After selling off $430 million of equities in the fourth quarter of 2003, Buffett sold about $150 million of U.S. stocks between Dec. 31, 2003, and March 31. While the $150 million sold represents only a small fraction of Berkshire's $35 billion portfolio, it is important to keep in mind that most of that portfolio comprises what Buffett has termed "permanent" holdings for Berkshire. These are shares in companies such as Coca-Cola
Berkshire sold off all of its shares in two companies: Automatic Data Processing
Berkshire also continued to make reductions in its holdings in two other stocks, H&R Block
In addition, although Berkshire's cash position increased to a staggering $41 billion in the latest quarter, the company did not make any additions to its equity portfolio.
As I have written in previous articles, investors who are actively buying any of the stocks that Berkshire is selling are essentially betting against Buffett -- a rather bold gamble. And all investors should be conscious of the fact that even with $41 billion burning a hole in his pocket, Buffett is struggling to find opportunities to invest in the U.S. equities market.
Do you agree with Buffett's moves? Join the conversation on the always-interesting Berkshire Hathaway discussion board.
Fool contributor Salim Haji lives in Denver, Colo. He owns shares in Berkshire Hathaway. His current cash position is, sadly, somewhat less than $41 billion.