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Berkshire Hathaway’s Holdings: An In-Depth Look

Berkshire Hathaway, the brainchild of Warren Buffett, is a conglomerate with a diverse portfolio that spans various sectors.

As of the fourth quarter of 2023, the company’s holdings reflect a strategic investment approach that has yielded unparalleled long-term success.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Holdings: An In-Depth Look

What is the history of Berkshire Hathaway?

The Early Years
Berkshire Hathaway’s roots date back to 1839 with the establishment of the Valley Falls Company in Rhode Island. It was a textile manufacturer that merged with Hathaway Manufacturing Company in 1888.
The combined entity, known as Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates, merged with Hathaway Manufacturing in 1955, creating a leading textile firm in the U.S.
Warren Buffett’s Involvement
Warren Buffett, born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1930, began investing in stocks at a young age. By the time he was 16, he had amassed a significant portfolio.
In his early 30s, Buffett discovered Berkshire Hathaway, a struggling textile company, and began buying shares.
By 1965, he had taken control of the company and shifted its business model from textiles to insurance and other investments.

Transition to a Conglomerate

Under Buffett’s leadership, Berkshire Hathaway transformed into a conglomerate, acquiring businesses across various sectors.

The company’s strategy focused on buying undervalued companies with strong fundamentals and holding them for the long term.

This approach led to the acquisition of well-known companies like GEICO, Dairy Queen, and several others.

What Does Berkshire Hathaway Own?

Berkshire Hathaway’s holdings are vast and varied. The company’s insurance subsidiaries, such as GEICO, form a significant part of its portfolio.

However, Berkshire also owns a multitude of businesses worldwide, including Duracell, International Dairy Queen, Pampered Chef, Fruit of the Loom, NetJets, and many others.

Top Stocks in Berkshire Hathaway’s Portfolio

The equity portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway is closely watched by investors due to Buffett’s reputation as a legendary investor.

As of December 31, 2023, the top stocks by the number of shares in Berkshire’s portfolio were:

  • Bank of America (BAC): 1.03 billion shares.
  • Apple (AAPL): 905.6 million shares.
  • Coca-Cola (KO): 400 million shares.
  • Kraft Heinz (KHC): 325.6 million shares.
  • Occidental Petroleum (OXY): 248.1 million shares.
  • American Express (AXP): 151.6 million shares.
  • Chevron (CVX): 126.1 million shares.

Why Follow Berkshire Hathaway’s Stock Picks?

Investors follow Berkshire Hathaway’s stock picks because of the company’s consistent outperformance in the market.

From 1965 to 2022, Berkshire Hathaway stock appreciated at a 19.8% compound annual growth rate, significantly outpacing the S&P 500’s 9.9% annualized return.

How Does Berkshire Hathaway Select Its Investments?

While the specific criteria for Berkshire’s investments are not publicly disclosed, Buffett is known for his value investing philosophy, focusing on companies with strong fundamentals, competent management, and competitive advantages.

What Is the Impact of Charlie Munger’s Passing on Berkshire Hathaway?

Charlie Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, passed away in November 2023. His partnership with Buffett and his business insights were integral to Berkshire’s success.

His absence will be felt at future shareholder meetings, although the company’s investment strategy is expected to continue along the same principles.

How Can Investors Access Berkshire Hathaway’s Portfolio Information?

Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio information is available to the public through the company’s 13F filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

These filings are required quarterly and provide a snapshot of the company’s holdings as of the end of each quarter.

What Are the Recent Changes in Berkshire Hathaway’s Portfolio?

The most recent changes in Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio can be found in the company’s latest 13F filing.

While specific details of new acquisitions or sales are not always immediately available, the filings provide a comprehensive overview of the company’s current positions.

Conclusion

Berkshire Hathaway’s holdings are a testament to Warren Buffett’s investment prowess. The company’s portfolio is a mix of long-standing positions in blue-chip companies and strategic investments in various sectors.

By understanding Berkshire’s investment philosophy and keeping an eye on its portfolio changes, investors can gain valuable insights into successful long-term investing strategies.

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