King Of The Sure Thing: Billionaire Warren Buffett Won’t Invest In Apple

King Of The Sure Thing: Billionaire Warren Buffett Won’t Invest In Apple

AAPL may be doing well, but it's no Coke, says Buffet.

Third wealthiest man in the world, Warren Buffett, known for his tremendous investment success as well as his high-end philanthropy, told a group of investors at the Berkshire annual meeting that he had no interest in investing in Apple (or Google), seeing them as risky investments.

The New York Times quotes Mr. Buffett as saying that while both tech giants are “huge companies that make a ton of money,” he does not choose to invest with them. Showing a plain-spoken honesty that probably has more to do with his success than most realize, he also said that “the chance of being way wrong about I.B.M. are probably less than being way wrong in Apple or Google,” showing that he does keep up on current trends.

Bottom line, though is that Mr. Buffett admits, “I just don’t know how to value them.”

Buffett has always invested in “sure-thing” companies, so this comment (in response to a direct question during the conference call from The Times’s Andrew Sorkin) is no surprise. He has even commented on AAPL stock before. Where Apple is now is not an indicator of where they will be in ten years time, for example, which makes this a short-term investment for someone like Buffett.

While it probably won’t keep investors from investing in Apple, Buffett’s comments will be heard across the investment community, no doubt. When a giant like Buffet speaks, people tend to listen. Only time will tell whether they have any effect on the current or near-future stock valuation of our favorite technology company, but it’s an interesting reminder that while Apple’s doing well now, they’ve got a long while to go before they are considered a riskless sure thing.

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  • Chris Davis

    He only invests in what he understands. It is very likely that he, like most grandfathers, don’t understand the magnitude of APPL or Google.

  • DrM47145

    He only invests in what he understands. It is very likely that he, like most grandfathers, don’t understand the magnitude of APPL or Google.

    I tend to think in the same lines you do, but… I’m no Warren Buffett either.

    I hate to say it, but it’s hard to imagine a man his age being still mentally sharp as to put all my chips on his financial wisdom. But, that’s just me…
  • ApplePr0n

    Hell, now is the time to invest in Apple. Apple is a little down as of late. Which once the next iphone comes, u’ll be seeing it skyrocket towards 6.5-700

  • Steffen Jobbs

    He probably only invests in companies he can fully control through connections.  He’s also probably one of the key players behind a corrupt stock market.  He fully understands Amazon which would seem to be a company only Jeff Bezos understands.  I certainly don’t understand a company that has a dot-com P/E value in this current economy but Buffett says he completely understands Amazon.  I’d love to know what he specifically understands about Amazon for it to have a P/E that high.

    I suppose it would be the wisest move to invest in only the companies that Buffett invests in because he probably controls the results or makes the results positive since so many people tend to believe that he is a living stock market god that can do no wrong.  So to speak, he creates his own luck.

  • aardman

    Well, yeah if you don’t feel you understand the technology and its impact on society, then it’s wise not to dabble.  But he should have just shut his mouth because he should know that being Warren Buffet, his words will be twisted into “Warren Buffet thinks Apple has no future”.  Well, another buying opportunity when the stock swoons again from manufactured fears over mists and shadows.

  • Andrew John

    If he’s so smart with predicting the stock market, then why didn’t he see the dramatic rise of the Apple stocks 15 years ago? Yeah, I don’t think I’ll listen to everything this dinasour says.

  • gavernmusic

    Comments about his age are irrelevant. I know 50 year olds who are like old grand dads and 80 year olds who are wiser and more tech savvy than some 40 year olds. It may not be the average “norm” but it’s not good to generalise unless you know him personally. Of course of these 80 year old wise & savvy ones, well yes, they use the Mac. ;-) since they are wise.

  • technochick

    Even the smartest guy can be wrong once or twice and this could prove to be Buffet’s time. 

    It’s not shocking that it would be about a game changer like Apple. They are rewriting the rules in many markets, not just computers. Heck they are rewriting the rules in things that are even social markets like education and teaching styles. It’s hard to quantify that kind of thing, especially this early in the game. 
    That this is all of a generation a couple younger than Buffet probably doesn’t help him any. And I think many folks in the investment world will realize this and not really see his words as some sacrosanct thing they simply must listen to. 
  • technochick
    but it’s hard to imagine a man his age being still mentally sharp as to put all my chips on his financial wisdom.

    It has little to do with his age and nothing to do with his mental skills so much as the world is simply a different place than he’s used to. It’s hard for anyone to comprehend another time in such a way. 

    My ten year old brothers can’t understand that there was a time when there was no TV, no computers etc. That entertainment was radio plays etc is beyond them. 

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Games and Tips Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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