Why Is Warren Buffett So Successful?

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) has generated tremendous returns for investors and for Warren Buffett himself over a long period of time. His famous strategy, “buy and hold” cheap companies with good fundamentals, has been emulated by many with varying degrees of success.  Jeff Macke of Yahoo! Finance has identified four traits of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A)’s strategy and portfolio that may explain these substantial returns over such a long period of time.

hedge funds vs. mutual funds

First, contrary to the popular belief that the more diversified the stock holdings are, the better, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A)’s portfolio is focused, says Macke. Four of the largest holdings make 58% of the entire portfolio. These companies are: Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) -which is one of the biggest banks in the World-, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM).

Second, Buffett is wise enough to game taxes on earnings, as many other investors do. For instance, the acquisition of Washington Post by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), where the “Oracle of Omaha” has retained a profit of hundred times over the initial investment made in the 70’s. By swapping out shares instead of cash he avoided paying any taxes.

Third, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) has always been able to get for itself a sort of a cash cow for funding other ventures, the same way technology companies like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) with Google Search and Microsoft Corporation  (NASDAQ:MSFT) with Windows. Buffett’s formula for unlimited cash is investing in insurance companies, the cash of which he extensively used to finance a great deal of acquisitions.

Fourth and probably the most important, Buffett is a big fan of the American economy and very optimistic. He buys when the economy does poorly and sells when the economy does well.  He gets cash from insuring against events with very low probability and buys into America.

“He generates cash betting against super catastrophic events in insurance and uses the money to bet against the collapse of the economy,” Macke said.

Disclosure: None

blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

Top 6 Least Expensive Cruise Destinations For 2015 that Will Take You to Paradise

10 States with Lowest Substance Abuse Rates in America

The 14 Most Watched TV Finales Ever

The 10 Best Selling Role Playing Games of All Time for PC

10 Most Influential Papers In Economics

Top 8 Biggest Charities in the US

10 Worst Celebrity Career Moves Ever

Top 10 Best Paid Tennis Stars in the World

10 Cities with High Demand for Nurses

6 of the Worst Greeting Card Messages Ever Crafted

6 Ways to Make Money in ArcheAge and Build Your Empire

10 Foods To Eat To Lower Cholesterol Levels

The 10 Most Hated Television Characters of All Time

The 30 Worst Halloween Costume Ideas Ever Brought to Horrible Life

10 Vocational Skills in Demand Today with Jobs Waiting to be Filled

10 Best Places to Visit in Central and South America

The 10 Greatest Empires in History Which Nearly Conquered the World

The 6 Cheapest Boarding Schools In America 2015

5 Clear Reasons LoL is Better than DotA, Continues to Rule MOBAs

The Only 9 Teams with a Chance to Win the Super Bowl

The 15 Most Common Phobias in America that Induce Fits of Panic

Top 6 Least Expensive Tourist Destinations in 2014

Jim Goetz, Peter Fenton, Jim Breyer: Top 6 Venture Investors for 2014

Top 15 Billionaires in 2014

5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Buying a Franchise

Top 20 Medical Schools in the US – 2014 Rankings

4 Business Strategies that Turned Jamie Oliver into the World’s Richest Chef

6 Qualities That Make You A Good Team Player

10 High Paying Seasonal Jobs in America this Holiday Season

The 10 Busiest Shipping Lanes in the World

5 Most Valuable Brands in China

The 10 States with Highest Substance Abuse Rates Crippling Their Populace

The Top 10 Things to Do Before You Die That Will Echo for Eternity

The 10 Best Selling Items on Etsy

Top 10 Things to Do in Tokyo, the Greatest City in the World

10 Mistakes on Social Media that Can Harm You and Will Probably Get You Canned

The 10 Best Cities to Find Jobs in 2014

The 10 Most Controversial Songs Of All Time to Hit (and get Banned from) the Airwaves

The 20 Biggest IPOs in US History

The 10 Best Places to Visit in Mexico that Are Beautiful and Safe

7 Bad Habits that Age You Beyond Your Years

The 40 Best Fortune Cookie Sayings That Will Leave You Bemused, Befuddled, or Beguiled

10 Foods to Eat Before a Workout to Make Every Drop of Sweat Count

The 5 Best Documentaries On Netflix You Must See

The Most Heartwarming and Inspirational Story Of This Halloween Season, It Will Make You Cry and Jump For Joy

10 Best Party Songs of All Time to Bring the House Down With

5 New World Order Conspiracy Theories that Will Strangle the World

The 10 Highest Rated Movies of 2014

The 10 Largest Container Shipping Companies in the World

The 10 Largest Armies in the World: Who Should We Be Afraid Of?

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!