admitted that Heinz overpaid for Kraft Food in 2016, leading to a combined company with a boatload of debt and goodwill on its balance sheet.” In 2019, it adds, Kraft Heinz admitted as much, writing down more than $15 billion in goodwill, but the company’s leverage has hamstrung any efforts to innovate.