Count one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest financial backers, billionaire Warren Buffet, among the biggest fans of the “Trump rally.”
In an interview with Charlie Rose recorded on Friday, Warren Buffett said that since the election day, Berkshire Hathaway bought $12 billion in stock. This was a change in strategy for Buffett, who as it turns out was a net seller in the first nine days of the month, when Hillary seemed like a guaranteed winner in the November election, one which Buffett was selling into.
“We’ve, net, bought $12 billion of common stocks since the election,” he said in an interview with Charlie Rose that aired on Friday. Buffett didn’t identify the securities that he picked. As of Sept. 30, Berkshire had an equity portfolio valued at $102.5 billion.
Purchases of that magnitude represent a major pickup in activity for Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire. During the first nine months of last year, the company bought $5.2 billion and sold or redeemed roughly $20 billion worth of stocks, according to a regulatory filing. In 2015, Berkshire bought about $10 billion of equity securities
For now, Buffett’s bet has proven wise: stocks have rallied since the Trump victory as investors speculated that the Republican’s policies will stimulate the economy. However, in recent days gains have been pared as the Trumpflation rally is rapidly cooling. On Monday, after the turbulent rollout of an immigration order raised concern that the new administration may follow through with isolationist policies, stocks plunged by the most in 2017.
Buffett also told Rose he was skeptical that the U.S. could increase output at a 4 percent annual clip, as the president has said he’s aiming to achieve. “That’s pretty high,” Buffett said. “Two percent will produce miracles.”
Some more details:
Rose asked if Buffett’s most-recent purchases included airlines. Buffett ducked the question, saying only that Berkshire held stakes in airlines as of Sept. 30.
In November, Berkshire disclosed that it held in American Airlines Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., and United Continental Holdings Inc. at the end of the third quarter. The billionaire said that month that Berkshire also bought a stake in Southwest Airlines Co. since Sept. 30. Buffett told Rose he wouldn’t get into why Berkshire bought the shares, but said that it was “in large part” his decision.
Previously Buffett said he’s confident in the U.S. economy’s long-term prospects no matter who wins an individual election, although he had a clear preference for Hillary winning.
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