In the midst of the financial crisis, pretty much nobody wanted to buy into the big banks—except Warren Buffett. The Berkshire Hathaway maestro bought in big to flailing giants like Goldman Sachs and General Electric. The Wall Street Journal checked in on those investments, and found that so far Buffett has made $10 billion on them, an almost 40% return. And that number is only expected to rise.
But Buffett downplays the score. "In terms of simple profitability, an average investor could have done just as well investing in the stock market if they bought during the panic period," he said. "You make your best buys when people are overwhelmingly fearful." (Read more Berkshire Hathaway stories.)