Legendary investor Warren Buffett, also known as the Oracle of Omaha, consistently ranks among the richest people in the world, with a net worth of nearly $120 billion in 2024. It’s no surprise then that his investment moves make national headlines, and are copied by legions of smaller investors hoping to reap the benefits of his investing acumen.
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As the CEO of publicly-traded company Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett is required to disclose most of his investing moves, but he is also famously goes above and beyond regulatory requirements when discussing his holdings. While real estate has never been a big part of Buffett’s investing strategy, Berkshire Hathaway has owned shares of STORE Capital, a REIT focused on single-tenant operational real estate.
What’s a REIT?
A real estate investment trust, or REIT, is a company that owns or operates income-producing real estate — a fancy way of saying it collects rent. Most of them are publicly-traded on exchanges like the stock of any other company, which makes them attractive to smaller investors looking for exposure to real estate, or to larger investors that don’t want to deal with the administrative burden of buying individual properties. Because REITs receive frequent and steady cash income from the properties they own, they typically pay a substantial dividend as well.
Buffet and REITs
STORE Capital isn’t the first REIT that Berkshire Hathaway has owned, just the most recent. However, Berkshire sold its holdings of STORE Capital in 2022 after the company announced it was being acquired by two outside investment funds. Since then, filings have shown that Berkshire Hathaway has not owned shares of any other REIT.
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That doesn’t necessarily mean that Buffett is no longer interested in real estate. While the size of Berkshire Hathaway means that buying real estate piecemeal isn’t a practical strategy, there are other ways to get exposure to the sector. In 2023, Berkshire filings showed that the company bought close to a billion dollars worth of stock in major home builders like DR Horton, Lennar Corp and NVR Corp.
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