Apparently, the European Union is toast, with Italy becoming the latest massive anchor for that sinking ship. The U.S. has heaps of trouble around the corner if Congress can't wise up and raise the debt ceiling. China's growth may end up slowing drastically as the government tries to stare down inflation. Then there's always peak oil, global warming, unrest in the Middle East, violent video games, Celine Dion, Casey Anthony, obesity...
I feel like I'm doing a reprise of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire."
But in the midst of this, I'm going to tell you that now is the time to be buying Berkshire Hathaway
1. Great businesses
Berkshire isn't one business, it's a huge collection of them, and they're all sorts of simple, quality businesses that would be great to own individually. The (long!) list includes Dairy Queen, NetJets, GEICO, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Fruit of the Loom, Business Wire, Benjamin Moore, RC Willey, and, of course, See's Candies.
2. Great stocks
Who needs a mutual fund when you've got Berkshire's massive stock portfolio run by Warren Buffett and his recently handpicked investing successor, Todd Combs. If stability is on your list of must-haves, then Berkshire's portfolio has you covered. Its top positions include stable, high-quality blue chips such as Coca-Cola
3. Charlie Munger told you to
OK, so he didn't exactly say, "Hey, dummy, buy this stock now!" (though I could see that coming out of his mouth). What he did say, as faithfully transcribed by my fellow Fool Morgan Housel, was: "Berkshire's stock is at a point Buffett and I never anticipated it would go to. ... Investors owning Berkshire at current prices will do quite all right just sitting on their rear ends."
4. 15 minutes could save you even more
So this may not apply to everyone, but I just recently changed my auto insurance to GEICO. They undercut everyone else I spoke with in part because -- as Buffett reminds us every year at the annual meeting -- Berkshire shareholders get a discount.
5. It's cheap!
This intersects with Munger's thoughts, but it's so important it merits repetition. Rather than take credit for this myself, I'll direct you once again to Morgan Housel, who noted last month that Berkshire is the cheapest it's been in decades.
The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Johnson & Johnson, and Coca-Cola. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Berkshire Hathaway, and Coca-Cola. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.
Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Johnson & Johnson, but does not have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or Facebook. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.
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