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Tickers in this Article: KO, WFC, AXP, BNI, PG
Regular investors routinely "coattail" the securities holdings of mutual funds, portfolio managers and high profile investors in hopes of generating a high rate of return, but, unfortunately, few professionals have truly been worth effort over long periods. They simply lack the ability to generate consistent and solid returns year in and year out. The exception, of course, is Warren Buffett.

The Buffett Effect
Buffett is chief executive of the investment firm Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, BRK.B). He has led Berkshire through both good economic times and bad, and despite of some pretty challenging years, Berkshire has posted a compounded annual gain in per-share book value of 21.1% from 1965 through 2007. That's double the compounded annual gain of 10.3% posted by the S&P 500 during that time. With returns like that, its no wonder his net worth is said to be in the neighborhood of $60 billion!

Buffett isn't an active trader who constantly darts in and out of stocks. His investing style can best be summed up as "buy and hold", a strategy he likely picked up as a student of legendary investor Ben Graham. (To learn more, check out Think Like Warren Buffett and What Is Warren Buffett's Investing Style?)

Current Holdings
So, what are Buffett's investment holdings? Here is a list of some of the biggest, and most high profile positions:

Company
Market Capitalization
Coca-Cola
(NYSE:KO)
5.56 billion
Wells Fargo
(NYSE:WFC)
.26 billion
Procter & Gamble
(NYSE:PG)
1.72 billion
American Express
(NYSE:AXP)
.09 billion
Burlington Northern
Santa Fe
(NYSE:BNI)
.92 billion
Data as of August 18, 2008
How to Access his Holdings
One place to start is to review Buffett's annual letter to shareholders on the Berkshire site. In it he will detail holdings. Changes to holdings are made public quarterly and can be researched by perusing filings on the SEC website. Also, sites such as CoattailInvestor.com can help you see the complete holdings of some of the world's great investors including Warren Buffet.

Why Buffett Loves Coca-Cola
Coca Cola has been around since 1886 and it has become a virtual staple in many homes and many restaurants both here in the States and throughout the world. I think that there are several reasons why Coca-Cola is a great investment. First, its namesake cola tastes pretty good. Second, it has brands for a variety of tastes (ranging from water, to cherry coke, to caffeine free offerings.) It also does a terrific job at promoting its brand, including massive sponsorship of the current Olympics in China.

The company has delivered on the earnings front and grown for its shareholders. Over the past five years, the company has grown at a roughly 8.7% pace. And going forward thanks to the growing world population and our penchant for sugary drinks, not to mention the possibilities in China, I think that the company has the potential to turn in some solid earnings.

At present, Wall Street expects Coca-Cola to earn $3.09 a share this year and $3.38 a share in 2009, according to Yahoo Finance. On a price to earnings basis, it trades at about 17 times the current year forecast. That's not cheap, but for a dominant company of its size (approx $33.3 billion in expected sales) it's not too shabby either. Finally, the shares carry a small dividend. The current yield is 2.8%.

Final Thoughts
Mimicking Buffett is no guarantee of success. However, the last roughly 40 years have shown that following the Oracle's moves has generally been a pretty darn good idea.

For further coattailing advice, see Build A Baby Berkshire.

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