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Originally published Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 7:00 PM

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The Motley Fool: Every Sunday, useful tips on investing


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Q: Do any mutual funds invest in the same stocks as Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, letting me match his returns?

A: Be careful. Some people mistakenly think of Warren Buffett’s company as a kind of mutual fund, since he owns stock in many companies, such as Wells Fargo and Coca-Cola.

It’s true that we can buy and sell the same stocks that Buffett or his money managers do, but we can’t do so at the same time, as their moves are revealed only via occasional required filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

More importantly, Berkshire Hathaway is much more than a portfolio of stocks.

It’s an insurance company to a great degree, and it encompasses dozens of entire companies, such as See’s Candies, Fruit of the Loom, Benjamin Moore, Dairy Queen, The Pampered Chef, GEICO, and even a bunch of newspapers, among many others. All those can’t be duplicated.

That said, Buffett’s style is to seek out good values in great companies. You can find value-oriented mutual-fund managers with similar philosophies. (Morningstar.com is a great site for mutual-fund research.)

You can also just buy stock in Berkshire Hathaway itself.

Dear Fool: My dumbest investment was when I opened an account with a financial adviser and maxed out my IRA contribution buying shares of a mutual fund he recommended, not realizing that he sold me a product that he would make money from. (My experience at the time was zero.)

Since then, I’ve been a student of investing, having learned that only I have my best interest at heart when it comes to how my money is invested. I closed that account and have been investing on my own. I’ve made my losses back, and then some.

The Fool responds: Good for you! Not everyone wants to be such an involved investor, and for those people we recommend simple, inexpensive broad-market index funds.

The fund you were in charges a 5.75 percent “load,” taking a big slice of your money from the outset. It has lagged many S&P 500 index funds, too, over the past decade, while charging much more in fees per year than they do.

Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI) is the world’s largest video-game company, having developed and published franchises such as Call of Duty, Skylanders, World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo.

Video games are big business, with the market expected to top $100 billion in value this year. Activision Blizzard is worth considering for your portfolio.

The company’s future is looking bright, with the releases of the new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One video-game consoles.

It has updates for many games in its pipeline, and hopes to have a new blockbuster on its hands as it releases Destiny later this year.

Analysts expect revenue and earnings to grow by 8 percent and 37 percent, respectively, this year, and Activision Blizzard has outperformed Wall Street’s profit estimates in each of last year’s four quarters.

Its better-than-expected performance is the result of strong sales across multiple genres and platforms.

Much of the company’s success in the coming years is dependent on whether it can make its upcoming megaproject Destiny the biggest thing in gaming.

The game is reported to be one of the most costly to develop in the history of the industry.

With a market capitalization near $15 billion, Activision Blizzard is not a small company. It recently offered a dividend yield of 1 percent.



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