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Investing Warren Buffett Watch

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  Monday, 8 Jun 2015 | 7:28 PM ET

Meet the Chinese firm that paid $2.35M for Buffett lunch

China's rampaging share market has produced a new kind of winner - the boss of Dalian Zeus Entertainment Group, who used his stock quote as inspiration for a bid to dine with Warren Buffett, and won.

Dalian Zeus, a gaming company little known outside China, stole headlines at the weekend after dishing out $2.35 million for a private lunch date with the legendary investor.

Chief executive Zhu Ye described the chance to lunch with Buffett as a dream come true, according to a report by Chinese Securities Times.

Zhu, who graduated from the Beijing University of Technology in 1999, told the Chinese media outlet that he wanted to seek Buffett's opinions on value investing.

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  Wednesday, 17 Jun 2015 | 12:45 AM ET

This market could heat up as Buffett enters

Posted By: Nyshka Chandran
Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Lacy O'Toole | CNBC
Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

The stars are finally aligning for Australia's stock market following a recent selldown, as cheap valuations and approval from billionaire Warren Buffet lure traders back in.

The 84-year old investor told Fairfax Media on Tuesday that he intends to spend over $2 billion a year to build stakes in Australian firms after his investment firm Berkshire Hathaway invested $388 million in insurer IAG.

"If you come back in two or three years, you will find we have got four or five Australian equities," he said in a phone interview, adding that the $2 billion cashflow will come from his investment into IAG.

"There is money to be made in Australian equities over the next 10, 20, 30 years ... If we get something we feel comfortable with, we will stick with it for a very long time."

His remarks come as the benchmark S&P ASX 200 begins to recover from a three-month selloff that has left the market unbelievably attractive, according to Goldman Sachs.

"Value looks as good as it has in a decade," said the bank's strategist Matthew Ross in a report this week. He notes Australian equities look 10 percent undervalued relative to other developed markets like the U.S., Europe and Japan.

"At 15.8 times price-to-earnings, Australia also trades at a 9 percent discount to MSCI World - well below its 1 percent average premium and just shy of its largest discount in a decade."

Read MoreBubbly, anyone? The Sydney property debate

The S&P ASX 200 index rallied over 1 percent on Wednesday, but has lost more than 4 percent since April. Banks were largely responsible for the selloff, triggered by lackluster earnings reports and a push for stricter capital requirements by financial regulators.

»Read more
  Friday, 22 May 2015 | 11:19 AM ET

Buffett: This is better than raising minimum wage

Posted By: Rebecca Ungarino

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, in commentary for The Wall Street Journal, said expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a smarter alternative to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Buffett said a "major and carefully crafted expansion" of the EITC is a better answer to leveling the growing wealth gap in the U.S., wherein millions of employees are working, though just scraping by, as the rich get richer. But the wealth gap, Buffett wrote in the Journal, is not to be blamed on any sort of "conspiracy."

Read MoreWealth gap widens in developed world

"The poor are most definitely not poor because the rich are rich. Nor are the rich undeserving," he said.

The chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway calls on American innovators like Henry Ford, Steve Jobs and Sam Walton; Americans who achieved the attainable and promising American Dream. Buffett then notes many citizens are living the "American Nightmare - behaving well and working hard but barely getting by."

Buffett writes the widening wealth gap is an "inevitable consequence of an advanced market-based economy." But he does not deny the issue: "In recent decades, our country's rising tide has not lifted the boats of the poor."

»Read more
  Monday, 4 May 2015 | 8:07 AM ET

Buffett: THIS is key to valuing stocks right now

Billionaire Warren Buffett said Monday the stock market would be viewed as "cheap" now if interest rates continued to remain low.

"If these interest rates were to continue for 10 years, stocks would be extremely cheap now," the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said Monday on CNBC's "Squawk Box," two days after Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting.

»Read more
  Monday, 4 May 2015 | 9:41 AM ET

Munger: McDonald's one of US' best educators

Posted By: Fred Imbert

Despite all the criticism of McDonald's, the fast-food giant is one of the nation's best educational institutions, Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger said Monday.

"They take people and give them a first job, which enables them to get a second job. They do a very good job of educating troubled young people to be good citizens and they're probably more successful than charter schools," Berkshire's vice chairman told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

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  Monday, 4 May 2015 | 6:06 AM ET

Buffett helps us see the future: 4 blue chip CEOs

Warren Buffett's financial acumen and affable personality is well documented, but the CEOs of Berkshire Hathaway's big four investments—IBM, American Express, Coca-Cola, and Wells Fargo—paint a vivid picture of Buffett as an ally, a confidant, and astute observer of human nature.

"Millennials love him," Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent said of the octogenarian investor. "Young people love to be around him, and he loves to be around young people because he has just got this unique ability to follow consumers ... where they want to go."

