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    Warren Buffett famously said at the height of the financial crisis that you only know who's been swimming naked when the tide goes out.

    Unfortunately for him and his shareholders at Berkshire Hathaway, it appears that one of the Sage of Omaha's biggest holdings, IBM Corp., has been skinny dipping for a long time.

    Some astute observers such as Stanley Druckenmiller, Doug Kass, and Fred Hickey, the editor of The High-Tech Strategist, have been warning for months that IBM's business and balance sheet were deteriorating.

    The stock market, however, was happy to ignore these warnings and instead allow itself to be fooled by massive debt-financed stock buybacks that were propping up the company's shares.

    The tide now appears to have receded, however...

Warren Buffett

Invest Like Warren Buffett: Check Out His Latest Buying Target

warren buffett

Legendary investor Warren Buffett has been busy buying stocks on the market dips - and he's also placed a big bet on one specific industry...

Amid Wednesday's stock market sell-off, which left the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq down 1.4%, 1.3%, and 1.59% respectively on heavy volume (the fifth heaviest of any session this year), the Oracle of Omaha went shopping.

Speaking on CNBC Thursday morning, the billionaire investor declined to share what stocks he bought. But, he did say they are "names you'd recognize."

But here’s one industry we know he’s after: auto dealers…

How to Invest Like Warren Buffett in the U.S. Energy Revolution

Energy oil dollar small

In our Aug. 11 Private Briefing report "What Does This 'Mysterious Signal' Tell Us About CB&I?" we said we suspected that super-investor Warren Buffett would use the sell-off in Chicago Bridge & Iron to boost his stake in the Netherlands-based infrastructure specialist.

That's exactly what happened.

Here's why and here's how to profit by following the same techniques...

This Energy Play Has Warren Buffett Playing Catch-Up

It's absolute gospel in the world of investing to study and understand the moves that Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway are making - and then to follow them for profit.

And with good reason: Buffett's track record speaks for itself - and he augments his capital-markets genius with the homespun, down-to-earth personality that's cemented his spot as a hero to the masses.

One of Buffett's newest forays has taken his Berkshire investment vehicle into the energy sector.

But he wasn't the first to get there. We were. And it's paying off in a big way...

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Why Warren Buffett Is Wrong About Investing in Bitcoin

Buffett mug

Warren Buffett didn't get to be a billionaire by being wrong, but it's clear from what he's been saying about investing in Bitcoin that he just doesn't get the digital currency.

Last Friday on CNBC, Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B), unleashed his second dismissal of Bitcoin this month.

"Stay away from it," Buffett said during a panel discussion. "It's a mirage, basically."

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How Warren Buffett Led Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) to Record Profit in 2013

Buffett mug

Buoyed by a recovering U.S. economy, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) posted a record profit in 2013 and is upbeat about the future.

Run by the iconic Warren Buffett since 1965, Berkshire has grown from a textile manufacturing company to now include 80-plus businesses that run the gamut from insurance to railroads to utilities to ice cream. The Omaha, Neb.-based conglomerate consists of some $117.5 billion of a variety of stocks.

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Convert These Costs into Profits

It's fair to say that adding up your health, auto, homeowner's, life, and business insurance costs (to name just a few) can lead to a massive tab. And it puts a huge dent in your available investment capital.

But it doesn't have to.

Let’s take a look at our insurance costs compared to some other countries, their drivers, and… most importantly,

how to knock them down and profit from what we save.

The "Painful" Truth About Diversification

Portfolio diversification is one of the most widely advocated concepts in investing. Almost all financial planners recommend it.

But it's also one of the most misunderstood concepts.

Traditional diversification isn't a real-world way to create big wealth.

Warren Buffett certainly understands this, as you'll see.

So does Lynn...

The Winning Investment System That Gave Us Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch

Light bulb So what do Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch have in common?

Aside from being legendary investors, neither one of them has ever used technical analysis to dig up a market-beating stock pick.

In a world bereft of charts, trend lines, and candlesticks, both of these heavy weights have relied entirely on fundamental analysis to earn their famous fortunes.

