by S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D

Warren Buffett, the famed investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has always been somewhat secretive about his personal stock portfolio. However, a recent report by ProPublica has shed some light on Buffett’s private holdings.

  • Warren Buffett’s personal stock portfolio includes Wells Fargo, Walmart, and Johnson & Johnson.
  • Buffett sold at least $466 million of shares between 2000 and 2019.
  • Buffett’s reported sales suggest that he personally owned at least $80 million worth of just three stocks.
  • The fresh details of Buffett’s portfolio help explain how he pays his bills.

According to ProPublica, which obtained data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Buffett sold at least $466 million of shares between 2000 and 2019. The stocks he sold included Wells Fargo, Walmart, and Johnson & Johnson.

The report also revealed that Buffett’s personal portfolio is likely worth hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions. This is based on the fact that he has never sold a share of his Berkshire Hathaway stock and that his bond disposals were much larger in dollar terms than his stock sales.

The presence of Wells Fargo, Walmart, and Johnson & Johnson in Buffett’s portfolio is not a surprise. These are all companies that Berkshire Hathaway has invested in for many years.

Buffett’s reported sales have raised some questions about whether he broke his own rules at Berkshire. Berkshire prohibits employees from trading securities that the company is buying, selling, or planning to buy or sell. Buffett has also stated that he avoids investing in companies that Berkshire is invested in, given the potential conflicts of interest.

Buffett has not responded to questions about the trades. However, Adam Mead, the author of “The Complete Financial History of Berkshire Hathaway,” has suggested that Buffett may have sold the shares so that Berkshire could have them and he wouldn’t have to personally take a seat at the shareholders table.

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