In tough times, Warren Buffett keeps investing big

David Gura Nov 7, 2011
HTML EMBED:
COPY

In tough times, Warren Buffett keeps investing big

David Gura Nov 7, 2011
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Jeremy Hobson: Well as Europe’s debt crisis sent global markets on a roller coaster ride in recent months, many investors just got out of the way so they wouldn’t lose their money. Not Warren Buffett — his company, Berkshire Hathaway says it invested almost $24 billion last quarter. That was the most in at least 15 years.

Marketplace’s David Gura reports.


David Gura: Warren Buffet is what’s called a “value investor.” Jim Angel teaches finance at Georgetown.

Jim Angel: He likes to buy companies that have a strong franchise, or what the strategy types would call a “sustainable competitive advantage.”

Translation: companies that don’t face much competition. Last quarter he bought a big stake in Mastercard; he owns a lot of Coca-Cola stock; Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. Angel says Buffett is really good at buying low.

Angel: He made a big bet on Bank of America.

A $5 billion bet, back in August. The financial firm is still struggling and we’ll see what happens to it. But Angel says that epitomizes Buffett’s investment strategy, which is pretty basic:

Angel: Hm. They need money. They’re cheap. I’ll buy some.

Buffet doesn’t always bat a thousand — who does? But the 81-year-old investor has a really good track record.

In Washington, I’m David Gura, for Marketplace.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.