In fact, their disdain for technical analysis is so complete that Buffett once remarked, "I realized technical analysis didn't work when I turned the charts upside down and didn't get a different answer."

Meanwhile, Lynch once observed, "Charts are great for predicting the past."

Instead of focusing on market momentum, they simply concentrated on finding long-term value. It's called fundamental analysis.

And over time, that singular "system" made both men very wealthy.

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Three Stocks to Buy to Beat Warren Buffett's Gains

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While many look to Warren Buffett's holdings to find the best stocks to buy, it turns out his holdings' rivals could be the better picks.

Buffett is known not only for value investing, but also buying shares only of companies that operate in prosaic, easy-to-understand businesses. That's why the holdings of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) are spectacular.

But in this look at how to find more stocks to buy that deliver - and even beat - the gains of Buffett's most popular holdings, some of the best bets could be companies that share a market with Berkshire's big winners.

Take a look.

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What Was the Real Motive Behind Warren Buffett's Goldman Deal?

Legendary investor Warren Buffett is set to become one Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s (NYSE: GS) largest investors without shelling out one penny.

Impressive as that is, what's even more striking is how the guru investor brokered the Goldman deal to his distinct advantage.

The savvy CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) amended terms of warrants--a type of security that gives the holder the right to purchase securities from an issuer at a certain price within a certain time frame-issued to Berkshire during the 2008 financial meltdown.

At the time, Buffett's investment in Goldman was gutsy. It was viewed as a vote of confidence in the bank as the country faced economic crisis.

The warrants originally gave Berkshire the right to buy $5 billion worth of Goldman common shares at $115 each any time before Oct. 1. Thanks to the new $1.5 billion deal inked Tuesday, Buffett's company will receive 9.2 million shares.

According to data from Bloomberg News, that makes Berkshire the ninth-largest shareholder in Goldman.

The Oracle of Omaha said in a press release, "We intend to hold a significant investment in Goldman Sachs, a firm that I did my first transaction with more than 50 years ago. I have been privileged to have known and admired Goldman's executive leadership team since my first meeting with Sidney Weinberg in 1940."

Berkshire's windfall from the investment surpasses $3 billion, making it one of Buffett's most profitable wagers in recent history.

Goldman also benefits. The investment bank avoids a flood of sell-side shares that would have been dilutive. It also gets to include the revered name of Warren Buffett to its shareholder roster.

"We are pleased that Berkshire Hathaway intends to remain a long-term investor in Goldman Sachs," Goldman's CEO Lloyd Blankfein said in a statement.

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How to Invest Like Warren Buffett

Company Berkshire Hathaway

If you want to know how to invest like the best, a good place to start is with Warren Buffett.

Legendary Buffett, CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B), first started his Buffett Associates, Ltd. in 1956 with $105,000 - mostly contributed from family and friends.

He now ranks fourth on Forbes' Richest Billionaires list, with a new worth of $53.5 billion.

Part of the reason for his success: He was never swept up in the euphoria of Wall Street crowds.

Behind the small-town-boy-turned-mogul story is a keen mathematical mind that has been honed into a highly successful stock-picking machine. Buffett began under the mentorship of the late Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing. Buffett perfected his skill through countless hours of studying annual reports of virtually every American publicly traded company over the last five decades.

Now the Oracle of Omaha's Berkshire Hathaway empire consists of some of the most recognized U.S. brands.

Buffett's "Big Four" investments - American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP), The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) - represent the kind of businesses Buffett trusts his money to.

"The four companies possess marvelous businesses and are run by managers who are both talented and shareholder-oriented," Buffett wrote in his 2012 Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letter. "We much prefer owning a non-controlling but substantial portion of a wonderful business to owning 100% of a so-so business."

By taking a closer look at Buffett's career, and his favorite investments, we pinpointed three key factors to Buffett's investment formula that separate him from the common investor.

These factors, employed at key moments in Buffett's decision-making process, reveal a sophisticated formula for stock selection, as well as exploiting opportunities when other investors overreact.

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