Investing in Berkshire Hathaway could look different once Warren Buffett steps down

Personal Finance


“Probably no other company on earth has this kind of make up where you have someone who has essentially been running the company for 50 years,” said Paul Schatz, president of Heritage Capital in Woodbridge, Connecticut.

Buffett himself could not repeat his investment track record with the level of assets the company now has, according to Schatz. That will pose a challenge for his successors.

“They can do a great job, but there is no chance they will come close to the record he compiled over the last 50 years,” Schatz said. “The assets are just too big.”

Schatz predicts there would be some changes to the company’s stock, which is sold in two classes, with Buffett’s departure. “Once Warren and Charlie are gone, there will be intense pressure to start paying a dividend,” he said.

Mark S. Germain, founder and CEO of Beacon Wealth Management in Hackensack, New Jersey, said he still sees Berkshire Hathaway as a promising investment.

“The brain power of Berkshire Hathaway has not been diminished by adding more brain power,” Germain said. “The key players are still there.”

Still, if a sudden management change were to happen and Buffett was no longer at the company, Germain said he would put the company on watch.

“We put the buying of that particular investment opportunity on hold until we have time to evaluate,” Germain said. “It doesn’t mean you go and sell everything.”

Germain said he thinks Buffett has made plans for Berkshire Hathway with the same long-term focus he applies to his investments.

“If I could pick someone to have been mentored by, it would be Warren Buffett,” Germain said. “Exactly as he looks for companies, he wants his company to be managed in the same fashion.”

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