Tech-averse Warren Buffett would rather own shares of Coca-Cola than Apple

“Warren Buffett said he’ll probably prolong his aversion to electronics makers such as Apple Inc. because their business prospects are harder to predict than companies such as Coca-Cola Co.,” Jun Yang-Mar reports for Bloomberg.

“‘We held very few in the past and we’re likely to hold very few in the future,” the billionaire chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said in Daegu, South Korea, today, referring to electronics makers,” Yang-Mar reports. “Coca-Cola, based in Atlanta, is ‘very easy for me to come to a conclusion as to what it will look like economically in five or 10 years, and it’s not easy for me to come to a conclusion about Apple,’ he said. Buffett, 80, arrived in Daegu yesterday to attend a ceremony for a new factory being built by TaeguTec Ltd., a South Korean company partly owned by his Iscar Metalworking Cos. unit that makes cutting tools. He canceled his scheduled trip to Japan this week after the earthquake.”

“Apple, the Cupertino, California-based maker of the iPhone and iPad, last year overtook Microsoft Corp. as the largest technology company by market value. The 8.6 percent stake in Coca-Cola is Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway’s biggest equity holding, followed by Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and American Express Co. (AXP), according to regulatory data compiled by Bloomberg,” Yang-Mar reports.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: On March 21, 2001, ten years ago today, AAPL closed at $10.06 per share (split adjusted). KO closed at $35.37 (adjusted for dividends and splits). AAPL is currently trading at $338.60. KO is trading at $63.65.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

48 Comments

    1. Hahaha! LOL. That was funny…. So, what you are saying is that new school says you invest in what you ignore??

      Hahahaha!

      Listen…. Mr Buffett is in the same situation as Mr Bill Gates’ kids regarding no iPods or Apple products “policy”.

    2. So why did he make an exception to his “no tech” policy to buy some Microsoft shares – one of his few losing investments – except that it’s owned by his buddy Gates?

      By the way, if you’re wondering why he was visiting TaeguTek, it’s because Berkshire owns 80% of Iscar Metalworking – an Israeli company he purchased a few years ago and his first overseas acquisition – and TaeguTek is, as noted, partly owned by Iscar.

    1. Whether or not these companies would be around a 100 years, is almost a moot point; for how many of us will be around then? Besides which, I’d rather have a load of cash, moderately risk free, in a decade of investment and retire for life early. I have a feeling, that’s a smart investment, which what AAPL has provided so many of us with. It was always risk free, because they have guided well, and those of us in the know, have been richly, but not unexpectedly, rewarded. Wouldn’t it be funny, if AAPL can afford to buy Coca Cola outright with their cash hoard one day, and have spares left. What merit will your point hold then?

      1. Apple is FAR FAR from risk free. Its future value depends on the next big thing and a few key people. Ask yourself what would happen if Tim Cook, Steve Jobs and Jon Ives were in a car together which got into a serious accident?

        Now, ask yourself if anything would change if the entire Board of Coca-Cola were wiped out?

        It wasn’t long ago that Apple DROPPED like a stone to $90.

        Apple is NOT immune to the same kind of volatility that CSCO, MSFT and other big tech companies have faced.

        1. It wasn’t long ago that Apple DROPPED like a stone to $90.

          that’s a douche’ hole comment.. at the same time KO dropped to 39 per share. SInce then KO is up to 62 per share in 2 years while Apple is up over 338. I’ll stick with AAPL
          come out of the basement, every company dropped at that time.

    2. And why do you, as an investor, want it to be here 100 years from now if you (or most anyone born today or earlier) won’t be here for sure?

      Think about it.

      And Mr Buffett may very well own some Microsoft shares.

  1. Makes sense. Coca-Cola is solidly reliable, it pays dividends to investors(!!!), and it is GUARANTEED to be here in 100 years (as “ed” mentioned above). Apple, just like all other tech companies, has its ups and downs, and can be rendered obsolete in a matter of years. Coca Cola is a better long-term investment.

  2. Most of us here know very well how sound AAPL investment has been since Jobs’s return, and how safe it is going forward. However, that really doesn’t mean anything to Buffet. Regardless of what some here may think of his approach (or lack thereof) to tech, as a third richest person in the world, neither anyone gets to question his strategy, nor does he need to answer for it.

    1. Regardless, the fact remains that if Buffett had invested in AAPL instead of KO ten years ago, he’d be richer than the top 10 richest combined.

      Not only would Buffett be richer by far, so would his Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

      Some “genius” investor. Safe, successful, very profitable to be sure, just not a genius. A genius would have educated himself on tech, not ignored it.

