If you want to buy shares of stock in Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Class B shares are readily available to the average investor. Unlike some companies that offer direct investing, Berkshire Hathaway does not. Instead, you can purchase Berkshire B through the traditional routes -- full-service stockbrokers, discount brokers, and online trading platforms.
Online Trading Platforms
If you open an account with one of the many available online trading platforms, you can purchase shares of Berkshire B stock through their software. Most offer resources and tools that help you research stocks you're interested in before purchasing. These firms typically charge a set fee per trade.
In addition, some discount brokerages often allow you to manage your trades in real-time, just like day traders. Keep in mind that trading commissions apply and vary depending on the brokerage platform you use.
If you use a full-service brokerage, you can give buy orders to your stockbroker to purchase Berkshire B stock shares on your behalf. Commissions and fees will be added to your total purchase and may be higher when using a full-service brokerage as compared with online transactions through discount brokerages. In this case, it makes sound financial sense to purchase enough shares to offset the commission. In addition, you may want to provide your broker with a limit order. This means you set parameters for the price you are willing to pay and the time period in which you want the purchase to take place.
Class B in Large Quantities
Class B stock holds rights equal to 1/1500th of Class A stock, according to a memo by Warren Buffett in 1999 and updated in 2010. The obvious difference between the two classes of stock is price. For example, on June 19, 2015, Berkshire Class B stock shares were trading at $141.43, whereas Class A shares were trading at $212,610.00. As the price suggests, Berkshire Class B stock is more in line with what the average investor can afford. However, Buffett recommends that an investor wanting to buy more than 1,500 shares of Berkshire B stock should simply purchase the A class stock instead.
If you own shares of Berkshire Class A stock, you can convert the shares into shares of Class B through the company's transfer agent, Wells Fargo.