On October 9, 2009, 27 Columbia Business School students visited legendary investor Warren Buffett at the Omaha, Nebraska headquarters of Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate holding company of which Mr. Buffett is chairman and CEO. Mr. Buffett spent more than two hours addressing student questions on a range of topics, including his career beginnings, political opinions, business philosophies, and investment experiences. This article highlights the international investing experiences and insights shared by the "Oracle of Omaha."
The recent announcement of Berkshire Hathaway's $34 billion acquisition of railroad giant Burlington Northern Santa Fe represented what Warren Buffett called "an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States." While much attention has been directed toward Mr. Buffett's investment in Burlington as well as other U.S. bellwethers--such as Coca-Cola, American Express, Wells Fargo, and Procter & Gamble--non-U.S. companies also fit within Mr. Buffett's investment philosophy. The applicability of Buffett-style investing abroad is reflected in two of his holdings: Daehan Flour Mills, a South Korean miller of wheat flour and frying powder, and BYD, a Chinese battery, mobile phone, and electric car company.