The Quick 10: 10 Things Owned by Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffett pretty much owns everything. He can get up in the morning and put on his Fruit of the Loom undies, throw on his Justin cowboy boots (and hopefully some other clothes, although the image of Warren Buffett wearing just those two things has now seeped into my brain), have a breakfast prepared with Ginsu Knives and Pampered Chef gadgets, and drive off to work in his car insured by GEICO. He can snack on chocolate and ice cream and lounge in an office chair from Nebraska Furniture Mart. And he can say that he owns all of the companies that produced all of those things. Berkshire Hathaway is so diversified it's crazy (crazy-smart... clearly the Oracle of Omaha isn't hurting for money) - here are 10 companies BH owns. DQ1. Dairy Queen and Orange Julius. This one is my favorite. For $585 million in 1997, Berkshire Hathaway bought itself a lifetime supply of Blizzards and Mr. Mistys. I think that's totally worth it. Because Orange Julius is licensed by Dairy Queen, that lifetime supply could also include smoothies. 2. GEICO. I know, who would have thought that the little gecko with the Cockney accent was actually from Chevy Chase, Maryland, with a parent in Omaha, Nebraska? The former mom-and-pop insurance company fell under Berkshire's ownership in 1996, but they had already become a big company in their own right, although I think they've definitely ramped up the advertising since 1996. 3. Fruit of the Loom's 1999 bankruptcy was Berkshire Hathaway's gain. For the bargain basement price of $835 million, Buffett took control of the Grapes. And the Apple. The Leaf refused to come. 4. Pampered Chef, if you're not familiar, is like Tupperware™ or Avon in the sense that it's sold by a direct sales force via in-home parties. Berkshire Hathaway bought the company in 2002 and recently expanded to Mexico. 5. Nebraska Furniture Mart is perhaps not well known outside of the midwest, but it's the largest home furnishing store in North America. Buffett bought the company in a handshake deal from the matriarch who worked in the store until she was 103 years old. I'm currently sitting on a couch that I bought from Mr. Buffett. It's quite comfortable. As an aside, Berkshire also owns MidAmerican Energy, so between NFM and MidAmerican, at least two of our monthly bills go to the billionaire. Thanks, Warren!! justin6. Justin Brands. Back in the day, Justin Boots was a mail-order, made-to-fit cowboy boot business. By the time Berkshire Hathaway bought it in 2000, it was a $600 million company. At least, that's what the transaction was worth. 7. See's Candies. Homemakers, which is a Nebraska Furniture Mart company, used to have a little See's Candies booth in the lobby and I always wondered why. I guess now I know. And apparently I should have known - See's was one of Buffett's original investments for Berkshire Hathaway in 1972. 8. 9. and 10. Ginsu Knives - yep, Berkshire slices, it dices, it can even cut through tin cans! They bought the Scott Fetzer company in 1986 for somewhere around $320 million. That purchase also included Kirby Vacuums and World Book Encyclopedias. So if you were Warren Buffett, what company would be on your list? I like to think in terms of personal gain, so I think I would purchase a local coffee chain here called Friedrich's so I could have free caffeine whenever I wanted. Have a Q10 request? I'm on Twitter and I'm all ears! Err... all keys. Something.

Take Advantage of Amazon's Early Black Friday Deals on Tech, Kitchen Appliances, and More

Amazon
Amazon

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Even though Black Friday is still a few days away, Amazon is offering early deals on kitchen appliances, tech, video games, and plenty more. We will keep updating this page as sales come in, but for now, here are the best Amazon Black Friday sales to check out.

Kitchen

Instant Pot/Amazon

- Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-115 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker; $90 (save $40) 

- Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Sauteuse 3.5 Quarts; $180 (save $120)

- KitchenAid KSMSFTA Sifter with Scale Attachment; $95 (save $75) 

- Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker; $60 (save $20)

- Cuisinart Bread Maker; $88 (save $97)

- Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker; $139 (save $60)

- Aicook Juicer Machine; $35 (save $15)

- JoyJolt Double Wall Insulated Espresso Mugs - Set of Two; $14 (save $10) 

- Longzon Silicone Stretch Lids - Set of 14; $13 (save $14)

HadinEEon Milk Frother; $37 (save $33)

Home Appliances

Roomba/Amazon

- iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity; $179 (save $101)

- Fairywill Electric Toothbrush with Four Brush Heads; $19 (save $9)

- ASAKUKI 500ml Premium Essential Oil Diffuser; $22 (save $4)

- Facebook Portal Smart Video Calling 10 inch Touch Screen Display with Alexa; $129 (save $50)

- Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier with HEPA and Carbon Filters; $280 (save $50)

Oscillating Quiet Cooling Fan Tower; $59 (save $31) 

TaoTronics PTC 1500W Fast Quiet Heating Ceramic Tower; $55 (save $10)

