Despite a very turbulent August on Wall Street, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett said the company was buying, but not selling, especially on the 24th, the day the Dow Jones Industrials opened more than 1,000 points lower.
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“[We weren’t buying] a whole lot, because we’re only buying one or two things….but we were buying and we’re happier buying when they’re down then when they were up the day before,” Buffett said. “You sell when things go up and you buy when things go down.”
The Oracle of Omaha added that he has never really been concerned about the market gyrations.
“There have been three times since I bought control of Berkshire that Berkshire’s stock has gone down 50%, and I never lost any sleep any of those nights,” he said. “There will be sometime in the next 20 or 30 years it will go down 50% again. That’s the nature of markets… they overshoot… it would be very churlish of me to complain about the fact that Berkshire goes down when everything else goes down.”
Despite Buffett’s investing acumen Berkshire, along with most companies, was impacted by the financial crisis of 2008. While praising the Federal Reserve for guiding the economy through the worst period since the Great Depression, he noted there have been consequences.
"I give enormous credit to the Fed in terms of bringing us out of what was really the worst thing we’d hit since the Great Depression. The people it’s really hurt are the people who are living on savings and fixed income instruments that have them in bank deposits… those people have seen their incomes practically obliterated.”