Visualizing Berkshire Hathaway’s Holdings Since 1994
If you’re a long-time follower of Visual Capitalist, then you probably know that we’re big fans of Warren Buffett.
We’ve written numerous articles about the world-famous investor, covering everything from his early years to his most famous quotes. As one of the wealthiest and most influential investors in the world, he’s an important market player to keep track of.
As our latest addition to the Warren Buffett archives, this animated video by Sjoerd Tilmans highlights three decades of Warren Buffett’s investments. It shows what his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, has been invested in since 1994, using data from the company’s financial reports.
A Rocky Start: The Early Years of Berkshire Hathaway
Before becoming the multinational conglomerate that it is today, Berkshire Hathaway was once a massive (yet struggling) textile company in Rhode Island.
Buffett first invested in the company in the late 1950s, when the company’s shares were declining. By 1964, things still hadn’t picked up for the company, and Buffett was ready to cut his losses and move on.
But when industrialist Seabury Stanton, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway at the time, offered to buy Buffett out for less than the price he’d originally promised, things got interesting. Buffett was so furious by the offer that instead of selling his shares, he bought more, eventually taking control of the company and letting Stanton go.
The textile company never recovered, and Berkshire Hathaway eventually became Buffett’s holding company for other investments. He estimates that his investment in Berkshire Hathaway ultimately cost him $200 billion.
A Brighter Future: Berkshire Hathaway Now
Despite its tumultuous past, Berkshire Hathaway is now associated with tremendous financial success. In 2021, the conglomerate generated over $276 billion in total revenue.
In the long run, Berkshire Hathaway has outperformed the market by a landslide. Here’s a look at the holding company’s compounded annual gain, and overall gain, compared to the S&P 500:
|Berkshire Hathaway||S&P 500|
|Compounded Annual Gain (1965-2021)||20.1%||10.5%|
|Overall Gain (1964-2021)||3,641,613%||30,209%|
Note: These figures are from Berkshire Hathaway’s (BH) Annual Report. BH’s market value is after-tax, and S&P 500 is pre-tax, including dividends.
According to the conglomerate’s website, it owns 62 different companies outright, including big names like GEICO, Dairy Queen, Kraft Heinz, and Duracell, and also has large investments in companies like Apple, Wells Fargo, and Coca-Cola.
However, as the graphic above indicates, the exact composition of its portfolio has certainly evolved over the years. As of June 2022, here’s a breakdown of Berkshire Hathaway Holdings:
|Company||Value (Millions)||% of Portfolio|
|Bank of America||$31,444||10%|
It’s a well-balanced portfolio of big tech, banks, and consumer goods. Despite being 92 years old, Buffett remains the chairman and CEO of the conglomerate.
As for future succession plans, Greg Abel has been selected as the successor to Buffett as CEO, while the the Guardian has reported that Buffett’s oldest son Howard is expected to take over as non-executive chair when his father is no longer in charge.
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