Vitamix 068051 FoodCycler 2 Liter Capacity; $300 (save $100)

AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Home Office Shredder; $33 (save $7)

Ring Video Doorbell; $70 (save $30) 

Video games

Sony

- Marvel's Spider-Man: Game of The Year Edition for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $20)

- Marvel's Avengers; $27 (save $33)

- Minecraft Dungeons Hero Edition for Nintendo Switch; $20 (save $10)

- The Last of Us Part II for PlayStation 4; $30 (save $30)

- LEGO Harry Potter: Collection; $15 (save $15)

- Ghost of Tsushima; $40 (save $20)

BioShock: The Collection; $20 (save $30)

The Sims 4; $20 (save $20)

God of War for PlayStation 4; $10 (save $10)

Days Gone for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $6)

Luigi's Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch; $40 (save $20)

Computers and tablets

Microsoft/Amazon

- Apple MacBook Air 13 inches with 256 GB; $899 (save $100)

- New Apple MacBook Pro 16 inches with 512 GB; $2149 (save $250) 

- Samsung Chromebook 4 Chrome OS 11.6 inches with 32 GB; $210 (save $20) 

- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 with 13.5 inch Touch-Screen; $1200 (save $400)

- Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Laptop; $889 (save $111)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet (64GB); $120 (save $70)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet (32 GB); $130 (save $70)

- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8 inches with 32 GB; $100 (save $50)

Apple iPad Mini (64 GB); $379 (save $20)

- Apple iMac 27 inches with 256 GB; $1649 (save $150)

- Vankyo MatrixPad S2 Tablet; $120 (save $10)

Tech, gadgets, and TVs

Apple/Amazon

- Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS; $179 (save $20) 

- SAMSUNG 75-inch Class Crystal 4K Smart TV; $998 (save $200)

- Apple AirPods Pro; $169 (save $50)

- Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame 9.7 Inch Silver; $238 (save $92)

- All-New Amazon Echo Dot with Clock and Alexa (4th Gen); $39 (save $21)

- MACTREM LED Ring Light 6" with Tripod Stand; $16 (save $3)

- Anker Soundcore Upgraded Bluetooth Speaker; $22 (save $8)

- Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote; $28 (save $12)

Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera with EF-M 15-45mm Lens; $549 (save $100)

DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector; $93 (save $37)

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The 20 Most Valuable Companies in the World

The Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
The Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Laurenz Heymann, Unsplash

It seems like the most valuable companies should be those whose products and services we use on a near-daily basis. And according to Forbes’s most recent list, they are: The top five highest-valued brands in the world are Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook.

The annual study is based on a complex mixture of metrics that cover revenue and earnings, tax rates, price-to-earnings ratios, and capital employed. Since the data is from 2017 to 2019, the list doesn’t reflect how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the companies in question. That said, it does reflect what many have long assumed: that Big Tech is running laps around all the other industries. The top five are all considered technology companies, as are four others in the top 20 (Samsung, Intel, Cisco, and Oracle). Other companies aren’t in the technology category, but they own lucrative offshoots that are. Disney, in seventh place with an estimated value of $61.3 billion, falls under the “leisure” umbrella—but Disney+ itself would likely be marked “technology.” (Netflix is.)

The list isn’t completely devoid of time-tested classics that don’t involve software or hardware. Coca-Cola edged out Disney by about $3 billion to take sixth place; Toyota placed 11th with a brand value of $41.5 billion; and McDonald’s just cracked the top 10 with $46.1 billion. Louis Vuitton, Nike, and Walmart all also made the top 20.

Just because a brand ranked high on this year’s list doesn’t necessarily mean it’s doing well (and vice versa). Facebook, for example, suffered a 21-percent decrease in brand value compared to Forbes’ 2019 list—the largest loss of all 200 companies included in the study. Netflix’s brand value, on the other hand, jumped a staggering 72 percent from 2019 to 2020. With an estimated $26.7 billion value, it still missed the top 20 by six spots.

See Forbes’s top 20 below, and check out the full list here.

  1. Apple // $241.2 billion
  1. Google // $207.5 billion
  1. Microsoft // $162.9 billion
  1. Amazon // $135.4 billion
  1. Facebook // $70.3 billion
  1. Coca-Cola // $64.4 billion
  1. Disney // $61.3 billion
  1. Samsung // $50.4 billion
  1. Louis Vuitton // $47.2 billion
  1. McDonald’s // $46.1 billion
  1. Toyota // $41.5 billion
  1. Intel // $39.5 billion
  1. Nike // $39.1 billion
  1. AT&T // $37.3 billion
  1. Cisco // $36 billion
  1. Oracle // $35.7 billion
  1. Verizon // $32.3 billion
  1. Visa // $31.8 billion
  1. Walmart // $29.5 billion
  1. GE // $29.5 billion

[h/t Forbes]