Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, is known for his ridiculously accurate foresight when it comes to picking stocks. In fact, he’s beaten the S&P 500 more often than not during the years that he’s been head of Berkshire Hathaway. But, even Warren Buffett makes the occasional mistake.
Recently at the 2017 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder’s Meeting, Warren Buffett was full of regrets when he admitted that he missed out on two major stocks: Google and Amazon. Both tech stocks Buffett said he had the chance to invest in, but didn’t because he didn’t understand the technology behind them very well.
Both mistakes were quite a blow to Buffett, who admitted he should have seen it coming, especially with Google as Berkshire Hathaway was paying $10 to $11 per advertising click to Google. However, the octogenarian admitted he didn’t quite understand how both Google and Amazon made money or how they would continue to do so.
During the meeting, Buffett extolled the virtues of Amazon in particular, as the company has seen a recent upshot in profit that sent CEO Jeff Bezos past Buffett as the second richest man in the world.
“I was too dumb to realize. I did not think [Bezos] could succeed on the scale he has,” Buffett said during the meeting, adding that he “really underestimated the brilliance of the execution” of Amazon. Buffett went on to admit that he and Munger “miss a lot of things, and we’ll keep doing it.”
Unfortunately, these misses were pretty large and not something that Buffett can take advantage of now, as the stocks are quite expensive. IBM, Buffett’s other tech bet, has simply not quite worked out in Buffett’s favor and the investor began dumping the stock recently.
“I don’t value IBM the same way that I did six years ago when I started buying,” he said.