"He interprets … consumers' value today versus yesterday, and what they're going to value tomorrow," the Coke boss added.

Kent, along with IBM Chair and CEO Ginni Rometty, American Express Chairman and CEO Ken Chenault, and Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf, sat down with CNBC over the weekend at Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, to talk about the folksy billionaire next door.

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  Saturday, 2 May 2015 | 7:40 PM ET

Buffett hits back at Clayton Homes lending gripes

Posted By: Javier E. David

Warren Buffett unapologetically defended Berkshire Hathaway's lending unit on Saturday from accusations of predatory lending, telling CNBC in an interview that he's never even received as much as "one letter of complaint" about its practices.

»Read more
  Saturday, 2 May 2015 | 8:47 AM ET

Warren Buffett to CNBC: I bought more IBM in Q1

Posted By: Alex Crippen

Warren Buffett said on Saturday he bought more IBM stock for Berkshire Hathaway in the first quarter, but didn't specify by how much.

In a conversation with CNBC's Becky Quick ahead of today's shareholders meeting in Omaha, Buffett told her the exact numbers will be in the company's SEC filing revealing its stock holdings as of the end of March. That filing is due around the middle of this month.

»Read more
  Friday, 1 May 2015 | 12:23 PM ET

Buffett welcomes shareholders to changing Berkshire

Posted By: Alex Crippen
Warren Buffett tosses a newspaper prior to the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in 2014.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Warren Buffett tosses a newspaper prior to the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in 2014.

A Berkshire Hathaway in transition will greet the tens of thousands of shareholders flocking to Omaha, Nebraska, this weekend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Warren Buffett's acquisition of the company.

Starting in 1965, Buffett initially converted the former Massachusetts textile maker into a gigantic stock holding company with purchases financed by the premiums paid to its substantial insurance operations.

In recent years, however, the company has made another dramatic transformation.

Berkshire has become more of a diversified conglomerate as it puts billions of dollars into buying all or big chunks of money-generating companies such as BNSF, Heinz, the big car dealer chain Van Tuyl Group, and most recently, Kraft Foods,

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  Friday, 1 May 2015 | 6:03 AM ET

Warren Buffett: This might delay a Fed rate hike

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said he believes the Federal Reserve won't be in any hurry to increase interest rates—in part because of the softer U.S. economy at the start of the year, but more so due to what's going on in European bond markets.

"I think it would be very hard for the Fed to bump rates up here with negative rates in Europe," the Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO told CNBC in an interview that aired on "Squawk Box" Friday.

Recent calculations by Goldman Sachs showed that more than $2.1 trillion of outstanding euro zone sovereign debt now has a negative yield.

As for the aggravating factor of weaker economic growth, Buffett said he does see some bright spots. "Things like autos are very strong; things like housing are a little better." He continued, "In our rail car holdings, you see that it isn't that strong but on the other hand it's not going backwards at all."

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The government on Wednesday reported that first-quarter gross domestic product grew at a lower-than-expected 0.2 percent. The economy grew 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter and 5 percent in the third quarter of 2014.

Many economists are expecting a pickup in growth in the second half of the year, and even the Fed in its policy statement after its April meeting on Wednesday downplayed the GDP print for the first three months of the year.

In fact, according to an analysis by CNBC earlier this month, three decades of government GDP data suggests a longstanding trend of lackluster first-quarter growth. It's unclear what's caused the trend, but Buffett said, "You wonder about seasonal adjustments."

But all things considered, the U.S. is "doing well," even under a longer-term growth rate of around 2 percent, he argued. "We might like to see more growth … [but] 1 percent inflation means that in a generation things improved 20 percent per capita, and that's another $10,000 of GDP per capita in one generation. That's fabulous."

Whether it's the U.S. economy or negative yields in Europe or some other factor, Wall Street continues to play the guessing-game over when the Fed might raise rates for the first time in nearly 10 years. The Fed policy statement also removed all calendar guidance. Earlier this year, June was favored by economists as the likely start. But now, September has emerged as the best bet for liftoff.

Buffett will be presiding over Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska. The 50th anniversary celebration of the company is expected to draw a larger than usual crowd of 40,000 people.

»Read more

About Buffett Watch

  • Warren Buffett is arguably America’s most-admired and most-followed investor. Buffett is the largest shareholder and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and one of the world’s most famous and most generous philanthropists. Legions of investors - from all walks of life - follow Buffett's homespun investment philosophy: invest in what you know, invest in value. Here on CNBC.com's Warren Buffett Watch, we’ll keep you up to date on what the “Oracle of Omaha” is doing by following Buffett's trades, words and deeds.

 

  • Senior Coordinating Producer

  • Warren Buffett is the chairman, CEO and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway