Why we’ll never know who made Berkshire Hathaway’s epic Apple call

“Berkshire Hathaway, the global conglomerate and investment behemoth led by Warren Buffett, has historically shied away from buying technology stocks,” Julia La Roche writes for Yahoo Finance. “Today, Berkshire Hathaway is the largest owner of Apple stock.”

“Berkshire began investing in Apple shares during the first quarter of 2016. Berkshire gradually added to its position. At the end of 2016, Berkshire owned 57.4 million shares of Apple. In his annual shareholder letter, Buffett noted that they purchased the shares for an average cost of just over $110 per share in 2016,” La Roche writes. “Buffett revealed to CNBC in late February that Berkshire continued to purchase Apple shares in 2017, with the latest number being 133 million shares, a position currently valued at more than $19 billion.”

“Buffett has previously hinted that ‘one or more’ of his young investment deputies — Todd Combs and Tedd Weschler — were behind that investment,” La Roche writes. “During an interview with Yahoo Finance’s editor-in-chief Andy Serwer, Berkshire’s investment gurus declined to reveal who’s really behind the Apple idea. ‘“We like to keep people guessing on that stuff,’ Weschler said… All we know for sure is that at least someone at Berkshire Hathaway thinks Apple is a good investment.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in February:

Never have the advantages of having some young blood in the office been quite so evident.

Warren Buffett reveals Apple stake is twice as large as previously disclosed at more than $18 billion – February 27, 2017
Warren Buffett tripled investment in Apple shares in Q416 to 57.36 million shares – February 15, 2017
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway boosts Apple stake by 5.42 million shares – August 16, 2016
Apple’s historic stock surge could confirm what Warren Buffett already knew – July 28, 2016
Buffett saved $460 million by waiting to swap AT&T for Apple – May 16, 2016
Warren Buffett takes shine to Apple – May 16, 2016
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway takes new $1 billion stake in Apple – May 16, 2016


  1. It’s amusing to note that Berkshire Hathaway started their highly successful investment in AAPL at about the same time that Carl Icahn sold off all of his AAPL and told the world what he had done.

    Icahn’s action was interpreted by many as an attempt to depress the price of AAPL, but as it happened, Berkshire Hathaway decided that it had become a very attractively priced stock with tremendous potential.

    1. Icahn had said he was concerned about iPhone sales in China and I’m sure a lot of other people felt the same way. I’m sure it’s not easy for a big investor to sit on a stock and the stock doesn’t go up. If I were a greedy big investor I probably wouldn’t stick with Apple when everyone else is quickly getting rich from owning FANG stock. Even now I get annoyed seeing the FANG stocks constantly climb (I don’t own any) based on some vague future growth potential I can’t actually put my finger on and it makes me feel stupid for not seeing it. I mainly base my stock choices on company fundamentals. To me, a bird in the hand is worth more than two in a bush. However, I do see Apple’s cash reserve as a flock of birds looking for a place to land.

      I think Icahn got antsy and figured Apple wasn’t going to move fast enough for his greed. It’s also annoying listening to the constant rhetoric about Apple having less potential than Netflix or Microsoft or Tesla and always hearing about Apple running out of gas. Tim Cook certainly doesn’t inspire investor confidence like many CEOs do. Tim Cook certainly isn’t as dynamic a CEO as Musk or Bezos. Nearly no investors rally around Tim Cook.

      I’m thankful for Berkshire Hathaway stepping up to the plate for Apple but we’ll see how long they stick with Apple. Will they stick with Apple for the long-term? Who knows? I’d think Apple could easily be more attractive to investors once its overseas cash is repatriated, but maybe I’m just stupid.

      1. Of course they do but then those same savvy young ‘uns will change hats in the blink of an eye and do something diametrically opposed to AAPL’s interest and then what? MDN…probably something along the lines of “bean-counting no-name Alma Mater, MBA trash”

  2. Berkshire Hathaway (a.k.a Buffett/Munger) are not shorts. That is they don’t short stocks. They’re always long and typically invest in well established stocks that they think will be around a very long long time (e.g. part of the “fabric of America”).

    You might make quicker money following the investment moves of Carl Icahn, but over the long haul you make a lot more following Buffett, if you can wait.

  3. Why is everyone so impressed with Buffet and Berkshire ? How about we ask all the workers at Heinz Canada how they feel, after Buffet at al, closed the plant in Leamington, Ontario?

    1. Yes, I Agree!
      In Pittsburgh after acquiring Heinz, they dumped everyone above age 40 and replaced them at 1/2 the price with 20 somethings. Kraft Heinz is built on a non-sustainable model. It must be flipped before it collapses. The Brazilian partner is ruthless.
      Buffet and his ilk just want to get richer and richer.

  4. Buffet: a prime example of how using other people’s money and no small amount of insider information can make you rich.

    Buffet’s bailout of the entirely corrupt junk bond trader Salomon Bros in 1991 made me question the carefully crafted image Buffet had created for himself.

    Then in 2008 Buffet dumped $5 billion into Goldman Sachs to profit from the malfeasance that GS committed in laundering bad loans. He essentially bailed out one of the main actors in the last financial meltdown.

    Today Buffet remains silent about the massive influence GS has in federal government, and their nefarious underhanded methods attempting to roll back the modest consumer banking protections enacted after Wall Street once again proved it cannot regulate itself.

    Money corrupts absolutely. Just look at what Buffet does, not his happy midwestern persona and the socially conscious acts that his first wife drove in years past. On his own, Buffet is just another wolf in sheeps clothing, now totally misunderstanding his role in the continued corrupting influence that money hoarding and gambling of Wall Street insiders like him have caused and continue to cause to the rest of the world.

    Buffet’s success for the last 25 years has proven only one thing: if you control a large enough investment fund, then no matter what investment you make, you will earn money because there is always a herd of lemmings imitating your every move.

    Buffet’s success in his first 3 decades proved only that it was easy to find and invest in profitable companies when the United States had an economy that encouraged small business, innovation, and middle class. Tax rates back then penalized money hoarding, the GI bill, voting act, clean air and clean water bills proved the government cared first and foremost for the well being of its people. Since 1980, the USA has mortgaged its soul and the operation of the federal government to the greed of Wall Street, and all those small companies have been destroyed, their IP offshored to China, and money grubbers like Buffet profiting from it all while millions of Americans lose their middle class jobs. The loss of America’s long term prosperity started Tricky Dick’s Chinese Adventure, not with Obama’s term patching up the damage Dubya caused. Now here we are watching Trump double down on Goldman Sachs advisors who are in it for personal enrichment and nothing more. The swamp continues to grow.

    1. >Buffet’s success in his first 3 decades proved only that it was easy to find and invest in profitable companies when the United States had an economy that encouraged small business, innovation, and middle class.

      Uh, if it was easy then why didn’t everyone get his returns. He got 30% returns for years.

      Your whole post is one sided. If you can’t match legitimate criticisms with legitimate kudos then you are not operating in reality.

  5. Buffett supported Obama and wants his taxes raised to be on par with his own secretary’s.

    Icahn is a Trump lackey.

    One of them made the right call on Apple here.

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