We’ve known since the 2009 annual meeting that Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) chairman Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) . Turns out they also like Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) .
“They’re both huge companies. They look very tough to dislodge. I would not be at all surprised to see them worth a lot more money in 10 years,” Buffett said from the stage of the CenturyLink Centre in Omaha, Nebraska, yesterday.
So Berkshire is buying? No. Buffett said he lacks the conviction to buy shares of Apple. Added Munger: “The only fair thing we can say is that there are lot more people who know these companies. We have the reverse of an edge. What do we know about computer science?”
Something, apparently. Berkshire last year purchased a 5.5% stake in IBM (NYSE: IBM) for $10.9 billion. Buffett said from the stage he’d been watching Big Blue for more than 50 years, having read every annual report issued over those five decades.
“I have much less of chance of being wrong about IBM than I do about being wrong about Apple and Google,” Buffett said. Translation: Even if he believes Apple trades for a reasonable price, as many do, Buffett senses he lacks the tools — or, in Munger’s parlance, “the edge” — necessary to evaluate the business for best investing results.
So be it. As much as the tech investor in me wants Buffett to reconsider, it’s this very approach — a staunch refusal to buy anything he doesn’t fully understand — that’s led to 52 years of market-crushing performance.
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A version of this article, written by Tim Beyers, originally appeared on fool.com