5. U.S. Bancorp
Shares: 96.1 million
Market value: $3.9 billion
Year-ago rank: 5
Buffett's investing fundamentals No. 3: If you instead focus on the prospective price change of a contemplated purchase, you are speculating. There is nothing improper about that. I know, however, that I am unable to speculate successfully, and I
am skeptical of those who claim sustained success at doing so. Half of all coin-flippers will win their first toss; none of those winners has an expectation of profit if he continues to play the game. And the fact that a given asset has appreciated in the recent past is never a reason to buy it.