Family trusts can provide several benefits for business purposes, tax optimization, or estate planning....by Jonathan Anthony
Tracking Buffett and the Berkshire Portfolio
If there’s a household name in the investment world, it would be Warren Buffett. Buffett is the 84-year old chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate holding company. He is also the world’s 3rd richest person (due to his stake in Berkshire Hathaway; behind only Bill Gates and Carlos Slim) and is widely considered the most successful investor of modern times.
When Buffett speaks, the talking-heads on MSNBC stop talking and listen. When Berkshire Hathaway acquires or takes a stake in a company, the transaction itself and the reasons behind it are scrutinized by the investment houses of Wall St. down to the individual investors on Main St.
Berkshire, like all institutional investment managers with over $100 million in securities, is required to file an SEC Form 13F every quarter. The 13F filing details Berkshire’s holdings at the end of that quarter including the number of shares owned and their market value. Although specific trade dates, sizes and prices are not included in the 13F filing, by comparing with previous quarter’s filings, you can get a good picture of Berkshire’s investment activity over the quarter.
For example, notable in the trades gleaned from Berkshire’s 13F filing from Q2 2014 was the sale of 66% of their stake in Phillips 66 (PSX) and the purchase of a $500 million stake in Verizon Communications (VZ).
Although the information in the 13F filings can be very useful for an individual investor, the 13F filing itself is rather technical. Comparing the reported holdings to the previous quarter’s filing is also not entirely straightforward and takes some serious pen/paper or Excel work to figure out what has changed.
Tracking Buffett and Berkshire’s Portfolio with StockMarketEye
Because I’m a Buffett fan as well as a StockMarketEye user, I wanted to track the Berkshire portfolio in StockMarketEye. To do this, I took the Berkshire 13F filings dating back to Q2 2013 and created a StockMarketEye portfolio from them, including creating the buy and sell transactions each quarter.
Here’s part of what this portfolio looks like in StockMarketEye:
You can see that currently (September 8, 2014), Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio is worth around $108 Billion.
If you’d like to track the Berkshire portfolio in your StockMarketEye, I’ve setup a page with everything you need. It has a transactions CSV file that you can download and import to build the portfolio.
There is also a video of how you can import the file into StockMarketEye:
StockMarketEye – Importing a Portfolio
If you’re a fan of Buffett, this is an easy way to track his holdings and see their performance. And if you’re not yet a fan, well, Buffett’s portfolio has about 108 billion reasons why maybe you should be.