Buffett: I'm buying stocks
Berkshire Hathaway CEO gives advice on how to invest during America's money crisis in a New York Times op-ed.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Billionaire investor Warren Buffett used a guest commentary article in the New York Times on Friday to announce that he's sticking with stocks.
Buffett, the so-called Oracle of Omaha for his ability to buy up the right companies at the right time for his holding company Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), said the worst may not be over for the faltering economy.
"In the near term, unemployment will rise, business activity will falter and headlines will continue to be scary," Buffett wrote.
But for that reason, the Berkshire CEO said, he has converted his personal portfolio almost entirely to U.S. stocks. Previously, he said he owned nothing but Treasury bonds.
Buffett said the fear surrounding the disastrous credit crisis, which has dropped stocks about 36% from their all-time highs set around this time last year, has left equities with attractive purchasing prices.
"A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful," said Buffett. "And most certainly, fear is now widespread, gripping even seasoned investors."
Stock prices have been volatile, to say the least. Consider what happened this week alone: The Dow Jones gained 976 points on Monday; fell 76 points on Tuesday; dropped 733 points on Wednesday and then gained 401 points Thursday. But Buffett says the future is much brighter for stocks.
"Fears regarding the long-term prosperity of the nation's many sound companies make no sense," wrote Buffett. "Most major companies will be setting new profit records 5, 10 and 20 years from now."
Still, many nervous investors have been ditching the up-and-down stock market and pouring their funds into physical assets like gold or cash equivalents. Though they may feel safe now, Buffett said those investors are holding "terrible long-term assets" that will not come close to matching the future gains of stocks.
"The hapless ones bought stocks only when they felt comfort in doing so and then proceeded to sell when the headlines made them queasy," Buffett added.
So if strong companies are destined for long-term success, bad news is good news when you're looking to invest in the stock market.