Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A BRK.B)
But don't forget that Buffett became one of the world's wealthiest men through his career as an investor - not a political pundit.
For that reason, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) is one of the most successful and widely followed companies in the world.
In fact, a 2007 study by two university professors entitled "Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery" showed that buying what Buffett buys - even a month after his purchases - is a pathway to superior returns.
"The market ... appears to under-react to the news of a Berkshire stock investment since a hypothetical portfolio that mimics Berkshire's investments created the month after they are publicly disclosed earns positive abnormal returns of 14.26% per year," the study said.
And right now Berkshire is making big moves.
Despite criticism that he's buying into a top-heavy market, that IBM is at a premium, and that he's losing his touch, chances are Buffett knows exactly what he's doing.
And guess what, it's exactly what I've been counseling investors to do since this crisis began - bolster defenses by putting money to work in companies that are backed by trillions of dollars in tailwinds, and have solid defensible businesses (Buffett calls these "moats").
According to a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) filing made Monday but dated Sept. 30, 2011, Buffett also waded into General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD), DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV), CVS Caremark Corp. (NYSE: CVS), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V).
In the third quarter, Buffett funneled $10 billion into Berkshire's IBM stake, which now stands at 5.5%. Of course, Berkshire maintains a $13.5 billion stake in The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) that remains the firm's largest.
Buffett Pulls the TriggerAs a long time Buffett watcher, I am somewhat surprised that he picked up Intel and IBM, if only because the Oracle of Omaha has a well-documented aversion to tech.
Still, I can see the logic. Both companies are global giants poised to profit from the whirlwind of growth set to take place thousands of miles from our shores in the decades ahead.
There are technical similarities, too.
For instance, IBM's price has risen more than 29% this year. As a result, at least five analysts have removed their buy recommendations because they believe the stock may have run its course, according to Bloomberg News and YahooFinance . At the moment, less than 50% of the analysts who cover IBM recommend buying the stock.
Back in 1988, it was much the same situation. Coke had more than doubled in size and analysts had much the same reaction when it came to doubts about further growth. Many openly bashed the stock's prospects and completely ignored the global growth potential that today is Coke's mainstay.
Coke is up tenfold since then. Enough said.
Here's what I think Buffett sees:
Berkshire's cash rose to a three-year high of $38.2 billion and Buffett said the firm was on the prowl for new buyouts.
"We will need more good performance from our current businesses and more major acquisitions," wrote Buffett. "We're prepared. Our elephant gun has been reloaded, and my trigger finger is itchy."
Berkshire Hathaway generated almost $1 billion a month in free cashflow last year. It also completed its biggest purchase, spending $26.5 billion for rail company Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.
Many analysts view the defense industry and agriculture sectors as the most appealing sectors.
Adding 39-year-old Combs to the Berkshire team makes him a top contender to take over Buffett's investment management duties whenever the Oracle of Omaha leaves his company.
"He is a 100% fit for our culture," said Buffett. "I can define the culture while I am here, but we want a culture that is so embedded that it doesn't get tested when the founder of it isn't around. Todd is perfect in that respect."