Under Buffett, Berkshire Is Snapping Up Bargains Again–but Not Bitcoin

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

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Warren Buffett is snapping up stocks, buying an insurer at a bargain price, and exciting investors in

Berkshire Hathaway
Buffett, who turns 92 in August, had been relatively inactive in the wake of the pandemic, but has sharply picked up the pace of investments in 2022.

Berkshire reached an $11 billion deal to buy insurer Alleghany in March at an attractive price, and was a net buyer of more than $40 billion of stocks in the first quarter, including more than $15 billion of


Buffett, now in his 57th year at Berkshire’s helm, has broadened Berkshire’s energy bet this year by snapping up $11 billion of

Occidental Petroleum
an 18% stake, prompting speculation that he may buy the entire energy company.

Berkshire stock has pulled back with the rest of the market but still tops the S&P 500 index over the past year.

Buffett looked as sharp as ever at Berkshire’s annual meeting on April 30, holding forth with vice chairman Charlie Munger for over five hours in Omaha, Neb., at the first in-person meeting since 2019. Buffett blasted Bitcoin, saying he wouldn’t pay $25 for all the Bitcoin in the world, while renewing his criticism of independent directors. An ideal Berkshire director is financially astute and cares deeply about the company. He says “independent” directors often are in it for the money–$250,000 or more in annual compensation–and beholden to management.

Buffett has no plan to retire. “I’m always on the clock” for Berkshire, he told Charlie Rose in an interview earlier this year.

Write to Andrew Bary at andrew.bary@barrons.com

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