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Helen Maynard
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Helen writes about her favorite topics, science and money, at her blog, creatively named www.ScienceAndMoney.com. With a Ph.D. in Materials Science and fifteen years of experience in semiconductor research, development, and manufacturing, she turns a critical eye to financial planning and... More
My company:
Affine Financial Services
My blog:
Science And Money
  • Affordable Buffett 0 comments
    Feb 10, 2010 9:46 PM | about stocks: BRK, BRK.A, BRK.B

    I’ve always wanted to own a piece of Warren Buffett’s magic, but at $111,111/share, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) has been way too spendy for me. I’ve had to be content to watch from the sidelines. Smart investors bought 10 shares when it was outrageously priced at $10,000/share (circa 1992).

    B-shares (NYSE:BRK.B) were created for the common man, but even they were quite expensive at more than $3,000/share. On January 21, 2010, BRK.B split 50:1, bringing the share price down to a very reasonable $60-70. Now, Buffett can be bought by the unwashed masses.

     

    I’ve been reading that BRK.B has “done well” since the split, and I initially interpreted this as the B shares were faring better than the A shares.  Since the B shares have opened up a new market (small time investors) and the A shares are unchanged, it would make sense that the B shares would see new activity and might get a bump in value.  But surely there’s a mechanism for institutional investors to arbitrage class B shares against the A shares.  And indeed, as the Google finance graph below shows, the B shares have done exactly the same as the A shares.  Both BRK.A and BRK.B both have done a bit better than the market average (S&P 500), but B is not better than A — only cheaper … uh… more affordable.

    Full disclosure: No position in BRK.A or BRK.B

     


    Disclosure: No positions.
    Stocks: BRK, BRK.A, BRK.B
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