Buffett Winning In S&P vs. Hedge Funds Bet

Jan 25 2013 | 1:18pm ET

Hedge funds may have lost more than some pride when they were trounced by the Standard & Poor's 500 Index last year. They may have lost their battle of the titans with Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett.

The Oracle of Omaha made a 10-year bet five years ago, that money invested in an S&P index fund would outperform a fund of hedge funds. And at halftime, Buffett (and the S&P) is up by more than a touchdown.

Buffett's index fund is up 8.69% over the past five years. A suite of five funds of funds selected for the battle royale by Protégé Partners is up just 0.13% over the period.

Buffett benefitted handsomely from a nearly 16% surge by the S&P last year, the second year in a row that the index bested the average hedge fund. Protégé's fund of funds of funds, by contrast, rose only 6.46% during the year, in line with the average hedge fund's performance for 2012.

Of course, there's a long way to go. In the bet's first year, 2008, Buffett's Vanguard Admiral shares lost 37% against Protégé's 24% drop. Still, the results—the first time either side has been in the black—earned a "gulp" from Protégé's Ted Seides. It's also the first time that Buffett's been ahead as the S&P climbed out of a deeper hole than the hedge funds.


In Depth

Q&A: Brevan Howard’s Charlotte Valeur Talks Strategy

Sep 18 2014 | 11:18am ET

Charlotte Valeur chairs the board of Brevan Howard Credit Catalysts, an LSE listed...

Lifestyle

Hedgies Rock Out For Children's Charity

Sep 15 2014 | 8:40am ET

It's that time of year again—when hedgies trade in their spreadsheets for guitars...

Guest Contributor

Volkered: How Financial Sector Reforms are Creating Opportunities for Hedge Funds

Sep 16 2014 | 11:28am ET

New regulations have dramatically curtailed proprietary trading activity in investment...

 

Editor's Note

    Get A Sneak Peak Of The Alpha Pages

    Aug 25 2014 | 11:21am ET

    As many of you know, FINalternatives was recently acquired by the owners of Futures magazine, a firm called The Alpha Pages LLC. Today marks the soft-launch of a new sister site for both publications. As its name suggests, The Alpha Pages will cover all types of alternative investments, going far beyond the more well-known ones such as hedge funds and private equity. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

September 2014 Cover

The London Whale: Rogue risk management

Credit default swaps brought down the London Whale and cost JPMorgan $6.2 billion. Here is how it happened.

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.