Tags: buffett | economy | berkshire | business | workers

Buffett: Economy Remains Strong but Qualified Workers Hard to Find


Monday, 07 May 2018 09:23 AM

Investor Warren Buffett says the economy remains strong and business has been improving lately.

Buffett told CNBC that the reports he gets from Berkshire Hathaway's many businesses show that the economy is doing well.

Buffett says most of Berkshire's businesses are hiring, and several of them are having trouble finding workers. For instance, carpet installers and certain construction workers are especially hard to find.

In a wide-ranging three-hour interview on CNBC Monday: 

  • Buffett said investors would instead be much better off investing in U.S. stocks, which in turn are also a far better investment than 10- or 30-year U.S. government bonds. Buffett said stock prices are elevated but not in a bubble. He said he would much rather have Berkshire’s pile of cash and equivalents be $30 billion, rather than the $108.6 billion it was at the end of March, but good deals have not emerged.
  • Buffett says some of his most successful investments over his career have come after scandals like the one at Wells Fargo. Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway, is the biggest shareholder in Wells Fargo, which has been mired in scandal for more than a year. Buffett says Wells Fargo clearly had the wrong incentives in place when bank employees opened as many as 2 million accounts without getting customers' permission to meet aggressive sales targets. Buffett says the bank didn't act quickly enough when executives learned of the problem.
  • Buffett says stocks remain the best option for investors — not bonds, and especially not bitcoins. Buffett says he doesn't think the stock market is overpriced compared with other options even though he's had trouble finding entire businesses to buy at reasonable prices. Buffett appeared on CNBC Monday after spending Saturday answering questions before thousands of shareholders. Buffett says cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are nonproductive assets similar to gold. So Buffett says anyone buying bitcoin is betting that someone else will pay more for it later. Buffett reiterated his standard advice that buying an index fund, such as the S&P 500 fund, regularly over time is the best option for most people. Roughly 40,000 people attended Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting on Saturday.

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Investor Warren Buffett says the economy remains strong and business has been improving lately.
buffett, economy, berkshire, business, workers
Monday, 07 May 2018 09:23 AM
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