Most ASX investors know that Warren Buffett is one of the greatest investors of all time, and someone most of us would have no problem with managing their money. But the company Mr Buffett heads as chair and CEO – Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK.A) (NYSE: BRK.B) – is not listed on the ASX.
Berkshire is an American business through and through and, as such, you can find it at home on the New York Stock Exchange.
That makes it tricky for us ASX investors to invest alongside Uncle Warren. But not impossible.
Let’s get the first mental hurdle out of the way. Berkshire Hathaway is famous for its sky-high share price, the result of Buffett never initiating a stock split in its long history. Indeed, the price of one Berkshire Hathaway Class A share currently stands at US$418,101 each (no typos). That’s probably out of the reach of most ASX investors.
However, Berkshire also has a Class B share. These are trading at the far more accessible price of US$277.87. Class B shares do have slightly less voting power compared to their Class A counterparts, but this shouldn’t be an issue for most ASX investors.
So here are 3 ways any ASX investor can invest in Berkshire Hathaway shares.
3 ways to invest in Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway on the ASX
Find a broker offering US share trading
Most ASX brokers offer US shares as well these days. That means that most investors who already own ASX shares won’t have too much difficulty buying Berkshire shares directly through their existing broker.
CommSec and NABtrade both offer this service, as do other brokers like Stake and Superhero. So if you don’t mind owning US shares yourself, this is an arguably easy option to explore.
Buy indirectly using ETFs
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are another path to ownership of Berkshire Hathaway for ASX investors. There are now a plethora of ETFs available on the ASX, and some of these cover the US markets. Since Berkshire Hathaway is one of the largest US companies out there, it will usually have a large weighting in any US-based index ETF.
That includes the popular iShares S&P 500 ETF (ASX: IVV), as well as broader US funds like the Vanguard US Total Market Shares Index ETF (ASX: VTS). Thus, if you’ve invested in an ETF of this nature, you will find yourself with a small, indirect exposure to Buffett’s company.
Find a fund manager who invests like Buffett
There are a few actively managed ETFs, managed funds and other investment vehicles on the ASX, whose managers aim to invest like Warren Buffett. Magellan Financial Group’s CEO Hamish Douglass has discussed how he likes to invest in a Buffett-esque style before. Indeed, one of Magellan’s flagship funds, the Magellan Global Fund (ASX: MGF), has owned Berkshire Hathaway shares in the past.
The VanEck Morningstar Wide Moat ETF (ASX: MOAT) also aims to follow a Buffett-inspired investing strategy. In fact, MOAT currently boasts Berkshire shares within its current portfolio. Going down this path may suit an investor who is looking for a more concentrated exposure to Berkshire (or Berkshire-like investments) than what index funds offer.