Here's Why Buffett Told His Wife To Buy Index Funds Rather Than Berkshire's Stock

By Mark DeCambre Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Warren Buffett says owning an index fund is better than owning shares in his own company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. At least, that's the advice he is offering his wife, in the event of his death. Buffett is a champion of index funds, which track a benchmark like the S&P 500 index or the Dow Jones Industrial Average , and thinks that owning an index fund is less stressful than owning a single investment, like Berkshire. "The important thing is that she never worries about money the rest of her life," he said at Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday. The 86-year-old Sage of Omaha is married to Astrid Menks, with whom he was married in 2006. Buffett's longtime partner Charlie Munger said he'd rather own Berkshire shares, for his part. So far this year, Berkshire's Class B shares, most commonly owned by investors, are up 2.2%, but the S&P 500 has returned 7.2%, while the Dow is up 6.3%, according to FactSet data. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index boasts a year-to-date return of 13.3%.

Continue Reading Below

Copyright © 2017 MarketWatch, Inc.