Everyone knows that Warren Buffett is one of the greatest living investors. Not for nothing is the guy known as the "Oracle of Omaha." Thing is, while shares of his Berkshire Hathaway holding company look relatively cheap in terms of their price multiples, ponying up the entrance fee might be a stretch: Berkshire's A shares (BRKa) currently go for around $106,000 a pop, while the B shares (BRKb) will set you back more than $3,500.
The good news is that you can get access to Buffett and his portfolio of subsidiaries and equity holdings for smaller sums. How so? Via mutual funds that hold Berkshire shares in their portfolios.
FMI Large Cap (FMIHX), for example, recently had nearly 8% of its assets plunked down on Berkshire Bs. The fund rounds out its portfolio with the likes of Time Warner
Oak Value (OAKVX), meanwhile, runs with a Berkshire slug that weighs in at almost 6% of assets and, if you invest via an IRA, has a $1,000 minimum. Buy shares of this puppy, and in addition to Berkshire, you'll be investing in a portfolio that recently held Johnson & Johnson
What's that? Those funds don't provide quite enough Buffett for you? Not to worry: In the September issue of , we revisited the investment case for a fund -- my favorite of the Buffett boys -- that packs more than 16% of its assets into Berkshire Hathaway. Other holdings here include Phelps Dodge
In the interest of protecting value for our members, we tend to play our newsletter's recommendations close to the vest. But if you want the inside scoop on this pick and all of our others, no problem: Just click for a free 30-day guest pass.
Fund your future
In the meantime, add "access" to the list of winning traits that make investing in a world-class portfolio of mutual funds a great way to begin -- and continue -- your career as an investor. In addition to the likes of Berkshire, funds also open the door to areas of the market that might lie outside your circle of investing competence.
If you're looking to dial up your exposure to, say, equities plucked from the world's developing economies or even those in your own backyard that hail from industries you don't fully understand -- biotech, anyone? How 'bout nanotech? -- terrific funds helmed by stock pickers who do understand them can be had -- provided you know where (and how) to look.
Pricey picks with green managers are musts-to-avoid, for example, as are most funds that pack tons of assets into narrow areas of the market. Quick and easy diversification, after all, is another built-in advantage of well-chosen mutual funds.
The Foolish bottom line
Choosing well is what we strive to do each month at Champion Funds -- and so far, so good. Our list o' picks is up on the market by more than 8 percentage points since we opened for business back in March 2004.
That free 30-day guest pass I mentioned is just a mouse-click away, and you can use it to rummage through our archives, fund recommendations, and our members-only discussion boards, too. There's no obligation to stick around if you find it isn't for you, so go ahead and give Champion Funds a whirl. A world of market-beating stocks that you might not otherwise invest in awaits.
This article was originally published on Aug. 15, 2006. It has been updated.
At the time of publication, didn't own any of the securities mentioned above. Berkshire Hathaway is an Inside Value selection. Johnson & Johnson is an Income Investor pick. Time Warner is a Stock Advisor pick. You can check out the Fool's strict disclosure policy by clicking righthere.