By CCN.com: Berkshire Hathaway just bought its first Amazon shares, Berkshire founder and CEO Warren Buffett revealed to CNBC Thursday night. On the eve of an annual Berkshire shareholders meeting in Omaha, Buffett told CNBC that someone at Berkshire’s asset management desk just invested in some Amazon shares, but “it wasn’t me.”
“One of the fellows in the office that manage money… bought some Amazon so it will show up in the 13F.”
The stake in Amazon is a first for the multinational investment conglomerate. Although Warren Buffett has had strong words of praise for Jeff Bezos and his company’s business, the Oracle of Omaha has mysteriously held off on taking a stake in the e-commerce giant since its IPO in 1997. Buffet jokingly reassured his personality isn’t changing:
“I’ve been a fan, and I’ve been an idiot for not buying. But I want you to know it’s no personality changes taking place.”
The about face on Amazon isn’t completely out of the blue. When asked in 2017 on CNBC’s Squawk Box why he hasn’t invested in Amazon shares yet, Buffett gave a one word answer: “Stupidity.” Last year in an interview with CNBC , Warren Buffett said:
“The truth is that I’ve watched Amazon from the start and I think what Jeff Bezos has done is something close to a miracle, and the problem is if I think something is going to be a miracle I tend not to bet on it.”
Then after CNBC’s Becky Quick asked Buffett if he would finally jump into Amazon stocks as he did with Apple 36 years after the computer and smartphone company’s initial public offering, Buffett revealed that he has been held back by the sting of regret that he didn’t bet big on Amazon at his earliest opportunity. He says he “blew it.”
“It’ll probably be tough. I’ve probably got so many psychological problems with the fact that I didn’t do it that it’s very hard to do it.”
Warren Buffett’s slow and steady approach to investing has certainly won the race of investment finance for him. When he finally relented in 2016 after years of waiting to invest in Apple, Berkshire Hathaway went all in with a $1 billion surprise blitz of 9.8 million Apple shares during a downturn in Apple sales and share prices.
That could certainly make you wonder exactly how much “some Amazon” means when Warren Buffett says it. Although Buffett’s warded off any speculation that he’s undergoing any personality changes, if he’s finally opened up to Apple and Amazon in the space of three years, maybe the Oracle will change his mind about Bitcoin too. Yes, despite labeling the cryptocurrency ‘rat poision’ a year ago.
After all, Bitcoin has enjoyed massive year over year growth in its annual price floor, and a flourishing, mature, multi-billion dollar industry at an advancing level of market adoption has grown up around Bitcoin. At this point, the original cryptocurrency is looking more and more like the kind of sound, conservative investments for long term growth that Buffet likes.