      1. You have no right to consider who’s “genius” and who isn’t. His company has consistently made double digit profit increases for over 4 DECADES. This has propelled him to one of the richest men in the world. Unless you have contributed to the business world in some greater fashion, I suggest you reserve your judgement.

    2. On the contrary, the fact that he is one of the richest people in the world *does not* exempt his strategy from scrutiny. At the very least, the shareholders in Berkshire Hathaway have a vested interest in his investment strategy. Whether or not he “answers” for it is up to him.

      I can understand an aversion to tech stocks – many tech companies have come and gone, and some have even come back again from near oblivion. However, I believe that a person is best served by be open to change, if circumstances warrant, rather than clinging tightly to tried and true. Apple has been an exception to the rule for the better part of a decade, and many of us saw it years ago. As a legendary investor, Warren should have perceived the upside to Apple at least as well as us.

  3. As Buffett pointed out, he holds stocks for 5-10 years. Very few tech companies are predictable that far out, Apple, IBM, HP and Microsoft included. The tech industry just changes too fast.

    No problem; tech stocks just don’t fit Buffett’s investment model. Just like mini-towers and large desktop computers don’t fit into Apple’s business model.

  4. Ihttp://www.benzinga.com/analyst-ratings/11/03/898228/warren-buffett-on-steve-jobs-wells-fargo-controversy-picking-winners-an

    When asked if the Steve Jobs saga had taken its toll on Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Warren Buffett said that while he didn’t know much about the company, he believes it is a phenomenal organization.

    “And that’s been done by innovation,” Buffett said. “He’s enormously important to Apple. Walt Disney was important to Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS). There are certain talents that are really rare.”

    Warren Buffett also heavily criticised Steve Jobs and didn’t hesitate to take pot shots when SJ took sick leave the previous time. He went out of his way to criticise him for not advertising the succession plan to the world. I find him to be a tool. Sad are the folks who compare him to Jobs. History won’t be so kind, billionaire or not.

    1. I’ve made one mistake: Warren Buffett had criticised SJ about not coming clear/divulging his health issues to the shareholders, as he felt they have a right to that. I don’t know if he criticised Jobs on his succession plan or not, as it would seem, Mr. Buffett doesn’t have one in place for himself either.

      1. Actually, I think he does. I was reading about it a while ago. He was right to criticize Mr. Jobs in my opinion given how closely he is tied to Apple in the minds of simpletons.

  5. Buffett has been very complimentary of Jobs and Apple in the past, but he doesn’t invest in businesses he doesn’t understand, and he doesn’t think he understands tech.

  6. I think Buffet understand tech very well. That is why he says he is not able to predict where tech will be in 10 years. Very smart man.

    Was I a genius for buying AAPL stock when it was $10? No! Just lucky. Buffett does not invest on luck like the rest of us.

  7. “Tech” has changed — a lot — since 2000. The top weighted tech companies are now all essentially value stocks with solid growth prospects and virtually no debt. They have become much much more that when the original definition of tech was derived … they are now vital and necessary pieces of not only the economy and all of business but also, communication and entertainment.

    The barriers to entry in competing against an AAPL or any of the other top 10 weighted tech companies are extremely high.

    Me, I’ll continue to buy the dips, sell the rips, and keep conservative amounts of tech stashed away for a long time.

    Tech over coke if you want to make more money, in the long run.

    1. “Me, I’ll continue to buy the dips, sell the rips, and keep conservative amounts of tech stashed away for a long time.”

      Good strategy in my book. I do the same.

      1. Given that the entire global economy is totally integrated/built with and dependent on big cap tech, I don’t know how you could not have that as part of a ‘conservative’ portfolio.

  8. He has probably made more people more money over his career than any other person in the world and has sustained that over decades. I hold Apple stock and also hold stock in Berksire Hathaway. If BH can continue to perform as it has without investing in Apple- it’s fine with me.

      1. B, class A shares are kind of pricey. BTW- owning even 1 share of Berkshire will get you a shareholder discount on many products and services wholly owned- like GEICO Insurance. With it over time you will get your money back in discounted insurance.

  9. I respect Warren Buffett’s he know what he is doing and that make lot of money for his investor and himself. He old school which is fine, I would avoid the majority of must tech company but he might be missing the boat on Apple.
    I will comment on his invest of Coca Cola it not Coke that will make him the real money it will be all the unhealthy people, especially children from drink all all that crap that in the future will need drugs from his pharmaceutical investments. You can not do this with Apple unless I start taking drugs for my migraine headaches cause by the retina display on my IPhone.

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