2015 was a tough year for Warren Buffett. With their biggest bet American Express (AmEx) struggling in the credit card market and losing customers right and left, it is no surprise that last year took a chunk out of Bershire. However, this year, Buffett finds himself back on the rise and in the very frequent position of beating the market. Shares from both Class A and the more affordable Class B of Berkshire Hathaway have risen by nearly 11%, a far cry from competitor S&P 500’s 2% increase. By outperforming other companies in the market, Kraft Heinz, Coca-Cola and IBM are essential in offsetting the weakness found in the stocks of several bands Berkshire has invested in. AmEx continues to low perform, even though its sales have hiked up from the previous financial year.
However, despite the recent success both Buffett and VC Charlie Munger warn investors and shareholders of the importance of investing on the long run. Their live stream of the investor’s meeting will be watched by millions on Yahoo Finance with several other thousands attending the event in Omaha. Investors intend to investigate on rumours on what venture Berkshire may buy next and with Buffett shopping for new additions to the Berkshire name over the recent years, it seems they may not have to wait long.
The acquisition of Kraft Heinz, 3G and notably Precision Castparts have already added to Berkshire’s growing presence with other ventures including Tim Horton’s and Burger King which are both well-known restaurant chains. While there were certain claims and concerns in the way 3G and Kraft Heinz was run, Buffett adamantly stated that he was getting rid of unnecessary costs. Earlier this year, there were also talks of politics in which both Munger and Buffet refused to support Trump, stating his hypocritical nature made him unqualified for the White House.
There are also speculations as to who will chair Berkshire once Buffett is gone. With the man himself at 85, and Munger at 92, it doesn’t take a lot of convincing to see that there will be a new person at the helm pretty soon. In fact, Buffet has often dangled the carrot in fromt of reporters stating that he has made up his mind on who will be taking over. While some take this as a sign that investment managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler will not be the new heads, Munger has hinted in his writing that Buffett would ultimately prefer an executive with experience in running a company, namely two Berkshire lieutenants who runs Berkshire’s utilities, Greg Abel and Ajit Jain.
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