Who better to guide me on my portfolio that the sage of Omaha himself? I’ve decided to take a look at Warren Buffett’s recent stock picks and see if there’s scope to jump on his bandwagon.
The US market has disclosure rules for large investors. So it’s relatively easy to see what Buffett investment vehicle Berkshire Hathaway has been up to in recent months.
As a long term investor, his choices should be worth following. But, with retirement creeping closer and financial markets in turmoil, I’m keen to ensure I get in at the right price.
Focus on the oil sector
Some of the largest bets made by Berkshire in recent months have been in the oil sector. And what an investment that has been for Buffett.
The prices of his chosen stock picks, Chevron and Occidental, have already shot up. So it’s clear to me that I may have missed the boat on these shares.
A fintech growth stock
Warren Buffett also holds Brazilian fintech company, NU Holdings, which had a high profile IPO last year. Since its stock exchange debut at $9 per share, the price has dipped. This will have meant some losses for Buffett, but it’s worth remembering that he was invested in NU well before the IPO.
There are well known risks with such fintech companies. Profitability may be a long way off. It’s also clear that the Brazilian economy isn’t immune to major economic and political shocks.
I’m backing Warren Buffett on this one though and with the shares sitting well below their IPO price, I think it could be a good time to buy some for my portfolio.
Storms ahead for Activision Blizzard
One investment that appeared too good to be true was Buffett’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard stock. Berkshire managed to pick up a juicy stake in the company at around $77 per share late last year.
Only weeks later it was announced that Microsoft was planning to buy the company at $95 per share — showing a massive paper profit for Berkshire Hathaway.
All is not well though. A high-profile workplace scandal plagued Activision last year. Added to this, the US government is now investigating alleged insider dealing around the Microsoft deal.
With all this background noise, it’s a share I’m avoiding for the moment.
Formula 1 racing ahead
The last stock on my Buffett trail is the Formula One Group (NASDAQ:FWONK), controlled by Liberty Media.
The Formula One operating company was bought from Bernie Ecclestone back in 2017. At $8bn, the price tag was hefty, so what has Liberty done with its investment since then?
Adding to the number of races on the calendar has been one strategy. But what seems to be paying off best is the group’s focus on US consumers.
The revamped US Grand Prix has been a great success. Increased on-track spectator numbers were mirrored by significant growth in its TV audience.
There’s a downside though. Sanctions on Russia means that the Sochi Grand Prix is off this year. And sponsorships have also been cancelled.
I’m worried about the Russia-Ukraine situation from a purely humanitarian viewpoint. As an investor, I’m also worried that further conflict may cause other unforeseen difficulties for Formula One in 2022.
I’ll be avoiding this stock and focusing on NU Holdings to boost my retirement pot.