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Warren Buffett defends Berkshire's Amazon stock purchase as 'value investing'

Legendary investor Warren Buffett was questioned on Saturday whether Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-ABRK-B) is straying from its value investing roots by investing in Amazon.

"It's interesting that the term ‘value investing’ came up because I can assure you both managers — and one of them bought some Amazon stock in the last quarter — he is a value investor,” Buffett said at the 2019 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting, exclusively live streamed on Yahoo Finance.

Buffett confirmed that Berkshire Hathaway had amassed a new position in Amazon (AMZN) during the first quarter. He added that the decision was made by one of his top investment deputies, Todd Combs or Ted Weschler.

"The two people that, one of whom made the investment in Amazon, they are looking at hundreds of securities," Buffett said. "Because they are managing less money in their universe, they are looking for things that they feel they understand what will be developed by that business between now and judgment day."

Buffett went on to call all investing “value investing.”

Over the past decade, Warren Buffett has been slowly taking a step back from his responsibilities at his company Berkshire Hathaway. Specifically, he hired two younger money managers, Combs in 2010 and Weschler in 2011, to eventually run Berkshire’s massive investment portfolio.

‘I don’t second guess them’

Buffett called the pair of investors “very good human beings” who are “committed to value investing.”

“I don’t second guess them,” Buffett said. “Charlie’s never second guessed me.”

Berkshire Hathaway investment manager Ted Weschler (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Obviously, Buffett isn’t able to run Berkshire’s stock portfolio into perpetuity. But at least one longtime investor has concerns.

“I was surprised,” Smead Capital CEO Bill Smead said on Yahoo Finance’s The Final Round. “They've been a little more aggressive and a little bit more tech-oriented than Warren has.”

It’s worth noting that Buffett has acknowledged missing Amazon was a mistake.

"I always admired Jeff [Bezos, CEO of Amazon],”Buffett told Yahoo Finance's editor-in-chief Andy Serwer. “I met him 20 years ago or so. And I thought he was something special, but I didn't realize you could go from books to what's happened.”

"He had a vision and executed it in an incredible way.”

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2019 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting