NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Throughout his wildly successful, multi-decade long investing tenure, Warren Buffett has offered investors countless nuggets of wisdom which can greatly aid everyday investors in their attempts to navigate any market environment.
For this reason, it is no wonder that the investor's life and actions have been closely monitored by droves of Buffett fans who hang onto his words documented across numerous articles, videos, books, and other mediums.
Abiding by his rulebook has been instrumental in Buffett's ability to create his massive fortune. However, as we have seen just this year, Buffett himself doesn't always stick to the points he, himself, has laid out.
At the start of 2010, Buffett vigorously expressed his disapproval of the use of share spits and excessive use of company equity to fund M&A activity. When food giant Kraft (KFT) was pushing to purchase U.K. candy maker Cadbury, the Oracle called the share-fueled plan, "dumb." The investor reasoned that, by issuing new shares the company injects excessive supply into the market and dilutes shareholder power.Despite his reservations, in order for the Oracle to fund his $34 billion bid for the remaining shares of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad a handful of months later, he laid out a plan which included a significant share split of Berkshire Hathaway Class B (BRK.B) shares. While these deviations, like the Kraft/Burlington Northern episode, are often more peculiar than detrimental, as we saw late last week, breaking a Buffett rule can be costly, even for Buffett. Perhaps the most criticized example of Buffett breaking his own rules is his stance on derivatives. In a now famous letter to his shareholders, the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) chairman took aim at derivatives, labeling them, "financial weapons of mass destruction." Given this harsh stance, one would think that Buffett and his company have made efforts to steer clear of these complex and risky products. This assumption, however, would be false. In reality, his firm manages a massive derivative portfolio valued at over $60 billion.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- 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 + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV