Warren Buffett, one of the worlds most successful investors, appears to be battening down the hatches for a stock market crash. The Oracle of Omahas Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK) had cashed out nearly 60% of its investment portfolio at the end of June according to

The so-called Buffett Indicator is mirroring levels last seen in 2007. Image: REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Warren Buffett, one of the worlds most successful investors, appears to be battening down the hatches for a stock market crash.

The Oracle of Omahas Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK) had cashed outnearly 60%of its investment portfolio at the end of June according to anSEC filing. The $122 billion cash pile is unusual for Buffett, who typically puts his money to work through acquisitions, stock buybacks or equity purchases.

Berkshire Hathaways massivecash cofferhas many wondering if a stock market crash is on the way. Buffetts isnt called the Oracle of Omaha for nothing; he successfully prepared for the last market crash back in 2008 by storing up excess cash which he later lent out to struggling firms like Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and General Electric (NYSE:GE).

Buffetts famed patience and eye for a bargain is likely at play here; he often measures the health of the market by looking at its capitalization compared to GDP. Just before the dot-com bubble burst the so-called Buffett indicatorcame in at 146%and in 2007 before the financial crisis hit the figure was 135%. Right now that ratio sitsjust above 140%.

At 88 years old, Buffett is an investing legend but is he still on top of his game? Berkshire Hathaways returns have trailed theDow,NasdaqandS&P 500over the past five years, a fact that has led some toquestion Buffetts judgement.

The cash reserves of Warren Buffetts Berkshire Hathaway have swelled to nearly $130 billion and

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But that doesnt mean a downturn isnt in the cards, as there are other factors aside from the Buffett Indicator that suggest as selloff is on the horizon.

For one thing, theres the Federal Reserves interest rate cuts. The U.S. central bank hascut interest rates at its last two meetingsand many areexpecting to see further easingat its upcoming meeting. Although the bank has said it doesnt plan to cut rates over the next three months, the market could still react poorly to its Oct. 30 meeting if further rate cuts arent announced.

Plus, theres the impact of the U.S. trade war with both China and Europe. Rhetoric from both Europe and China has caused a great deal of turbulence for markets, but a lack of progress toward a resolution on either frontcould hurt the U.S. economy significantlyenough to trigger aprolonged stock market slide.

The S&P 500 currently boasts a P/E ratio of 21.3 while the Nasdaqs P/E is a whopping 30.33 valuations that are plausible when economic expansion is driving growth. However, an economic slowdown could hurt performance, cause disappointing downside surprise andultimately push the stock market into a nosedive.

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With a background in Finance and a passion for making money, Laura Hoy has been funding her lifestyle by playing the stock market since she was a teenager. After a brief stint in the business world, she spent a decade as an educator traveling the world, learning languages and dabbling in freelance writing.

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