Warren Buffett’s Snowflake, Barrick Gold bets signal new strategy

  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has made surprise bets on Barrick Gold and Snowflake in recent months, clashing with the investor’s past warnings about gold, tech stocks, and IPOs.
  • Berkshire’s bosses may be pursuing smaller, more frequent investments and cashing in on corporate actions, Brian Gongol, a longtime Berkshire shareholder, told Business Insider.
  • “I wouldn’t be surprised if Buffett, Weschler, Combs, and Ajit Jain all got on the phone and had a talk where they decided to ‘think small’ with some fraction of the company’s cash pile,” Gongol said.
  • Buffett and his team also signaled Berkshire was “the best big investment they could find” when they spent $5.1 billion buying back stock in May and June, Gongol said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway stunned investors when it revealed a $560 million stake in Barrick Gold in August, and shocked them again with its $735 million bet on Snowflake when it went public in September.

After all, the billionaire investor has blasted gold as an inferior asset and repeatedly warned against backing aggressively valued, lossmaking technology companies, and IPOs.

Yet Barrick and Snowflake aren’t necessarily betrayals of Buffett’s principles, according to Brian Gongol, a longtime Berkshire shareholder and close follower of the company.

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“At first glance, the Snowflake investment really does look out of character — even for Weschler and Combs,” Gongol told Business Insider, referring to Buffett’s two portfolio managers, Ted Weschler and Todd Combs.

However, he pointed to Buffett’s description of “work-outs” — investing opportunities driven by corporate actions such as mergers, spinoffs, and reorganizations — in his 1962 letter to investors in his partnership.

“An IPO is

Warren Buffett’s charity dinner spurred the boss of an online-trading platform to embrace value investing

Justin Sun Warren Buffett


  • Cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun paid $4.6 million for a charity dinner with Warren Buffett in January.
  • Sun hoped to convert Buffett into a Bitcoin fan, but instead one of his guests, eToro CEO Yoni Assia, embraced Buffett’s value-investing approach.
  • Assia read the definitive book on the subject written by Buffett’s mentor, hired a value-investing consultant, and became a bigger proponent of in-depth research and longer investment horizons, Bloomberg reported.
  • The boss of the social-trading platform also tweeted that value investing is a “hidden magic that reveals itself to you only after 20 years of making 15-20% and compounding it.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Cryptocurrency executive Justin Sun shelled out $4.6 million for a charity dinner with Warren Buffett in a vain attempt to convert the billionaire investor into a Bitcoin believer. Instead, one of his guests embraced Buffett’s signature value-investing strategy, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

After dining with the Berkshire Hathaway boss in January, eToro CEO Yoni Assia devoured “The Intelligent Investor,” the value-investing bible written by Buffett’s mentor, Benjamin Graham.

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The boss of the social-trading platform also recruited a value-investing consultant and told his team to spread the word about the power of in-depth research and longer investment timeframes.

“Warren Buffett’s value-investing strategy still rings true,” Assia wrote in a Twitter thread following the dinner. He described it as a “hidden magic that reveals itself to you only after 20 years of making 15-20% and compounding it.”

Assia didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

eToro, which boasts 15 million registered users and north

Silver Lake was labeled the ‘Warren Buffett of tech’ for investing billions during the pandemic. It’s emulating Buffett again with its new 25-year strategy



Warren Buffett wearing a suit and tie: Warren Buffett Getty Images


© Getty Images
Warren Buffett Getty Images

  •  Silver Lake is launching a 25-year investment strategy, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
  • The private-equity giant is becoming even more like Warren Buffett with its longer investing timeframe.
  • Silver Lake has invested billions of dollars in Twitter, Airbnb, Expedia, and other businesses during the pandemic, similar to how Buffett handed cash to the likes of Goldman Sachs and General Electric during the 2008 financial crisis.
  • The firm has also emulated Buffett by lending money at lofty interest rates and securing equity warrants.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Silver Lake pulled from Warren Buffett’s playbook when it injected cash into ailing companies during the coronavirus crash this year. The private-equity giant is emulating the famed investor once again with the launch of a 25-year investment strategy.

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Abu Dhabi’s sovereign-wealth fund, Mubadala, is acquiring a sub-5% stake in Silver Lake and contributing $2 billion to the new fund, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Silver Lake, which manages more than $60 billion in total assets, has a quarter of a century to employ Mubadala’s cash and realize any gains — more than double the usual 10-year timeframe for private-equity funds, The Journal said.

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Buffett, the billionaire CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has championed long-term investing for decades and held stocks such as Coca-Cola for more than 30 years. “Our favorite holding period is forever,” Buffett wrote in his 1988 shareholder letter.

Silver Lake hasn’t just adopted a Buffett-esque investment horizon, it has also taken up his mantle

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway discloses Snowflake stake, confirming a rapid $800 million gain

warren buffett
Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett sings and plays his ukulele with The Quebe Sisters Band at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha May 1, 2010.


  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway confirmed the size of its Snowflake stake in a regulatory filing on Monday.
  • The billionaire investor’s company owns about 5.1 million Class A shares, or 2.2%, of the cloud-data platform’s outstanding stock.
  • Berkshire has notched a $800 million gain, as it spent $735 million on shares worth more than $1.5 billion as of Monday’s close.
  • The unusual bet shows that Buffett’s company is “evolving and becoming a much more tech-aware, tech-centric, tech-focused conglomerate,” Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman told Yahoo Finance.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway officially disclosed its stake in Snowflake on Monday, confirming it has scored a $800 million gain on its investment in the cloud-data platform.

The famed investor’s conglomerate owns about 6.1 million Class A shares, it said in a regulatory filing. The holding represents about 2.2% of Snowflake’s total outstanding shares, which include 40.4 million Class A shares and roughly 240 million Class B shares.

Berkshire spent $250 million to buy about 2.1 million shares in a private placement when Snowflake went public earlier this month. It bought another 4 million shares at the IPO price of $120 from former Snowflake CEO Robert Muglia in a secondary transaction, costing it $485 million.

The upshot is Berkshire splurged $735 million on Snowflake shares that have more than doubled in value to $1.5 billion, based on Snowflake’s closing share price of $250 on Monday. As a result, it has notched a $800 million gain.

More Snowflakes might drop

Berkshire’s Snowflake bet surprised many investors as Buffett has historically eschewed loss-making, aggressively valued technology companies and IPOs in favor