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Investors Business Daily
Investors Business Daily

16 Stocks Run Circles Around Warren Buffett Over The Long Haul

Warren Buffett held court again this year at Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting. But it looks like his company could learn a thing or two from some other S&P 500 companies.

Sixteen stocks in the S&P 500, including his top holding Apple, plus Home Depot and Danaher, gained more than Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway since 1986, the first full-year S&P Global Market Intelligence has historical stock data.

And beating Berkshire Hathaway is no small feat. Berkshire Hathaway is not a slouch in any way. Shares are up 20,038% since 1986, easily topping the S&P 500's 1,859.4% rise in that time. Had you invested $10,000 in Berkshire Hathaway in 1986, your stake would now be worth $2,013,774 today — or a more than $2 million gain. That's good, but not the best you could have done.

"While the undervaluation isn't as great as it has been at certain times in the past, I still think the stock should be the bedrock of any conservative portfolio," said Whitney Tilson of Empire Financial Research.

The Apple Of Buffett's Eye

If you can't beat them, own them. That's the sentiment of Buffett toward gadget maker Apple. Berkshire Hathaway's enormous $155.4 billion position in the company makes it the third-largest owner of Apple. Apple also accounts for roughly half Berkshire Hathaway's U.S.-listed public portfolio.

And it's easy to understand the attraction. Shares of Apple are up 176,695% from 1986. That makes it the top performing stock in that long time period in the S&P 500. A $10,000 investment in Apple in 1986 would be worth $17.7 million now.

But it's not just high-tech riches. Even low-tech can pay off big. Take Home Depot, the do-it-yourself retail and construction wholesale firm. Shares of the Atlanta-based company are up 104,773% from 1985. Your $10,000 plunked down on Home Depot nearly four decades ago would be worth $10.5 million now.

And the health care sector might be known for steady, but unimpressive gains. But Danaher, which makes lab equipment, tops even the Oracle of Omaha. Shares are up nearly 97,000% since 1986, turning your $10,000 into $9.7 million.

That's not to take away from Buffett's amazing success at Berkshire Hathaway. But it's important to know there's more than one way to make big money from S&P 500 stocks.

Better Than Buffett?

S&P 500 stocks outperformed Berkshire Hathaway since 1986

Company Ticker Stock % ch. from 1986 Sector $10,000 (invested in 1986) now worth
Apple 176,633.5% Information Technology $17,673,353
Home Depot 104,849.9% Consumer Discretionary $10,494,988
Danaher 97,116.5% Health Care $9,721,646
Amgen 83,331.1% Health Care $8,343,111
Applied Materials 71,302.1% Information Technology $7,140,213
Stryker 57,554.0% Health Care $5,765,400
Nike 57,258.4% Consumer Discretionary $5,735,840
Paychex 32,171.1% Industrials $3,227,108
Jacobs Solutions 25,714.5% Industrials $2,581,454
Lowe's Companies 25,135.3% Consumer Discretionary $2,523,528
Lam Research 23,312.9% Information Technology $2,341,288
Progressive 23,383.8% Financials $2,348,377
Raymond James 21,486.3% Financials $2,158,626
Berkshire Hathaway 20,021.5% Financials $2,012,145
Sources: S&P Global Market Intelligence, IBD
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