Warren Buffett has been a stabilizing force on an otherwise twitchy market as of late, says Dan Deming, managing director at KKM Financial, who likened Buffett to the wizened Yoda of Star Wars fame.
Holding company Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) held its annual meeting over the weekend in Omaha, Nebraska, where Buffett continued to spread his gospel on a number of topics, including his company’s purchase over the first quarter of 2018 of 75 million shares of Apple Inc., bringing Berkshire’s total stake in the tech company to 240 million and making it Apple’s third-largest holder.
That news has been greeted favourably by investors, who pushed Apple’s share price past the $185 barrier and to a new record high in trading on Monday.
“Warren Buffett put the Force in the market [on Friday],” said Deming to BNN Bloomberg. “He doesn’t get caught up in the day-to-day minutiae that a lot of us get focused on with the gyrations of the market.”
On Buffett’s purchase of more Apple stock, Deming says, “That’s a vote of confidence, overall, particularly for Apple but also for the tech sector moving forward.”
“I think that the fact that he continues to look at this as a value play and the fact that there are some value moves out there as he continues to move his book around, that overall serves for most investors as what we’d call soothing in the sense that he hasn’t liquidated and he sees value out there,” he says.
Among Buffett’s pronouncements to shareholders this past weekend was the confession that he had made a mistake in thinking that tech companies like Google and Amazon didn’t make sense as investments for Berkshire, while the company’s long-serving vice-chairman Charlie Munger has recently stated that in retrospect their position on Apple was “a little too restrained” over the years.
Buffett also proclaimed that print media is losing the battle to digital platforms and that likely only three newspapers in the United States will survive the onslaught, those being the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. As for the rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin over the past year and a half, the Oracle of Omaha called them “rat poison squared” and “non-productive assets that will not deliver anything other than supposed scarcity.”
“Anytime you buy non-productive assets, you are counting on someone later on buying a non-productive asset. It does come to a bad ending; cryptocurrencies will come to a bad ending,” Buffett said.