Warren Buffett is perhaps the most iconic investor of all time. I could write several articles about it and there would always be few because of what it represents for the markets. This weekend was his usual Berkshire Hathaway results presentation, where Buffett highlighted the fact that he sold his stake in all airlines, acknowledging the mistake and assuming the losses.
Of course, at yesterday's session, aviation companies suffered heavy losses in response to these comments. Buffett did not sell before the crisis, he did so during these months of violent falls, recognizing that it is a sector that will still face many difficulties and that does not want to be exposed to it. And we must not forget that the mythical North American investor always invests in a long-term perspective.
In addition to these aspects, the press clearly highlighted a quote by Buffett: "Never bet against America", in which he justifies that the United States always manages to overcome crisis situations and that, in the long run, it turns out to be a mistake to counter this ability to resurrection of the American economy. I was not at all excited by that sentence, because the words that came out of his mouth are not in line with his movements in the market.
Berkshire Hathaway has been sitting on top of a "pile of money" for some time. In January, it had the maximum value of its history in its coffers, which was a clear sign that Buffett did not find the market cheap. And, in the midst of the brutal falls that happened during the crisis, he practically bought nothing. If the charismatic investor had been so optimistic in terms of the long term, he would have taken this opportunity to put the 137 billion euros he has available into action.
It was not by chance that he won the epithet "Oraculo de Omaha", such an ability to anticipate that he was able to take advantage of major crises to be able to make purchases at a bargain price. But notice the difference between what you wrote in 2008, in the middle of the violent financial crisis, with what you wrote now. At the time, a month after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, Buffett wrote that "In the short term, unemployment will rise, economic activity will continue to decline and newspaper headlines will be increasingly frightening. That's why I'm going to buy." . Today it says that "money is king". Very clear differences of opinion, in which he does not currently see the golden opportunities he saw in the financial crisis.
"Never bet against America" is a phrase that sounds optimistic and that Buffett felt he should use to convey an image of confidence to his country. But in fact, what he has been doing in the markets in recent months shows a lot of fear and very little desire to buy at these prices. As always, what people do is much more important than what they say. Because, despite staying forever in the history of markets, Warren Buffett is human.