When Warren Buffett took over Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A 0.35%) (BRK.B 0.40%) in 1965, the company was valued at $19 per share. Today, the investment conglomerate's class A shares trade at roughly $424,200 -- good for growth of approximately 2,226,200% across the stretch. With that kind of incredible performance, it's no wonder he's widely considered one of history's best investors.
Berkshire stock's massive size means that its days of explosive growth are probably in the rearview, but investors will likely still be able to bank strong gains by following moves made by the company and its chief executive officer. Read on for a look at four Buffett-backed stocks that look primed to deliver wins over the long term.
1. Berkshire Hathaway
If you want to replicate The Oracle of Omaha's investing strategy, the single best way to do it is owning Berkshire Hathaway stock. Led by Buffett, vice chairman Charlie Munger, and a team of expert analysts, Berkshire stands as one of the best-managed investment conglomerates of the last half-century.
Berkshire Hathaway has sector-spanning investment holdings and a legendary management team, so buying its stock is a top way to add a combination of diversified, relatively low-risk holdings to your portfolio. Investing in the company provides a convenient, trustworthy vehicle for broad exposure to the stock market and an equity stake in other businesses and assets under Berkshire's corporate umbrella.
In addition to the other stocks profiled in this article, Berkshire Hathaway gives investors exposure to companies including Coca-Cola, Bank of America, American Express, and many others. While Berkshire has a reputation for focusing on value plays in time-tested business categories, the company has gradually been shifting to accommodate a more tech-focused approach to investing. Buffett's and Munger's investing philosophy still plays a key role in shaping the company's direction, but Berkshire is also building positions in future-oriented tech players, and that should work to the advantage of long-term shareholders.
Apple (AAPL -1.96%) stands as the single largest stock holding in the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio. While Buffett is known to have been generally averse to tech stocks due to their complicated businesses and growth-dependent valuations, that's started to change in recent years, and his company has been adding more tech stocks to its holdings. Berkshire's big investments in Apple can be seen as leading the company's emerging tech foundations.
Apple has built one of the strongest brands in the consumer hardware space, and that's also paved the way for a robust software and subscription services ecosystem. Apple will likely continue to command forefront positions in the mobile hardware and software spaces, and it stands out as a likely beneficiary of emerging long-term growth trends, including wearable computing, 5G, and augmented reality.
Buffett is known for liking businesses that have strong brand strength, and Verizon (VZ 0.26%) certainly ticks that box. The telecommunications company has America's largest wireless subscriber base, and it regularly wins awards for having the industry's best network coverage and customer service. With 5G availability still rolling out and phones that support next-generation network services just starting to become widely available, Verizon is likely in the early stages of benefiting from a major transition.
And when it's time to roll out the next wireless network generations and leaps forward in upload and download speeds, there's a good chance that Verizon will continue to be at the forefront. Access to dependable, high-quality internet service will only become increasingly central to business and everyday life, and Verizon is a top candidate for benefiting from this long-term trend.
Amazon (AMZN -0.77%) is one of the world's most influential companies, and it's likely that the tech giant will continue to improve and innovate. With leading positions in e-commerce and cloud infrastructure service, Amazon is at the forefront of incredibly important industries that have far-reaching connections to a huge range of businesses. The company has also used its strengths in online retail and data analysis to establish a third-place position in the digital advertising market, and it looks poised to continue benefiting from the ongoing growth of digital ads.
The e-commerce, cloud computing services, and digital advertising industries still have long runways for growth, and there's a good chance that Amazon will be able to use its immense resources to expand into new growth categories that strengthen the overall business. The stock has already put up stellar performance, and it continues to offer an attractive risk-reward dynamic for long-term investors.