Warren Buffett to HFT Critics: “It Doesn’t Make a Difference if You Own Stocks for a Long Period of Time”

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Warren Buffett (Photo: Barron’s)

Barron’s After announcing 2012 results on Friday, Berkshire Hathaway chief Warren Buffett made one of his regular stops on CNBC, speaking with Becky Quick about all manner of stock-market related issues.

On high-frequency trading, and whether it hurts main street investors: It doesn’t make a difference if you own stocks for a long period of time, said Buffett. While real time quotes are good, people have made them a bad thing by being swayed by what the market tells them at any moment. Just buy a low-cost index fund to “participate in the growth of America” and forget about it, he advised.

On Wall Street: Buffett (a noted investor with Bank of America and Goldman Sachs) was circumspect when invited to criticize Wall Street practices, but he did say: “People selling you securities are often selling you things on which they’re making a lot of money.” He reiterated his advice that the average investor should buy into low-cost index funds and hold them for the long term.

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