How to buy Berkshire Hathaway shares
Fortunately for the average buyer, Berkshire Hathaway’s gold standard Class A shares aren’t the only investment option. This guide explores its Class B alternative and what to look out for before taking the plunge.
If you’re ready to start investing, we’ve reviewed the best brokers to use. If you need more information to get you up to speed on everything you need to know, keep reading.
Compare the best platforms to invest in Berkshire Hathaway shares
If you have all the information you need and just want to invest, you can buy Berkshire Hathaway shares immediately by visiting one of our trusted brokers below. We’ve assessed all the best brokers and compared them so that picking the right choice for you is quick and easy.
If you’re not ready to invest yet, keep reading for more information on Berkshire Hathaway.
How to buy Berkshire Hathaway shares, a step-by-step guide
The process of buying shares in Berkshire Hathaway isn’t massively complicated, so don’t worry even if you’re new to stock investing. These are the steps to follow in order to complete your investment:
- Choose a broker. In order to buy Berkshire Hathaway stock, you will need to use an online brokerage platform. There are many different options to choose from, each with its own unique benefits and drawbacks. The comparison table above can help you select the right broker for you, and you can head to our comprehensive broker reviews if you’re still unsure.
- Create an account. Once you’ve selected your broker, simply go to their website and create an account. The steps required for this will vary from platform to platform, but generally, you can expect to have to provide your name, email address, phone number, and some form of photo identification.
- Deposit funds. Log into your broker account and select the option to deposit funds. Depending on your broker you’ll have a variety of payment options available; most brokers accept bank transfers and debit card payments, but not all accept e-wallets such as PayPal. Select your preferred payment method and deposit the amount of money you wish to invest in Berkshire Hathaway shares.
- Place an order for BRK stock. Now navigate to the broker’s buying stocks page (a link to this can be found in the menu on the website). Here you’ll be able to search for Berkshire Hathaway’s ticker symbol (BRK) and see the current price at which the stock is trading. If you’re happy with the price, enter the number of shares you wish to buy and place your order.
- Execute your order. Once you have placed your order, your broker will automatically execute it for you, and your Berkshire Hathaway shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in Berkshire Hathaway!
What is Berkshire Hathaway? And should I invest?
The original Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) was a textile manufacturer, but the company is much more famous as a holding company owned by the legendary investor Warren Buffett. Buffett bought Berkshire in 1964 and has been chairman and CEO ever since, ultimately ditching the textile business and using it to invest in a diverse range of industries from insurance and real estate to food and drink and jewelry.
Berkshire Hathaway offers a couple of different investment options in the way of Class A and Class B shares. Which is more suitable for you depends on your investment goals and, realistically, the size of your wallet as BRK.A shares are the most expensive in history and trade at over $300,000 a piece. Class B (NYSE: BRK.B) trade at a more appealing $200 price point, and offer more flexibility to the average investor.
The BRK.A price is so high because Buffett has pledged never to split the stock. Their Class B shares, however, can be split. They were created in the 1990s to meet demand for ways to invest in BRK and compete with mutual funds and unit trusts, which were the only way for most buyers to get a piece of the pie. Class A offers a reliable, long term investment and is a real blue-chip asset, but Class B is a way of benefiting from any growth without needing such a big wallet.
How has BRK performed as an investment in recent years?
BRK.A and BRK.B shares have steadily increased in value for many years. The Class A price has risen more dramatically but both have done well, despite a lack of the major transactions Buffett is known for.
There have been one or two downturns along the way, usually as a result of wider market conditions rather than poor company performance. In 2015, BRK had one of its worst-performing years as some of its rail and manufacturing investments were hit hard by a fall in commodity prices. In 2009 it took BRK longer to recover from the financial crisis than the wider market. Many of Berkshire Hathaway’s own investments took big hits again in the 2020 downturn but the stock quickly recovered its COVID-19 losses.
Berkshire doesn’t pay dividends and prefers to keep plenty of cash on hand. This means it is usually well-protected against major shocks and has flexibility when it comes to making investments, although again these have been hard to come by in recent years.
Is it a good time to buy BRK shares now?
There has rarely been a bad time to invest in Berkshire Hathaway. Although there have been few signs of a downswing in the stock price, it’s worth remembering that in many ways it’s similar to a fund and you’re buying into Buffett’s reputation as well as the health of the investments he chooses. Likewise, the stock’s 2015 struggles, in particular, show how wider market conditions can affect Berkshire’s portfolio.
Berkshire Hathaway’s investments are diverse, which help protect it in normal circumstances and Buffett’s approach has rarely failed in the past. One other thing to note is there will come a time when Buffett is no longer in charge. In recent years Berkshire Hathaway has shown signs of putting in place a succession plan, although it hasn’t named anyone publicly as yet. It’s unlikely that a change at the top would lead to any drastic change in policy but it is something to consider as Buffett is now into his 90s.
You can keep tabs on all the latest news about Berkshire Hathaway, its investments and our market analysis by clicking through the links below.
Warren Buffett: Berkshire stock price trades near highs after acquiring stakes in four major drugmakers
Warren Buffett: Berkshire Hathaway stock price rallies 7% on vaccine news and record buybacks
Warren Buffett earned $800 million in a day by investing in this stock
Buying, selling and trading Berkshire Hathaway shares for beginners
What to do before buying shares
You should always take the time to research a stock fully before investing your money, especially if you haven’t bought shares before. The more knowledge you have, the better your chances of making a wise investment.
With that in mind, here’s a checklist to run through before investing in Berkshire Hathaway shares.
- Research the company. You should always examine the fundamentals of a company before buying its stock. What is Berkshire Hathaway? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is Berkshire Hathaway’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about Berkshire Hathaway, the better positioned you’ll be to make smart investment decisions.
- Make sure you understand the basics of stock investing. Before getting involved, make sure you have an understanding of how the stock market works. This will ensure that you have more clearly defined goals and have thought through how you will achieve them.
- Decide between share dealing and CFD trading. Choose the type of investment strategy you want to pursue, and make sure you have carried out the necessary fundamental or technical analysis for share dealing and CFD trading respectively.
- Set the size of your budget. The golden rule of investing is never to risk more than you can afford to lose. Not every investment you make will result in a profit, so it is important to set a budget that not only allows good potential for capital growth, but also protects against overly damaging losses.
- Find the right broker. Individual brokers each have their own pros and cons. Some will have low fees but have a user interface you struggle to understand, whereas others may be a bit more expensive but come with a range of features that you want to take advantage of. Our broker reviews can help you find the right platform for you.
- Examine broader market conditions. No stock exists in a vacuum, and it’s always important to analyse the general trends of the stock market as a whole before investing. If a bear market is setting in and stock prices are falling, it’s best to wait it out and invest your money later when the stock is cheaper. If, however, the market is looking bearish, you’ll want to make your investment quickly to get the maximum benefit from rising stock prices. Our news section can help you keep on top of movements in the financial markets.
What is the difference between buying, selling, and trading shares?
If you’re new to stock investing, then it’s important to understand the basics of how to buy, sell, and trade Berkshire Hathaway shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.
Buying Berkshire Hathaway shares
This process involves finding a broker and placing an order to buy Berkshire Hathaway stock, as outlined in the steps further up this page. Ideally you want to time your investment when the stock’s price is low so that you can profit by selling the shares after they increase in value.
Selling Berkshire Hathaway shares
When you sell any Berkshire Hathaway shares you have bought, you’ll want to do so at a higher price than the one at which you bought to earn a profit.
When you sell is up to you. You might decide to hold onto your stocks for a long time, hoping to benefit from the company growing steadily throughout. Or, if you see that Berkshire Hathaway’s stock is already up a lot compared to the price you bought it and you’ve noticed that the stock market is starting to fall, it might make sense to sell and take your profits to invest elsewhere. Equally, if the stock has fallen since you bought it and looks set to fall further, it might be a good idea to cut your losses by selling your shares.
Trading Berkshire Hathaway shares
Trading is the same process as buying and selling shares, it’s just done over shorter periods of time with the aim to make small profits on a regular basis. This means that you can make money faster and spend your profits in your day-to-day life – however, on the other side it means you can lose money faster as well. For inexperienced investors, we generally recommend making investments for at least 6 months to a year instead of making trades in quick succession.
You can trade Berkshire Hathaway shares through buying and selling shares, or by trading with CFDs. These allow investors to speculate on stock prices and trade with leverage in pursuit of bigger gains. CFDs trading is explained further in the next section, but it is worth noting that beginners should avoid trading with leverage. It comes with large risks and is best left to experienced investors.
Ways to buy Berkshire Hathaway shares: share dealing and CFD trading
When it comes to investing in any stock, the two options you have are share dealing and trading. Which one of these methods to opt for largely depends on your investment timeline, with investors thinking long term tending to go for share dealing, and those looking for short term gains pursuing a more aggressive trading strategy.
Here’s a quick summary of the two approaches, and the pros and cons of each.
Share dealing refers to the practice of buying and holding shares in a particular company over the long term. When investing like this, you’re seeking to profit either from dividend payments or an increase in the stock’s price over time.
When investing your money this way, it is important to do thorough fundamental analysis of the company in which you are investing. You want to put your money in a stock you believe will trend upwards over time, even if there is some market volatility along the way, rather than get distracted by shorter term peaks and troughs.
- Can build wealth over time to achieve financial goals
- Don’t need to be very reactive to short-term market movements
- Some stocks will give you an income through regular dividend payments
- Takes a long time to realise any profits
- Your capital is tied up in stocks and cannot be used for other investments
If your aim is to generate profits in the short term, then you might be better off trading shares than holding them in your portfolio. Stock trades like this are executed using CFDs (contracts for difference), which allow investors to trade against the value of a stock without having to take ownership of it. When CFD trading, investors are looking to buy and sell stocks fast to profit from short-term fluctuations in value.
One aspect of CFD trading that many investors find attractive is that they allow you to trade with leverage. This means you can place large trades while only putting up a fraction of the value yourself – for instance, if a platform offered leverage of 1:10, you could put £10 into BRK shares and be able to trade £100 worth. This can maximise profits if the market moves in your favour, but be careful as it can also lead to heavy losses.
When trading using CFDs, it is key to be skilled at technical analysis and reading stock price charts. As you’re trading stocks quickly and frequently, the fundamental strength of the company in which you’re investing isn’t as important as being able to predict how its stock price will rise and fall minute-by-minute.
- Can generate fast profits if you read the market right
- Some platforms allow you to trade with leverage
- Prevents your capital being tied up so you can take advantage of investment opportunities
- Trading with leverage is risky and can lead to big losses
- Doesn’t necessarily generate growth over the long term
Consider which approach suits you best and craft an investment strategy that works for you. If you need more information, then simply take our beginner’s guide to the stock market or learn about the different types of stock investment to get you up to speed.
If neither of these options appeal to you, then you can find a variety of other ways to invest in BRK stock on this page. If, however, you’re ready to buy Berkshire Hathaway shares now, simply select one of the brokers in the table above and get started.
How to choose a broker
With the wide variety of online brokers available these days, it can be hard to figure out which is the best service to go with. Our comparison table and in-depth reviews can help you cut through the noise, but by and large these are the aspects you should be considering when selecting a broker:
- Range of stocks available. The most important thing is that you can actually use the broker to buy the shares you’re looking for. Some brokers offer more stocks than others, and many will allow you to trade other assets, such as forex and commodities.
- Fees and commissions. You want to keep as large a chunk of your profits as you can, so it’s important to make sure your broker doesn’t charge high fees that can eat into your profits.
- Regulation. You should only use regulated brokers to place trades and buy shares. Unregulated brokers can be risky and offer little to no protection if the business were to fail while you had funds in your account.
- Payment methods available. You might want to buy Berkshire Hathaway shares using a specific payment method, such as PayPal. Not all brokers accept every payment method but using our comparisons you can search only the brokers that support the option you’re looking for.
- Reputation. One of the strongest indicators of a broker’s reliability is the reputation it has with the customers who have used it. Brokers are online businesses, and as such many user experiences can be found online. You can check these out in addition to our reviews to make sure you choose the right platform.
- Customer service. As you’re going to be investing your money using the platform, you want to check that the broker offers good customer service in case you have a query or something goes wrong.
Latest Berkshire Hathaway news
Warren Buffet reverses historical stance on buyback and other highlights from 2020 letter
Berkshire Hathaway’s revenue slides 3% in the fiscal third quarter
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway invests in Japan’s biggest five trading firms
Berkshire buys 20.9 million shares of Barrick Gold for £430.50 million
Berkshire Hathaway slashes its stake in Goldman Sachs by 84%
Buffett’s Berkshire reports $50 billion net loss as stock price struggles to sustain gains
Try some of our stock market courses for beginners
To learn more before investing, follow the steps outlined in our educational courses. Once you’ve learned those key lessons, you’ll be better prepared to buy shares of Berkshire Hathaway.
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- 1. How to buy Berkshire Hathaway shares
- 2. Compare the best platforms to invest in Berkshire Hathaway shares
- 3. How to buy Berkshire Hathaway shares, a step-by-step guide
- 4. What is Berkshire Hathaway? And should I invest?
- 5. Buying, selling and trading Berkshire Hathaway shares for beginners
- 6. Ways to buy Berkshire Hathaway shares: share dealing and CFD trading
- 7. How to choose a broker