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Yefim Burov
Yefim Burov

How Do I Buy Berkshire Hathaway Stock

If you follow Warren Buffett and his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A 0.83%) (BRK.B 1.21%), then what I'm about to tell you is probably obvious. But if you are new to this stock, it may surprise you to learn that there are two different types of Berkshire Hathaway stock: Class A and Class B.

how do i buy berkshire hathaway stock

Class A shares refer to the original Berkshire stock, which has been publicly traded since 1965 and is much more expensive than Class B shares. Berkshire issued Class B shares in 1996 to make Berkshire's stock more accessible to smaller investors.

Furthermore, Buffett declared that Class A shareholders will never have to go through any kind of stock split. Meanwhile, Class B shareholders can endure stock splits and did a 50-for-1 stock split in 2010 to make the shares even cheaper. Another difference is that Class A shareholders can convert their shares into an equivalent amount of Class B shares. However, Class B shareholders cannot do the same and would need to sell their shares and then purchase Class A.

In terms of performance, let's go back to the introduction of Class B shares on May 6, 1996, and see how they stack up to Class A since that time. The calculation for Class A is fairly straightforward because there was no stock split and Class A shares made total gains of 1,090% since 1996.

Deciding between the two depends more on who you are as an investor and what you are looking for. Smaller investors who may be more passive or newer to investing will likely opt for the Class B shares, as it will generally make buying and selling the stock easier.

Shareholders who follow Berkshire's every move a bit more closely might be more interested in purchasing Class A shares for the enhanced voting power, as well as the visibility of knowing there will never be a stock split. Either way, I don't really think you can go wrong when investing in as strong a company as Berkshire Hathaway.

Bram Berkowitz has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2023 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2023 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short January 2023 $265 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The stock disappointed investors last year, merely offering a flat performance even as the market surged last fall. However, Berkshire is now on a solid upswing. Shares are up 20% year to date and just printed fresh all-time highs. Additionally, Berkshire shares have easily outpaced the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite this year. That made for good timing of Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting, which was held virtually on May 1.

The meeting lacked the pomp and circumstance of the usual Berkshire investors' convention in Omaha, Nebraska. Generally, the Berkshire meeting is value investors' heaven. However, even without a live audience, the meeting still broke plenty of news. For one thing, Buffett disclosed his successor as CEO once that time comes. The company also showed notable concern about the stock market in general.

The firm was a net seller of stocks last quarter, aside from its own, which it continued to repurchase. Overall, Buffett struck a cautious tone, reflective on missed opportunities last year and circumspect regarding current market valuations and trends.

Berkshire also maintained its impeccable balance sheet. Its total cash on hand rose to $145.4 billion. That's even as Berkshire repurchased more than $6 billion of its own stock this quarter. On the buyback, it's worth noting that the pace slowed from $3 billion in January to $1.6 billion in March. Buffett is reducing the velocity of the share repurchase program as the price rises, which makes sense.

There's also a hidden opportunity in energy for Berkshire stockholders. Right now, Berkshire screens poorly on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. This means that many mutual funds and exchange-traded funds exclude Berkshire from their holdings, thus depressing the company's valuation. Once Abel takes over as CEO and Berkshire has less idiosyncratic leadership, it should score better on governance, opening the stock up to more big-money investors.

Regardless, Berkshire delivered a solid quarter and its long-term strategy is credible. Berkshire investors should be reassured; the company is on solid footing going forward, just as it has been for the 50-plus years with Buffett at the helm. Although at its size you shouldn't expect Berkshire's returns to meaningfully outperform the S&P 500 on a consistent basis, it's one of the lowest-risk stocks investors can buy, built to be run conservatively and last for many decades to come.

The stock market has seemingly found a way to become even more volatile recently; the fear in banking is the latest thing shaking investor confidence. So, how do investors put their money to work and sleep well at night?

Buffett can spend opportunistically, like when he went shopping in 2022. Then, the cash from his various companies and dividend stocks begin replenishing. The company's cash position has more than doubled over the past decade, which could continue as all the assets under Berkshire's umbrella grow and raise their dividends.

Berkshire has traded at an average P/B ratio of 2.1 over the past few decades. Today, shares trade at 1.7 times book value, nearly 20% below their long-term average. Considering how Berkshire's been built as a durable and diversified collection of quality businesses, the stock arguably becomes more attractive in this environment. Investors looking for a top-tier blue chip stock in a turbulent market should have Berkshire near the top of their list -- getting shares at a discount is icing on the cake.

American Express is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Bank of America is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Justin Pope has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Apple, Bank of America, and Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2024 $47.50 calls on Coca-Cola, long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple, and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

For more than two years, Berkshire Hathaway has repurchased $40 billion of its common stock, a plan that remains in place until 2025. This is good for investors because it lowers the number of free-floating stocks. Fewer shares on the market means the stock price may increase.

This chart is not advice or a guarantee of success. Rather, it gauges the real-time recommendations of three popular technical indicators: moving averages, oscillators and pivots. Finder is not responsible for how your stock performs.

Valuing Berkshire Hathaway stock is incredibly difficult, and any metric has to be viewed as part of a bigger picture of Berkshire Hathaway's overall performance. However, analysts commonly use some key metrics to help gauge the value of a stock.

These are the publicly-traded U.S. stocks owned by Warren Buffett's holding company Berkshire Hathaway, as reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission in filings made available to the public. There are times when Berkshire asks for, and receives, the SEC's permission to temporarily withhold data on some stock holdings. Click on a header to sort by that column. Clicking twice will reverse the order of the sort.

These computer-driven investment groups look for specific factors or trends to guide their wagers, with some hoping to ride the momentum of a stock when it is rising and others looking for shares of companies that are less volatile than the broader market.

While Berkshire stock has been popular with quant funds, long-short fund managers, including Hudson Bay Capital Management and Bronte Capital also bought 745,000 and 365,649 shares respectively during the second quarter.

Berkshire Hathaway started out as a textile manufacturer until Buffet bought so many shares that he took over the company in 1965. Since then, the company's stock price has skyrocketed to astronomical proportions. Today, the main Berkshire Class A stock is the highest priced stock by miles - trading at over $325,000 per share as of Sept 2020.

Berkshire Hathaway stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Make sure the brokerage you use has access to this exchange. Just about all U.S.-based brokerages offer access to the NYSE market.

Lastly, all you have to do is purchase Berkshire Hathaway stock. Berkshire Hathaway offers two options: Class A (ticker symbol BRK.A) and Class B (ticker symbol BRK.B). Both give you a stake in the company, but the main difference between the two is the price.

Market order: Execute the transaction now at the current market price,Limit order: Set a specific price at which you wish to buy. This gives investors more control. But if the stock never hits the price you set, the trade will never be executed.

Don't make the buy-or-not decision purely based on the stock's current price. Instead, consider if Berkshire Hathaway is right for your goals and risk tolerance. This comes down to what kind of investor you are.

Annual report: Details the company's financial performance, including income and cash flow statements, revenue, and expenses. Most companies will have this for free on their website.Quarterly financial statementsProfit margin (%): How much profit the company gains for every dollar in sales. The higher number, the better.Return on equity (%): How much profit the company generates with each $1 of the shareholders' money. The higher number, the better.Price-earnings ratio (P/E): The company's current stock share price to the company's average earnings per share. Usually, a higher P/E ratio means investors are expecting higher growth.Debt-equity ratio (D/E): How much debt the company has compared to its shareholder equity. Usually, a higher ratio means more risk to investors. But you have to consider the industry. 041b061a72


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