Warren Buffett commands a $270 billion stock portfolio – and 5 holdings make up 75% of its total value

warren buffett
Warren Buffett

  • Warren Buffett has a $270 billion stock portfolio, and five stocks make up 75% of its value.
  • Berkshire Hathaway disclosed $203 billion of Apple, Bank of America, and three other stocks.
  • Buffett concentrated his portfolio last quarter by slashing and exiting several holdings.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Warren Buffett’s stock portfolio was worth $270 billion at the last count, making it more valuable than Exxon Mobil or Comcast. Around $203 billion, or 75% of that figure, was parked in just five stocks.

The investor’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate owned $108 billion of Apple stock as of March 31, regulatory filings show. That single holding accounted for 40% of the total value of its portfolio.

Berkshire’s increased stake in Bank of America was worth $39 billion, or 14% of the portfolio. The next-biggest holding was American Express ($21 billion or 7.9% of the total), followed by Coca-Cola ($21 billion or 7.8%) and Kraft Heinz ($13 billion or 4.8%).

“Wow is that concentrated,” Paul Lountzis, a longtime Berkshire shareholder and the president of Lountzis Asset Management, told Insider. “But that has always been his way.”

Indeed, Buffett has repeatedly trumpeted the power of a concentrated portfolio, and warned investors against spreading their bets too much.

“Diversification is a protection against ignorance,” he said at Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting in 1996. “It makes very little sense for those who know what they’re doing.”

Buffett added that if someone can analyze and value businesses, it would be “madness” for them to own scores of stocks and put money into their 35th-favorite business instead of their top pick. Diversifying to that extent would most likely hurt their results and increase their risks, he cautioned in his 1993 shareholder letter.

Berkshire’s top five holdings accounted for 74% of its portfolio’s total value at the end of December. That proportion climbed to 75% last quarter after the company slashed its Wells Fargo and Chevron stakes, trimmed its pharmaceutical and financial bets, and exited a couple of positions.

Buffett might concentrate his portfolio even more in the coming months. “He is going back to making very large commitments to stocks he likes the most,” Lountzis told Insider.

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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reveals Aon stake, slashes Chevron and Wells Fargo

warren buffett
Warren Buffett

  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway invested in British insurer Aon last quarter.
  • Buffett’s company also boosted its Verizon and Kroger stakes.
  • Berkshire reduced several positions including Chevron, Wells Fargo, and Merck.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a new bet on Aon in a portfolio update on Monday. It also revealed that it took a knife to several positions and virtually eliminated its Wells Fargo stake last quarter.

The famed investor’s company bought 4.1 million shares of Aon, a British health insurer and pensions administrator, in the three months to March 31. It also boosted its Verizon stake by about 8% to 159 million shares – worth over $9 billion at the end of the period. Moreover, it ramped up its Kroger bet by over 50% to north of 50 million shares.

Buffett and his team trimmed several positions, which was expected given Berkshire’s recent earnings showed that it sold $3.9 billion of stock on a net basis last quarter. They slashed their Chevron stake, despite only establishing it last year, by just over half to 24 million shares worth $2.5 billion. They also reduced their pharmaceutical bets – AbbVie, Bristol Myers-Squibb, and Merck – as well as Liberty Global, Axalta, and StoneCo.

Notably, Berkshire cut its Wells Fargo stake from more than 50 million shares to fewer than 700,000. The bank had been one of Buffett’s biggest positions until last year.

The lack of purchases last quarter chimes with Buffett’s comments at Berkshire’s recent shareholder meeting. The investor said he was looking to invest about $80 billion of Berkshire’s roughly $140 billion cash hoard in stocks and businesses, but admitted he was struggling to find bargains in the current market.

Buffett cited the Federal Reserve’s continued efforts to pump liquidity into markets, which has boosted asset prices and fueled competition for acquisitions, as a key factor.

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