BRK.B Analysis: Richest man? No. Most expensive stock in the world? Yes. What’s next?


There was a time when analytical, long-standing stalwarts who conservatively invested in stable raw materials, corporate stock, or real estate were the world’s richest people.

Over the past 15 years, that has been turned completely on its head, and no longer are the lists of the wealthiest people in the world dominated by silver-haired, immaculate-suited gentlemen with a background in hedge fund management or at the helm of a large construction or vehicle manufacturing company.

That may have been the case in the 1980s and 1990s, but today it is dominated by a much younger crowd, many of which have come up very quickly to the very top of the global rich list, having pioneered a trending technology or disrupted a traditional industry.

Think Spotify CEO Daniel Ek or the now ubiquitous Elon Musk.

One of low-tech’s final rich list representatives was Ingvar Kamprad of IKEA, his legacy being the only remaining indication that low-tech genius is still very profitable. Mr Kamprad’s parsimonious personal life was also in keeping with the magnates of the past. He had been driving the same 1991 Volvo 245 that he had bought brand new for almost 30 years.

That leaves just one of the old-school big-hitters – Warren Buffett.

In some ways, Warren Buffett shares some similarities with his Swedish counterpart in that Mr Buffett also does not believe in personal extravagance. He lives in a relatively modest home and drives a similarly old car that he has had for many years, just as Mr Kamprad did.

He is of the era of conservatism and steady growth rather than today’s plethora of disrupters, SPAC listers, and Apple Mac-toting hipster billionaires in Silicon Valley.

Let’s not look past Warren Buffett, though. He may be one of the pre-internet stalwarts, but as of today, the share price of his investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, which is publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is at a one-year high and is at its second-highest value in five years!

Yes, that’s right. Warren Buffett’s investment giant looks after the wealth of individuals and corporations around the world, but it is also possible to buy shares in Berkshire Hathaway itself and trade them on the open stock market.

Berkshire Hathaway stock’s one-year high is remarkable indeed. At the close of the New York session yesterday, just one share in Berkshire Hathaway was worth an astonishing $513,301.

That is the most expensive stock in the world.

It has grown by 23.5% over the course of a one-year period to date, which demonstrates the acumen of the company’s ability to invest soundly given the difficulties the Western economies have faced over that period and the currency and stock volatility as a result.

Investors who have held the share for five years have seen its value rise by 80%, and Mr Buffett himself has continued to hold a significant controlling interest in the company, with a shareholding of around 15%.

Berkshire Hathaway has a varied and diverse investment portfolio; however, some of its largest positions are in America’s corporate giants, such as Apple and Coca-Cola Corporation.

The company is taking a close look at investing in AI development giants, including Amazon and cloud computing giant Snowflake, which may be one factor toward its growth.

Interestingly as cost of living crises dominate Europe, bond-related debacles and a huge domestic debt situation blight America, Berkshire Hathaway appears to be romping home with profits.

What is next? Will Warren Buffett’s tremendous experience shine through, or is this a precipice waiting to be leaped from?

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