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May 2, 2020, 12:52 p.m. EDT

Warren Buffett on the ‘one-two punch’ market panic: It took me 89 years to experience something like this

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By Shawn Langlois, MarketWatch


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Warren Buffett shares his thoughts on coronavirus fears.

‘It wasn’t October 1987, but it was an imitation... [and the financial crisis] was much more scary, by far, than anything that happened [on Monday].’

That’s Berkshire Hathaway /zigman2/quotes/208872451/composite BRK.A +4.53% /zigman2/quotes/200060694/composite BRK.B +4.48% boss Warren Buffett putting the market volatility — which he described as a “one-two punch” of coronavirus and falling oil prices — in perspective in an interview recently on Yahoo Finance .

“If you stick around long enough, you’ll see everything in markets,” he said from his Omaha headquarters. “And it may have taken me to 89 years of age to throw this one into the experience, but the markets, if you have to be open second by second, they react to news in a big time way.”

While it may have been scarier in 1987 and 2008, at least to Buffett, there’s no denying that it’s been a brutal stretch for investors. Last week, however the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +3.15% just turned in one of its best performances ever, rallying almost 13%.

Stocks, of course, still have a ways to go to recover from last month’s historic reversal.

The so-called Oracle of Omaha appears to be well-positioned to weather more market turbulence. At last count, Berkshire Hathaway was holding $128 billion in cash.

“Buffett did not amass his fortune by following the herd but by leading it,” RIA Advisors strategist Lance Roberts recently wrote in a blog post. “He is sitting on a $128 billion in cash for a reason. Buffett is fully aware of the gains he has forgone, yet still continues his ways. Buffet is not dumb!”

Watch this clip from Yahoo’s Buffett interview:

/zigman2/quotes/208872451/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 300,920
+13,042 +4.53%
Volume: 634.00
June 5, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
50.30
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$466.55 billion
Rev. per Employee
$637,113
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200060694/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 200.66
+8.61 +4.48%
Volume: 10.40M
June 5, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
50.24
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$466.55 billion
Rev. per Employee
$637,113
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
27,110.98
+829.16 +3.15%
Volume: 544.41M
June 5, 2020 5:07p
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Shawn Langlois is an editor and writer for MarketWatch in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @slangwise.

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