Investing Warren Buffett Watch

  Friday, 2 Jun 2017 | 8:00 AM ET

A data scientist in his 20s explains the secret to Warren Buffett’s optimism

Posted ByZameena Mejia

Self-made billionaire and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, 86, has long been revered as a legendary investor. His annual shareholders' meetings, deemed the "Woodstock for capitalists," bring together tens of thousands of attendees each year to Nebraska.

For the last few months, the business world has dissected Buffett's annual letter for his views on how the market is performing, his advice on investing, the current state of the economy and management tips, among other topics. It's also widely known that the self-made billionaire offers some of the most prized advice around.

Earlier this year, Bill and Melinda Gates even addressed their own annual letter to Buffett, attributing the secret to his success to his unrelenting optimism.

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  Wednesday, 31 May 2017 | 2:28 PM ET

14 billionaires promised to give away more than half their money like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett

Fourteen billionaires announced they have signed the Giving Pledge, formally joining the 154 other billionaires who have promised to give away at least half of their vast wealth to philanthropic causes.

Started in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates, worth $88.5 billion, and Warren Buffett, worth $74.2 billion, the Giving Pledge is a commitment by wealthy individuals and families to give away more than half of their wealth to causes including including poverty alleviation, refugee aid, disaster relief, global health, education, women and girls' empowerment, medical research, arts and culture, criminal justice reform and environmental sustainability.

Signatories of the Giving Pledge must be billionaires, if not for the money they are giving away. The goal of making a public pledge is to encourage others to consider philanthropy, too, even if they aren't billionaires.

Here's the newest class of Giving Pledge signatories, their countries of origin, their net worths (when publicly available) and lines from their public pledge letters indicating their reasons for donating.

1. Leonard H. Ainsworth
Chairman Emeritus and Executive Director of Ainsworth Game Technology Limited, pioneer in the gaming industry for more than 60 years
Net worth: $1.18 billion
Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
"It is my great pleasure to provide this Giving Pledge commitment wherein I pledge to give at least 50% of my wealth to charitable causes both during my present life and beyond. As a private person, I prefer to minimize publicity of my philanthropic activities but at the same time realize that setting a positive example is the best way to encourage others to give back."

2. Mohammed Dewji
President and CEO of MeTL Group, a Tanzanian conglomerate operating in 11 African countries, former politician
Net worth: $1.39 billion
Excerpt from Giving Pledge letter:
"From day one, my parents have been instrumental in instilling the ethos of philanthropy, particularly my responsibility as a Muslim to give and care for the less fortunate in our society.

"By signing this pledge, I hope to inspire my peers, fellow Africans and citizens of the world to take a close look at the funds they truly need to maintain their families verses their ability to give. In retrospect, many of us have well-above what we need while constantly accruing a list of what we want in this life. We all have a moral obligation as the more affluent in society to give back as best we know how. I'll leave you with a few words I share with many of my comrades: 'When God blesses you financially, don't raise your standard of living. Raise your standard of giving.'"

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  Tuesday, 23 May 2017 | 3:24 PM ET

Jeff Bezos says he's flattered by Warren Buffett's compliments and reads 'all his books'

Warren Buffett said earlier this month that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is "the most remarkable business person of our age."

At Amazon's shareholders meeting on Tuesday, an investor reminded Bezos of that comment and asked how he comes up with new ideas.

"Warren's remarks are very meaningful to me because he's a hero to me," Bezos said at the Seattle event. "I read all his books."

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway doesn't have much in common with Amazon. Berkshire tends to buy up big stakes in industrial, food and financial companies with easy-to-understand business models. He's explicitly stayed away from Internet businesses and has publicly acknowledged missing them.

However, Buffett and Bezos are closely linked in other ways. Amazon is the fourth-largest U.S. company by market capitalization with a value of $464 billion, and Berkshire is two spots behind at $407.4 billion. Berkshire is the most valuable non-tech company in the U.S.

Buffett is the third-richest person in the world with a net worth of $88 billion, and Bezos is fourth at $84 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

In response to the questioner, Bezos said he looks for inventions that are going to be better for customers and that are going to be big.

"We don't need to make sure it works, but if it works can it be big?" he said.

Bezos was also asked why he's taking Berkshire's approach in not splitting Amazon's stock, which is now priced at close to $1,000.

Bezos said he has no plans to do it now, "but we do review that on a regular basis."

Amazon did split its stock three times in the late 1990s.

Watch: What Bezos' fortune looks like

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  Monday, 22 May 2017 | 5:45 PM ET

7 surprising things in Warren Buffett's office

Warren Buffett, 86, likes continuity. He lives in the same home he bought in 1958 and he's been based in the same office building for more than 50 years.

"It's a different sort of place. ... We have 25 people in the office," he says of the small Berkshire Hathaway headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. "And if you go back, it's the exact same 25. The exact same ones."

Here's just a sampling of what you'll find in the self-made billionaire's work space.

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  Tuesday, 16 May 2017 | 9:52 AM ET

Op-Ed: 'Trump trade' is just a fake out. Here's what's really fueling stocks

Posted ByJosh Brown
Pedestrians walk past the New York Stock Exchange.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Pedestrians walk past the New York Stock Exchange.

I said this because no one else would. But it's the truth.

