This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Buffett Watch: The Oracle Sells America

Buffett Watch is a new feature on TheStreet.com that will serve as a clearinghouse of discussion and debate about the Oracle of Omaha. "Buffett Watch" builds on the discussion and analysis of the investing mastermind that has long been a staple of our sister site, Stockpickr.com. To join the discussion, please visit the Buffett Portfolio. This post appeared yesterday on RealMoney . Click here for a free trial, and enjoy incisive commentary all day, every day.

Struggling. I'm struggling this morning with some of the things that Warren Buffett is doing with his cash these days. I am struggling because he is selling America, selling Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Procter & Gamble (PG), selling ConocoPhillips (COP) and selling U.S. Bancorp (USB).

What's more American than these stocks? These are not small trimmings. He sold more than half of his 52 million shares of Johnson & Johnson and he sold it at a 20-year low relative to its yield. That doesn't sound like "Buy America." That sounds like "Sell America." Yet, on Oct. 16, 2008, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average at 9000 and the S&P 500 at 950, Buffett penned a now-famous op-ed submission to The New York Times saying it was time to buy America. Those who bought America that day are feeling ... well, downright un-American. Or at least they're feeling poorer.

Buffett's Holdings
Discussion
Berkshire's Rating

Mind you, this isn't Boone Pickens selling almost all of his energy positions while predicting oil will double, although that's some benchmark. Who knows why Pickens is selling? I think the market's given him a real whopping. But whenever you say that any rich person has lost money, one whom we respected, you can expect to get corrected posthaste. So, I will simply leave the sales and the facts out there and let Pickens arrive at a story arc.

No, these are sales by Buffett. The "out" Buffett always has is that he buys for the long term. I have no problem with that if you are really rich because you aren't worrying about losing your house or putting food on the table or putting a kid through school. I have argued mightily that it isn't a fair time frame for the hundreds of millions of Americans -- lotsa people -- who aren't rich. However, as long as Buffett was buying and not selling, or as long as he was at least holding, you couldn't knock him.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,805.41 +127.51 0.76%
S&P 500 1,964.58 +13.76 0.71%
NASDAQ 4,483.7150 +30.9230 0.69%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs