Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) invested $23.9 billion in the third quarter, the most in at least 15 years, as he accelerated stock purchases and broadened the portfolio beyond consumer and financial-company holdings. Berkshire bought almost $7 billion of equity securities in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $3.62 billion in the second quarter and $834 million in the first, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company said Nov. 4 in a filing. Stockholdings labeled “commercial, industrial and other” soared 62 percent in the three months to $17.4 billion on a cost basis, surpassing equity investments in financial and consumer-product firms… Buffett, 81, drew down Berkshire’s cash as Europe’s debt crisis and Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the U.S. pushed stocks to their worst quarterly performance since 2008. The investments disclosed Nov. 4 include $6.9 billion of equities, $5 billion for preferred shares and warrants in Bank of America Corp. and the acquisition of Lubrizol Corp. for about $9 billion.
It was definitely a good time to be bullish. Stocks are up 20% or so since then. Berkshire still has $35 billion or so in cash and it would be even more telling if he were continuing on his buying spree at today’s higher prices. However, I imagine it’s been, at the very least, tempered by the recent gains.