3 Buffett Predictions for the Rest of 2013

As the fourth richest person in the world today -- even after giving away roughly $24 billion of his shares in Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A  ) (NYSE: BRK-B  ) so far -- it's no surprise that Warren Buffett has his every move followed so closely by investors around the world.

Sure, a simple Web search makes it easy to figure out what Buffett has been up to over the past few years. But the real challenge is determining what the Oracle of Omaha will (or won't) do going forward.

Here are three Buffett predictions, then, for the remainder of 2013.

1. Buffett will be a net seller of stocks
First, though retail investors currently seem to be piling into the market in droves, I think this is exactly the time Buffett will decide to put the brakes on his own equity purchases.

Of course, that doesn't mean there aren't deals to be found picking individual stocks, but it's no mystery that Buffett prefers to buy "when there's blood in the streets" -- and it's hard to argue that's currently the case, with the stock market currently trading near all-time highs.

Then again, as fellow Fool Matt Koppenheffer pointed out last week, there was some easy-to-miss language in Berkshire's recent SEC filings indicating that Buffett probably made an enormous, undisclosed purchase last quarter. However, the last time that happened was back in 2011, when Buffett unveiled his enormous 5.5% stake in tech giant IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) , which most recently stood as Berkshire's third-largest position and was worth more than $13 billion at the end of last quarter.

But the fact Buffett almost certainly put additional billions to work in a yet-to-be-named stock in Q2 only reinforces the notion he'll be more likely to build his cash position going forward, all as he waits patiently for the next market meltdown to occur. 

2. Berkshire won't announce Buffett's successor
Next, though Buffett already confirmed during Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting in May he knows who his successor will be, don't count on hearing him share who it is before 2013 comes to a close.

After all, considering Buffett has already stated that he and Berkshire's board are comfortable with their choice and "100 percent in agreement as to who [his] successor should be," there's no reason they would want to create an unnecessary distraction by disclosing that information while the capable-as-ever Buffett is still at the helm.

Come to think of it, provided the 82-year-old CEO doesn't encounter an insurmountable health crisis in the near future, I wouldn't be surprised if Buffett withheld the name for at least the next several years.

That said, for those of you who still feel the need to guess, Buffett did confirm in a June email to the Omaha World Herald that his successor is male, ruling out speculation that Berkshire's young rising star in Tracy Britt would soon fill his shoes.

3. See's Candies will be just fine
Finally, and on a sweeter note, I'm going to step out on a (very short) limb to predict that Berkshire's See's Candies subsidiary will be just fine in spite of last week's significant chocolate recall.

But don't get me wrong: The recall was indeed unsettling, considering a customer reported having a severe allergic reaction to See's Dark Chocolate Blueberries, which was pegged down to milk -- an ingredient that had been omitted on the label.

OK, I admit this isn't much of a "prediction." It is, however, a perfect opportunity to highlight the fact that, through thick and thin, Buffett sticks by the companies Berkshire acquires. Remember, Buffett purchased See's Candies through Berkshire way back in 1972, and the company has long stood as the poster child for Uncle Warren's undying approval.

But that loyalty doesn't stop with See's. In 2008, Buffett described the companies he buys as works of art, using the following quirky analogy:

You can sell it to Berkshire, and we'll put it in the Metropolitan Museum; it'll have a wing all by itself; it'll be there forever. Or you can sell it to some porn shop operator, and he'll take the painting and he'll make the boobs a little bigger and he'll stick it up in the window, and some other guy will come along in a raincoat, and he'll buy it.

Apart from invoking the undeniable urge to wash your hands, that description makes it all too clear that despite any short-term missteps, See's Candies -- and every other company Berkshire owns, for that matter -- should have no problem surviving and thriving for the foreseeable future.

Buffett has made billions through his investing, and he wants you to be able to invest like him. Through the years, Buffett has offered up investing tips to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. If you'd like to read more, now you can tap into the best of Warren Buffett's wisdom in a new special report from The Motley Fool. Click here now for a free copy of this invaluable report.


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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:54 PM, luckyagain wrote:

    Buffett seldom make a bad investment. That is the real key to his investment strategy.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 3:10 PM, mansourg54 wrote:

    Buffet successor is BILL GATES. Stop speculating. Buffet commited 95% of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gate Foundation.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 3:12 PM, Moester75 wrote:

    I just wanna say to the CEO of Yahoo, that beautiful blonde woman with the sometimes serious look on her face, you're awesome and i love your news coverage.

  • Report this Comment On August 25, 2013, at 2:26 AM, lanceim59 wrote:

    Her name is Marissa Myers.

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2013, at 6:04 PM, AnsgarJohn wrote:

    Bilal Gates would be awesome at BRK.

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2013, at 6:04 PM, AnsgarJohn wrote:

    Bill too ;)

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2013, at 6:07 PM, cmalek wrote:

    And of course you have an infallible crystal ball. You are blowing smoke just like every other analyst. You may get lucky with you predictions but that will not mean you were right. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  • Report this Comment On August 27, 2013, at 12:36 PM, mhayon wrote:

    How do you know there won't be 'blood on the streets' by year end?

    Successor is Ajit. Gates is definitely not the successor.

  • Report this Comment On August 27, 2013, at 4:20 PM, somebo wrote:

    Steve Symington predictions:

    (1) Steve Symington will write about Buffett again.

    (2) Steve Symington will write about some other things.

    (3) Steve Symington will be mostly wrong, except in predictions that are not very interesting (e.g., if Buffett will be ill, then he may stop working, but if Buffett will not be ill, then he may not be interested in just sitting and doing nothing.

    (4) Steve Symington should (but will not) stop writing articles with misleading titles. (The current article is not about Buffett predictions, it is about whatshisname's prediction).

  • Report this Comment On August 27, 2013, at 5:32 PM, Rake80 wrote:

    Added value of this article? 10 minutes wasted.

    Buffet doesn't make predictions.

    “‘It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future’”

    And another one

    " A portfolio manager without a forecast is like a fish without a bicycle".

    Perhaps there is some value in this article.Lesson learned..." Never read an article with "prediction" in title."

  • Report this Comment On August 27, 2013, at 8:42 PM, chris293 wrote:

    This seems like a lot of hype to sell Buffet's stocks

    which I feel are too big to move fast and overvalued compared to the new stocks coming

    up faster and offer greater gains. Buffet would even tell you this.

  • Report this Comment On August 30, 2013, at 6:19 PM, garyjr44 wrote:

    I can never presume to know why Mr Buffett would give his wealth to Bill @ Melinda Gates ,I will never know the life styles of rich and famous I guess it was not Gods plan for me, I am a Disabled American Veteran, on a fixed monthly income,but I still find away to give to people helping people a organization to help feed people in my community and I have a foster son over in Afganistan ,and I try to take of our soldiers by sending care packages,I guess what I am trying to say that it's not what your worth but what you do for others ,it a shame that people don't care anymore the haves and have nots

  • Report this Comment On August 31, 2013, at 1:51 AM, 2motley4words wrote:

    First and foremost, garyjr44, thank you not only for your military service but also for your ongoing community and charitable work; it should be an inspiration to us all.

    It's important to note that, as mansourg54 mentions, Buffett's commitment of the bulk of his fortune is not to Bill and Melinda Gates the individuals but to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the globe's largest private philanthropic organizations.

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