Investment Ideas from Berkshire Hathaway’s Portfolio

On August 14, 2007, Berkshire Hathaway filed with SEC its second quarter Form 13F. For the quarter ending June 30, 2007, Berkshire reported 40 stock holdings in its portfolio, including

  • American Express (AXP)
  • American Standard Cos. (ASD)
  • Ameriprise Financial (AMP)
  • Anheuser-Busch (BUD)
  • Bank of America (BAC)
  • Burlington Northern (BNI)
  • Coca-Cola (KO)
  • Comcast CMCSA (CMCSK)
  • Comdisco (CDCO)
  • ConocoPhillips (COP)
  • Costco Wholesale (COST)
  • Dow Jones (DJ)
  • First Data (FDC)
  • Gannett (GCI)
  • General Electric (GE)
  • Home Depot (HD)
  • Ingersoll-Rand (IR)
  • Iron Mountain (IRM)
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
  • Lowe’s Companies (LOW)
  • M&T Bank (MTB)
  • Moody’s (MCO)
  • Nike (NKE)
  • PetroChina (PTR)
  • Procter & Gamble (PG)
  • Sanofi-Aventis (SNY)
  • ServiceMaster (SVM)
  • SunTrust Banks (STI)
  • Torchmark (TMK)
  • Tyco International (TYC)
  • US Bancorp (USBB)
  • USG (USG)
  • UnitedHealth Group (UNH)
  • United Parcel Service (UPS)
  • Wal-Mart Stores (WMT)
  • Washington Post (WPO)
  • Wells Fargo (WFC)
  • WellPoint (WLP)
  • Wesco Financial (WSC)
  • Western Union (WU)

Actually, most of its investments have been held for a long time as Mr. Buffett likes to take the buy-and-hold-forever approach, if possible, after identifying a good stock. What’s interesting is to see how the portfolio has changed from time to time to get an investment idea from what The Oracle of Omaha is buying and what he’s selling.

Berkshire has recently added Bank of America and Dow Jones to its portfolio which did not appear in their first quarter filing. According to a Morningstar article, Berkshire also added stakes in Burlington, J&J, Nike, P&G, Sanofi, UnitedHealth, USB, and Wells Fargo, while eliminating positions at H&R Block and Pier 1. At the same time, it has reduced shares at Ameriprise and Western Union.

The article also noticed that neither Norfolk Southern (NSC) nor Union Pacific (UNP) appeared in the portfolio. The reason could be that

Berkshire is still accumulating a position in both Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific, and regulators have potentially allowed the conglomerate to omit the disclosure during this accumulation phase.

Of the stocks Mr. Buffett is investing, I also have shares in Bank of America and Procter & Gamble, purchased through DRIP programs. These are my parts of my dividend investments that I hope to generate passive income later.

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