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There are literally thousands of equities and funds (of the mutual, closed-end and exchange traded varietals). A prudent idea may be to consider the investment decisions made by one or a few of the more respected investors within the market.

Warren Buffett is considered one of the best long-term investors out there and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) holds several large positions in well-known American companies. Additionally, most of his publicly traded investments have above-average dividends and a history of growing them over time.

Below are Warren Buffett's largest equity investments according Berkshire Hathaway’s latest 13F filing. I have only listed those positions valued at over $2 billion, indicating Warren Buffett feels relatively comfortable with the future prospects for these investments. I have also provided their present yield as well as their 1-month and 2011-to-date performance rates.

Coca-Cola Co (KO)

  • Current Yield: 2.7%
  • 1-month performance: -3.52%
  • 2011-to-date performance: 2.27%

Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC)

  • Current Yield: 1.9%
  • 1-month performance: -21.44%
  • 2011-to-date performance: -26.14%

American Express (AXP)

  • Current Yield: 1.6%
  • 1-month performance: -14.61%
  • 2011-to-date performance: 3.91%

Procter & Gamble (PG)

  • Current Yield: 3.4%
  • 1-month performance: -3.95%
  • 2011-to-date performance: -4.07%

Kraft Foods (KFT)

  • Current Yield: 3.4%
  • 1-month performance: -5.3%
  • 2011-to-date performance: -6.46%

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

  • Current Yield: 3.5%
  • 1-month performance: -5.13%
  • 2011-to-date performance: 2.33%

Wal-Mart (WMT)

  • Current Yield: 2.8%
  • 1-month performance: -4.26%
  • 2011-to-date performance: -3.23%

Most of these stocks have acted somewhat resiliently this year and through the recent sell-off, with the exception of Wells Fargo that lost about a quarter of its value since the start of 2011. Berkshire's other large financial holding, American Express, is actually positive within 2011. Below is a chart of the group's 2011-to-date performance:

[Click to enlarge]

Many individuals may also appreciate that these companies are generally familiar. Most investors, even if new to investing, are likely familiar with several of these six large companies, and likely have some of their goods at home. This familiarity also makes it easier to understand the businesses, and also makes information on the companies more readily available and discussed. Additionally, as the charts show, these companies tend to grow their dividends, which is something most income investors will also always appreciate.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative and should not be construed as personalized advice as it does not take into account your specific situation or objectives.

Source: Warren Buffett's High Conviction Investments