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Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B), International Business Machines Corp. (IBM): Three Buffett Predictions for the Rest of 2013

As the fourth richest person in the world today — even after giving away roughly $24 billion of his shares in Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.B) so far — it’s no surprise that Warren Buffett has his every move followed so closely by investors around the world.

Sure, a simple Web search makes it easy to figure out what Buffett has been up to over the past few years. But the real challenge is determining what the Oracle of Omaha will (or won’t) do going forward.

Here are three Buffett predictions, then, for the remainder of 2013.

hedge fund research

1. Buffett will be a net seller of stocks
First, though retail investors currently seem to be piling into the market in droves, I think this is exactly the time Buffett will decide to put the brakes on his own equity purchases.

Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t deals to be found picking individual stocks, but it’s no mystery that Buffett prefers to buy “when there’s blood in the streets” — and it’s hard to argue that’s currently the case, with the stock market currently trading near all-time highs.

Then again, as fellow Fool Matt Koppenheffer pointed out last week, there was some easy-to-miss language in Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.B)’s recent SEC filings indicating that Buffett probably made an enormous, undisclosed purchase last quarter. However, the last time that happened was back in 2011, when Buffett unveiled his enormous 5.5% stake in tech giant International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), which most recently stood as Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.B)’s third-largest position and was worth more than $13 billion at the end of last quarter.

But the fact Buffett almost certainly put additional billions to work in a yet-to-be-named stock in Q2 only reinforces the notion he’ll be more likely to build his cash position going forward, all as he waits patiently for the next market meltdown to occur.

2. Berkshire won’t announce Buffett’s successor
Next, though Buffett already confirmed during Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.B)’s annual shareholder meeting in May he knows who his successor will be, don’t count on hearing him share who it is before 2013 comes to a close.

After all, considering Buffett has already stated that he and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.B)’s board are comfortable with their choice and “100 percent in agreement as to who [his] successor should be,” there’s no reason they would want to create an unnecessary distraction by disclosing that information while the capable-as-ever Buffett is still at the helm.

Come to think of it, provided the 82-year-old CEO doesn’t encounter an insurmountable health crisis in the near future, I wouldn’t be surprised if Buffett withheld the name for at least the next several years.

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