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5 Mind-Blowing Numbers From Warren Buffett’s Stock Portfolio

By Jordan Wathen – Jan 15, 2016 at 12:11PM

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It's hard to put Berkshire Hathaway's investment portfolio in perspective. These five numbers might help.

Warren Buffett's historical investment record is so impressive it's hard to put it into words. But where words fail, numbers usually do the trick.

Here are five mind-blowing numbers from Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A 0.35%) (BRK.B 0.40%) stock portfolio:

1. $128 billion
This is the current market value of Berkshire Hathaway's holdings, assuming it didn't buy or sell a share of stock during the fourth quarter of 2015.

If Berkshire's stock portfolio were a stand-alone company, it would have the 37th largest market capitalization, sitting behind computer giant IBM and just before pharmaceutical company Allergan.

2. $86 billion
Never a fan of diversification, Buffett's five largest stock investments have a current market value of about $86 billion, compromising about 67% of Berkshire Hathaway's stock portfolio.

Kraft Heinz Company shares, valued at about $24 billion, are the most recent addition, jumping into the No. 2 position after the company was relisted on the public markets in July 2015.

3. $20.5 billion
The numbers above only include available-for-sale assets listed in Berkshire's regulatory filings.

At the end of September, Berkshire held other assets, including preferred stock, common stock, and warrants in household names like Wrigley, Dow Chemical, Bank of America, and Restaurant Brands International (which includes chains such as Burger King and Tim Horton's).

More permanent fixtures in the portfolio, these holdings were valued at $20.5 billion in Berkshire's Sept. 2015 filings. 

4. $4.4 billion
In the fourth quarter of 2015 alone, Berkshire's 25-largest stock investments rose in value by $4.4 billion thanks to rising stock prices and dividends.

Impressive? Sure, on a dollars and cents basis.

In terms of relative performance, Berkshire's 3.6% gain on its 25-largest investments lags the 7% return of the S&P 500 ETF during the fourth quarter of 2015. Not many investors can make $4.4 billion in a single quarter by lagging the market.

5. $858 million
Buffett isn't an active trader. He tends to buy and hold. But his portfolio managers, Ted Weschler and Todd Combs, tend to be more active, in part because they manage a small part of the portfolio.

If we assume Berkshire neither bought nor sold a single share of its 25 largest stock holdings in the fourth quarter of 2015, Berkshire Hathaway would have received about $858 million in quarterly dividends from its publicly traded investments.

Jordan Wathen has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool recommends Bank of America. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Berkshire Hathaway (A shares) Stock Quote
Berkshire Hathaway (A shares)
BRK.A
$478,675.55 (0.35%) $1,655.56
Berkshire Hathaway (B shares) Stock Quote
Berkshire Hathaway (B shares)
BRK.B
$317.43 (0.40%) $1.25

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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