There never was a real "Trump Trade." I'm sorry if this is like hearing there's no Santa Claus.

What we did have was a rockin' year end thanks to the certainty of an ended election, even if half the country didn't get what it wanted – what we did get was some finality. A close Hillary win with a non-conceding Trump would have been disastrous for the market. A decisive Hillary win would have been bullish and the decisive Trump win was bullish.

Investors care more about having something like this resolved and in the rear-view mirror than they do about the actual outcome. See: Brexit. Closure is important.

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  Tuesday, 16 May 2017 | 6:00 AM ET

Why Warren Buffett is betting on this software start-up

Brad Keywell is enjoying a repeat act. In the short period of time since he co-founded Chicago-based Uptake Technologies in July 2014, Keywell has seen his start-up reach a $2 billion valuation on the back of $146 million in funding, including $40 million from Revolution Growth, the venture firm of AOL co-founder Steve Case. It makes Uptake one of the fastest start-ups to ever reach $2 billion in value, along with Groupon, the daily deals company also based in Chicago, which Keywell co-founded in 2008.

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  Monday, 15 May 2017 | 5:15 PM ET

Warren Buffett's Berkshire is betting more on banks and airlines

Posted ByEvelyn Cheng
Warren Buffett
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway bought shares of Bank of New York Mellon and Southwest Airlines in the first quarter, according to an SEC filing Monday.

Berkshire also bought more shares of American Airlines, while slightly reducing its holdings in Delta Air Lines in the first quarter.

The investment firm exited its holdings of 21st Century Fox Class A shares.

The conglomerate also reported a 72 million increase in holdings of Apple shares to 129.36 million at the end of the first quarter. CNBC previously reported that Berkshire bought more than 70 million shares of Apple in January.

Berkshire also reduced its holding in IBM. On May 4, Buffett told CNBC he sold off about a third of a roughly 81 million stake in the first and second quarters of this year.

The filing shows all equity holdings for the conglomerate through the end of the first quarter, which Buffett is required to file with the SEC 45 days later. Berkshire's equity portfolio is managed by Buffett, along with smaller portions managed by deputies Todd Combs and Ted Weschler.

Watch: Unilever's message for Buffett

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  Monday, 15 May 2017 | 2:34 PM ET

MLB legend Alex Rodriguez says this baseball lesson helped him succeed in business

Former Yankee great Alex Rodriguez had two dreams as a kid. He wanted to be a professional baseball player and a CEO.

"Ever since I was 10 years old, I sat on my father's lap [and said] I have two dreams: [One was] to be a Major League Baseball player, but that usually never happens, and two was to be a CEO," A-Rod told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Monday.

Coming up on one year since his final game in August of 2016, Rodriguez is now working on that second goal as chief executive of A-Rod Corporation, a holding company for his various investments, which include real estate, property construction, and fitness.

Rodriguez made about $448 million during a standout career as a third baseman and shortstop. He was a three-time Most Valuable Player with a career batting average of .295 and 696 home runs.

But in his career, Rodriguez was also caught up in a performance-enhancing-drug scandal that resulted in an MLB suspension for the entire 2014 season for violations of the league's drug agreement and labor contract.

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  Sunday, 14 May 2017 | 9:00 AM ET

Warren Buffett says if you want steady reliable returns, this instrument 'makes the most sense'

Posted ByTrent Gillies

If you're looking for a simple plan to build your retirement savings, one of the world's most successful stock market investors has some clear advice.

"Consistently buy an S&P 500 low-cost index fund," Warren Buffett told CNBC's On The Money in an interview recently. "I think it's the thing that makes the most sense practically all of the time."

And he suggests staying the course, despite market fluctuations. "Keep buying it through thick and thin, and especially through thin," the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said with a laugh.

On Friday, stocks dipped on mixed economic data and poor results from major retailers. Buffett suggested investors should take gloomy news with a grain of salt, however.

"The temptation when you see bad headlines in newspapers is to say, well, maybe I should skip a year or something. Just keep buying," he said. "American business is going to do fine over time, so you know the investment universe is going to do very well."

As proof of the record of long term growth, the "Oracle of Omaha" remarked that the Dow Jones Industrial Average "went from 66 to 11,497 in one century," recalling the index's exact close at the end of 1999.

"And since that century has ended it's more or less doubled again," Buffett added. Last week, the Dow closed just shy of 21,000.

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  Tuesday, 9 May 2017 | 3:26 PM ET

Here's how Warren Buffett wants to be remembered—and it's not as an investor

Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett is an investing legend. But if he could choose to be remembered for one thing, he said, it wouldn't be for his mastery of investing or business.

He wants to be remembered for being a good teacher.

The issue came up during the 2017 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. First, Buffett and his longtime business partner Charlie Munger were asked about a memory from their first annual meeting, and Munger said: "My first memory — when Warren got on the subject and they asked him what he wanted said at his funeral, he said, 'I want them to all be saying, that's the oldest looking corpse I ever saw.'"

Buffett joked, "That may be the smartest thing I ever said," before sharing what he would actually like people to remember of him: "With me, it's pretty simple. I really like teaching. I've been doing it formally and, you could say, somewhat informally all my life, and I certainly had the greatest teachers you could imagine.

"So if somebody thought that I did a decent job at teaching, I'd feel very good about that."

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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.