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Buffett on market timing: 'We haven't the faintest idea'

·2-min read

The Oracle of Omaha didn't become the multi-billionaire he is today by timing the market.

"We haven't the faintest idea what the stock market is gonna do when it opens on Monday — we never have," Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B) Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett said during the company's annual shareholders meeting on Saturday.

"I don't think we've ever made a decision where either one of us has either said or been thinking: 'We should buy or sell based on what the market is going to do," Buffett added, referring to his longtime business partner Charlie Munger. "Or, for that matter, what the economy is going to do."

Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger at the 2022 Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting. (screenshot/CNBC)
Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger at the 2022 Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting. (screenshot/CNBC)

Buffett is known to deeply research companies and their performance, preferring to hold stocks long-term rather than to ride market waves. In other words, he is an ultimate a value investor in that he looks for stocks that are cheaply priced relative to their true value as evaluated by Berkshire.

The investment strategy has grown his company — and his net worth — into the conglomerate it is today by buying and holding massive positions in Apple, Bank of America, American Express, Coca-Cola, Dairy Queen, HP, and more.

Buffett added that "if he had any sense of timing," he would have bought stocks in March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading.

Markets faced a massive rout in March 2020, as the pandemic began spreading across the United States at alarming rates, forcing businesses, schools, and large parts of the economy to shut down.

Despite the market lows, Buffett said he didn't use the chance to load up on equities.

"I totally missed that opportunity, I totally messed up in March of 2020," he said. "We haven't ever timed anything. We've never figured out insights into the economy."

Aarthi is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. She can be reached at aarthi@yahoofinance.com. Follow her on Twitter @aarthiswami.

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