At this year’s Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, thousands of investors will once again celebrate Warren Buffett’s investing prowess. As the event called “Woodstock for Capitalists” will be webcast for the very first time in 2013, actually, that amount could get up into the millions.
And while Buffett’s celebrated investing track record is well recorded earning him the moniker of the “Oracle of Omaha,” it’s worth noting that his recent stock-picking performance continues to be lackluster. Could the Oracle use some advice on option trading? Since Berkshire’s stockholder assembly a year ago, greater than half of the 43 freely traded stocks it owns are down. Berkshire Hathaway stock itself has been punished: The shares fell 12.5% in 2015–their worst performance since the 2008 financial catastrophe, though they’ve recuperated recently, and are up about 2% over the last year.
But of all the companies, his “Big Four” investments are called by Buffett —American Express, Coca-Cola, IBM, and Wells Fargo –only one has developed since its annual meeting was last held by Berkshire. Its shares have risen more than 10% during the previous year. While nearly 16% sank, American Express, nevertheless, has dropped 15% in the same period.
To be fair, Buffett himself isn’t guilty for picking all the stocks that Berkshire holds, as his two right-hand men, Ted Weschler and Todd Combs, are managing large portfolios on their own at the business. Perhaps they need an options trading for beginners guide to increase their profits. But Berkshire’s largest champion over the last year is Verisign, up 39% over the past year although that doesn’t necessarily make Buffett’s record look better – and it was probably a Combs pick, based on Fortune senior editor Stephen Gandel’s evaluation. (On the other hand, another of Berkshire’s largest losers, Liberty Media, down 53% in the past year, was Weschler’s doing as well, based on an identical analysis.)
It’s also potential that Buffett has dumped some of his top trades that are losing in the past few months since his last portfolio disclosure, which only updated Berkshire’s portfolio through the end of 2015. His positions are also added to by Buffett. So some of his most recent purchases as the market has rallied in the past few months, may happen to be calls that were good, even if those same stocks are down for the complete year since the last meeting.
However, just 19 stocks in his portfolio are upward over the past year, and 24 are some of them –and down way, way down. Buffett’s biggest failure because the time period is as its pending acquisition by competing pipeline company Energy Transfer Equity has turned into a calamity his longtime holding Williams Companies, which has dropped almost 63%.
But Buffett has said before that while he likes possessing papers, he sees them as money pits than increase chances.
— Goldman Sachs (@GoldmanSachs) August 18, 2016
Another failure has been Goldman Sachs, whose shares have fallen more than 17 though the Oracle reduced his stake in the bank later in 2015.
Come back this time next year when we’ll likely grade them again if not.