An overview of Warren Buffets top 15 investment holdings – Part 1

Warren Buffet is widely regarded as one of the best investors the world has ever seen. He is the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, an investment holding company started by himself and Charlie Munger, the company’s vice chairman. Every year, Buffet posts a letter to the shareholders of Berkshire, where he provides his outlook and insights on the stock market and overall economy. You can read the entire shareholder letter for 2019 here. The letter provides a great analysis and insights of financial markets so we encourage you to read it. One thing people like paying attention to are Berkshires top holdings. Today we will summarize 8 of Berkshires top 15 holdings.

Buffet is known as a pioneer of the value investing approach to identify investment opportunities. This methodology involves reading through financial statements in order to identify cases where the market has mispriced stocks. Value investors actively seek out the stocks they believe the market has undervalued, and investors who use this strategy think the market may have overreacted to either good or bad news, which results in stock price movements that may not necessarily correspond to a company’s long-term fundamentals.

Snapshot of Holdings:

Company Name Ticker Symbol Shares held Percentage of Company Owned Cost (USD Million) Market Value (USD Million)
American Express AXP 151,610,700 17.9% $1,287 $14,452
Apple Inc. AAPL 225,300,329 5.4% $36,044 $40,271
Bank of America Corp. MER-K 918,919,000 9.5% $11,650 $22,642
The Bank of New York Mellon Corp. BK 84,488,751 8.8% $3,860 $3,977
Charter Communications, Inc. CHTR 6,789,054 3.0% $1,210 $1,935
The Coca-Cola Company KO 4,000,000,000 9.4% $1,299 $18,940
Delta Air Lines, Inc. DAL 65,535,000 9.6% $2,860 $3,270
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. GS 18,784,698 4.9% $2,380 $3,138
JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM 50,661,394 1.5% $5,605 $4,946
Moody’s Corporation MCO 24,669,778 12.9% $248 $3,455
Southwest Airlines Co. LUV 47,890,899 8.7% $2,005 $2,226
United Continental Holdings Inc. UAL 21,938,642 8.1% $1,195 $1,837
U.S. Bancorp USB 146,346,999 9.1% $5,548 $6,688
USG Corporation USG 43,387,980 31.0% $836 $20,706
Wells Fargo & Company WFC 449,349,102 9.8% $10,639 $20,706
Others $16,201 $22,423

“Charlie and I do not view the $172.8 billion detailed above a collection of ticker symbols… What we see in or holdings, rather, is an assembly of companies that we partly own and that, on a weighted basis, are earnings about 20% on the net tangible equity required to run their businesses. These companies, also, earn their profits without employing excessive levels of debt.”

We have summarized the business activities of eight of the fifth teen top holdings in Berkshires portfolio.

American Express Company

Also known as Amex, is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in New York City. The company was founded in 1850 and is of part of the Down Jones Industrial Average. They are best known for their debit card, credit card and traveler’s cheque businesses. At time of writing, their market cap is US $91.80 billion.

Apple Inc.

Apple is an American technology company headquartered in California, that designs develops and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. Apple is well known for its size and revenues. In 2018, its worldwide annual revenue totaled $265 billion, making it the world’s largest information technology company by revenue. In 2018, it was the first company to ever reach US $1 trillion in market cap.

Bank of America Corp.

Is an American multinational investment bank with hubs across Charlotte, New York, London, Hong Kong, Minneapolis and Toronto. It is the second largest banking institution in the United Sates, after JP Morgan Chase & Co. They service approximately 11% of total American bank deposits and their primary services revolve around commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking.

The Bank of New York Mellon Corp.

Is an American banking and financial services company based in New York City and was formed in 2007 as a result of the merge of the Bank of New York and Mellon Financial Corporation. With assets under management of over $1.9 trillion and over 33.3 Trillion in assets under custody, they are the world’s largest custodian bank and asset servicing company. Their current market cap is at $50.26 billion

Charter Communications, Inc.

Is an American telecommunication and mass media company that offers its services to consumers and businesses under the brand name Spectrum. They are the second-largest cable television operated in the United States, with over 26 million customers in 41 states. They are also the fifth largest telephone provider in America. They have a market cap of $77.47 billion.

The Coca-Cola Company

Popularly known as ‘Coke’ is the most popular soft drink in modern history. The Coca-Cola company produces concentrate, which is then sold to licensed bottlers around the world, who then produce the finished product and cans and bottles. Originally intended as patent medicine, it was invented in the late 19th century and dominated the soft-drink market throughout the 20th century.

Delta Air lines

Simply known as Delta, is a major U.S. airline headquartered in Atlanta and commenced operations in 1929. Delta operates over 5,400 flights daily and serves an extensive network that includes over 304 destinations in 52 countries. It is the world’s second largest airline in terms of passengers carried and fleet size. As recent as 2018, Delta ranked No.75 in the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. companies by total revenue

Goldman Sachs

Is an American investment bank and financial services company headquartered in New York City. Their services include investment management, securities, asset management, prime brokerage and securities underwriting. They are one of the largest investment banking enterprises in the world, and are a primary dealer in the United States Treasury Security market.

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