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 the 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.
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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 $45 billion! They don't call him "The Oracle of Omaha" for nothing.
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.
SEE: What Is Warren Buffett's Investing Style?
Buffett owns many stocks. Here is a list of some of the most profitable positions for the last 6 months:
|Company||Market Cap||YTD %|
|Nike, Inc. (NYSE:NKE)||49.76B||+15.33%|
|United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS)||71.76B||+5.24%|
|M&T Bank Corp. (NYSE:MTB)||10.23B||+13.59%|
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, there are many sites that can help you see the complete holdings of some of the world's great investors including Warren Buffet.
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.
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