Billionaire Warren Buffett appears on CNBC and discusses a range of issues, including Berkshire Hathaway's $37 billion purchase in aircraft parts.» Read More
Front-runners Ajit Jain nor Greg Abel don't know who will be Berkshire Hathaway's next CEO, Warren Buffett said Monday.
"The board has talked about it at every meeting for I don't know how many years. We have a precise plan in mind," Buffett told CNBC's "Squawk Box".
Jain and Abel, both long-time Berkshire Hathaway lieutenants, were named as possible successors to Buffett in Vice Chairman Charlie Munger's annual letter to shareholders. "When Charlie's letter came in, and he referenced Greg and Ajit, it was news to me that he was writing that. He's right, they're both very good," Buffett said.
Nevertheless, Buffett said in his annual letter to shareholders, which was released Saturday, he and the board have already agreed on who would carry the torch once his time comes. "In certain important respects, this person will do a better job than I am doing," Buffett said in his letter.
Currently, Abel is the chairman, president and CEO of Iowa-based Berkshire Hathaway Energy, while Jain runs the company's reinsurance division.
—CNBC's Javier David contributed to this report.
The Oracle of Omaha had some financial advice for NBA superstar LeBron James on Monday.
"Through the rest of his career and beyond, in terms of earning power, [he should] just make monthly investments in the low-cost index fund," Buffett told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Monday in response to a video question posed by James. "Somebody in his position ought to have a significant cash reserve."
Buffett said James should keep it simple when investing. "Athletes generally tend to get promoted by people with restaurants and real estate," Berkshire Hathaway's CEO said. "Everybody's got an idea for him and, usually, the simplest is the best."
Buffett also said James should invest primarily in American companies. "Owning the United States at a decent average price bought over time, you really can't go wrong with that," he said.
Buffett also said someone like James should keep his investing strategy simple because of the demands that come with being a professional athlete. "Their expertise is making a lot of money doing something they do extremely well, but they aren't generally going to be able to take the time to become a professional investor."
James also asked Buffett for some basketball advice. Buffett said jokingly: "We went up for a jump ball one time and he got it, went the length of the court [and] dunked it just as I was starting to jump, so he does have that much to learn from me."
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Shares of Deere rallied after a 13-F filing revealed that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway nearly doubled its stake in the company during the last quarter. The filing disclosed that Berkshire now owns 5 percent of Deere's total shares, or 17.1 million, as of fourth quarter, up from 7.6 million in the previous quarter.
The move boosted the stock to its highest level since May 2014 and set off a flurry of bullish activity in the options market.
Read MoreBerkshire buys Deere, dumps Exxon
On Wednesday, Deere options traded more than two times their average daily volume, with calls outnumbering puts by more than 2 to 1. Traders appeared to focus their buying to the March 95-strike calls, with over 2,800 of those contracts trading hands throughout the day. Since buying a call gives one the right to purchase a stock for a given price at a specific time, this trade is effectively a bet that Deere stock will rally above $95 per share by March expiration, or another 3 percent from current levels in the next month.
Have your own opinion. That was Jim Cramer's lesson to investors who were burned by Warren Buffett's moves on the stock market Wednesday.
"I've long been a believer in doing your own homework and finding your own comfort level with individual stocks," said the "Mad Money" host.
That means it is a bad idea to blindly piggyback on the investments made by anyone, let alone Warren Buffett or even Jim Cramer. And if you are an investor who is not willing to do the homework on individual stocks, then Cramer recommends investing in an index fund.
"I love index funds. They allow you to eliminate what's known as single stock risk," he added.
It's not like Warren Buffett has a crystal ball.
In fact, the Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO would be quick to tell you he doesn't know what the stock market is going to do tomorrow, next month or next year.
Although the man known as America's greatest investor has said he doesn't believe you'll make money trying to sell stocks on a daily or weekly basis, many investors closely follow Berkshire's new investments, seeing them as a vote of confidence by Buffett.
But if Berkshire builds its stake in an agricultural equipment company such as Deere, should you buy it? Berkshire dumped shares in Exxon Mobil as oil prices plummeted. Should you have done the same?
"Would I follow him? No. But would I read what he does? Absolutely," said New Jersey-based financial advisor Patricia Powell. "His strategy is extremely long term."
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway on Tuesday disclosed a 5 percent stake in agricultural equipment maker Deere & Co. and said it shed a $3.74 billion investment in oil company Exxon Mobil as oil prices plunged.
The changes were among several that Berkshire made in its common stock investments in the fourth quarter, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing detailing the conglomerate's domestic equity investments as of Dec. 31.
Berkshire began accumulating the bulk of its 17.1 million-share stake in Deere, worth $1.51 billion at year end, in the third quarter of 2014, but had not previously disclosed it. The SEC often lets Buffett quietly accumulate large stakes to deter copycats.
Deere shares rose 1.2 percent in after-market trading.
The stock market index fund Warren Buffett picked in a bet continues to outpace a collection of hedge funds seven years into the 10-year wager.
The latest standings in Buffett's bet with the money managers who own Protege Partners were reported Tuesday by Fortune magazine. Buffett made the bet in 2008 to demonstrate how hefty fees can hurt investment returns.
The Vanguard S&P 500 Admiral index fund Buffett chose is up 63.5 percent since the bet began.
The five funds of hedge funds Protege picked were up roughly 19.6 percent.
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A charity of the winner's choosing will receive at least $1 million. The money both sides put up is invested in Berkshire Hathaway, and it is now worth roughly $1.7 million.
Some of Warren Buffett's big stocks bets have tanked in 2014, and the market hasn't let it pass unnoticed. In fact, anytime a stock Buffett owns declines, the "billions being lost" by Warren makes it into the headlines.
With all the fuss over Warren Buffett's stock-picking prowess, or lack thereof, you might think Berkshire Hathaway has suffered mightily. You'd be wrong, though—way wrong. In fact, Buffett has plenty of reason to smile: Berkshire Hathaway is crushing the S&P 500.
Go big or go home seems to be Warren Buffett's mantra when it comes to philanthropy.
The Berkshire Hathaway CEO and legendary investor made the single biggest charitable donation this year, giving $2.1 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the form of 16.6 million shares of his company, according to Wealth-X's ranking of the 10 largest philanthropic donations of 2014 published on Wednesday.
On Monday, 84-year-old Buffett surpassed Mexican business mogul Carlos Slim to become the world's second richest person as shares of Berkshire Hathaway rallied to an all-time high. Forbes said its real-time ranking of the world's billionaires now estimates Buffett's wealth at $74.4 billion, about $1.5 billion more than Slim's $72.9 billion. Slim is now in third place.