What's Warren Buffett's favorite investment?
Nope, it's not his cartoon series "Secret Millionaires Club." And it's certainly not muni bonds. It's See's Candies, the boxed-chocolates company that Buffett bought 40 years ago for $25 million, according to Fortune's feel-good piece about the West Coast staple. (The San Francisco-based chocolatier is also reportedly a favorite of Nancy Pelosi.)
"It's one thing to own stock in a Coca-Cola or something, but when you're actually in the business of making determinations about opening stores and pricing decisions, you learn from it," Buffett, who reportedly keeps a box of See's lollipops on his desk, told Fortune. "We have made a lot more money out of See's than shows from the earnings of See's, just by the fact that it's educated me."
See's isn't exactly a fast-growth stock. The 91-year-old company's profit rarely rises year to year and it recorded a modest $83 million of profit in 2011. But, buoyed by Buffett's sweet-tooth, See's is making a push beyond the West Coast, where the vast majority of its stores are located.
So look out East Coasters. Here's a sweet chance to make the Oracle of Omaha even richer.
1964: Investment In American Express
In 1964, Warren Buffett purchased shares of an American Express wracked by the "salad oil scandal." The purchases would go on to net him $3.7 Billion, according to <a href="http://247wallst.com/2011/01/21/warren-buffetts-greatest-investments-of-all-time/" target="_hplink">24/7 Wall St</a>. The move would later be compared to his more recent investments in Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.
2008: $5 Billion Investment In Goldman Sachs
In 2008, Buffett flew in the face of a full-blown financial crisis and bought <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/23/buffett-buying-5-billion_n_128784.html" target="_hplink">$5 billion worth of Goldman Sachs shares</a>, netting an eventual $1.6 billion in dividends, <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/44271446" target="_hplink">according to CNBC</a>.
2010: 'We're Still In A Recession"
Despite the recession officially declared over, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/23/warren-buffett-were-still_n_736148.html" target="_hplink">Buffett told CNBC in September 2010</a> that the economy was "still in a recession. And -- and we're not gonna be out of it for awhile, but we will get out of it."
2011: Debt Ceiling Debate 'Blowing America's Brains Out'
During the U.S. debt ceiling debate over the summer, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/07/warren-buffett-debt-ceiling_n_892332.html" target="_hplink">Buffett told CNBC</a> that the the Republican-controlled Congress was "trying to use the incentive now that we're going to blow your brains out, America, in terms of your debt worthiness over time."
2011: USA Credit Rating Should Be 'Quadruple A'
After Standard & Poor's downgraded U.S. credit, <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-06/buffett-says-s-p-s-downgrade-mistaken-still-doesn-t-see-another-recession.html" target="_hplink">Buffett told Bloomberg TV</a> that the country deserved a "quadruple A" rating, not a downgrade -- a remark later <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/09/sp-downgrade-obama_n_921959.html" target="_hplink">referenced by President Obama</a>.
2011: 'Stop Coddling The Super Rich' With Low Taxes
In a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html?_r=1&smid=tw-nytimesbusiness&seid=auto" target="_hplink"><em>New York Times</em></a> op-ed Buffett criticized the low tax rates of U.S. billionaires. "[W]hile the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks," Buffett wrote.
2011: $5 Billion Investment In Bank Of America
On August 25th 2011, Buffett announced that he would purchase <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/25/warren-buffett-bank-of-america-berkshire-hathaway_n_936140.html" target="_hplink">$5 billion worth of shares in beleaguered Bank of America</a>. According to CNBC, he reportedly "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/25/warren-buffett-thinks-up-bank-of-america-deal-bathtub_n_936387.html" target="_hplink">dreamt this idea up...while he was in the bathtub."</a>