Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns 10 million shares in General Motors Co. as of March 31, 2012, according to the company’s quarterly filing submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Although Berkshire, chaired by Warren Buffett, has little involvement with car manufacturers, the company does have a significant investment in the Chinese electric car maker BYD Co Ltd.
Berkshire also holds 1.59 million shares in Viacom Inc, a New York-based firm. Buffett is known for building portfolios made up of stakes in different yet large companies. Buffett’s understudies, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, also built their portfolios under Berkshire’s chair.
Buffett has said that Berkshire buys assets based on the business’ intrinsic worth, instead of on macroeconomic conditions. According to Jeff Matthews, author of "Secrets in Plain Sight: Business and Investing Secrets of Warren Buffett," the Berkshire chairman and chief executive only buys assets if he sees value in them, despite the current crisis being experienced in Europe.
Buffett intends to leave Berkshire in very good hands when he retires, in part by hiring former hedge fund managers Weschler and Combs to help oversee investments he made.
Buffett said during the company’s annual meeting that he decides on the Berkshire's larger wagers, leaving the smaller bets for back-up stock pickers to make, with each of them overseeing $2.75 billion of assets. Berkshire's stock portfolio jumped from $77 billion as of December 31, 2011 to $89.1 billion as of March 31, 2012. According to the filing, Berkshire spent around $3.4 billion on equities during the quarter.