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Why Warren Buffett’s Market Views Differ from President Trump


Feb. 15 2019, Updated 10:59 a.m. ET

Warren Buffett

On February 14, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) released its fourth-quarter 13F. The filing was highly anticipated since Berkshire Hathaway held more than $100 billion in cash at the end of the third quarter. Berkshire Hathaway was widely expected to deploy cash in the fourth quarter amid the market sell-off. However, Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman, didn’t exactly go on a buying spree in the fourth quarter. The company added some Bank of America (BAC), U.S. Bancorp (USB), General Motors (GM), PNC Financial (PNC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and Travelers (TVC) shares. Berkshire Hathaway also opened new positions in Red Hat (RHT) and Suncor (SU).

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Stakes trimmed

Berkshire Hathaway trimmed its stake in some companies including Apple (AAPL), Wells Fargo (WFC), and Southwest Airlines (LUV). The company exited Oracle (ORCL), which it acquired in the third quarter. General Electric (GE) and IBM (IBM) are the other companies that Berkshire Hathaway exited in the last two years.

Berkshire Hathaway’s buying and selling activity were subdued in the fourth quarter despite the slump in the markets (SPY). The company likely ended with more cash in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter. However, we’ll have to wait to see whether Berkshire Hathaway brought back its own stock in the quarter.

President Trump

While Buffett didn’t find compelling investment opportunities in the fourth quarter, President Trump called it a “bottom” in December. Speaking with reporters on December 25, President Trump said, “So I think it’s a tremendous opportunity to buy. Really a great opportunity to buy.”

Read Warren Buffett Might Not Always Yield Profits to learn more about Buffett’s stock picks.

Read Exiting Like Warren Buffett: Is It a Profitable Strategy? to see which companies Buffett exited in the last two years.


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