Monday, June 9, 2008

Buffett's Bet Against the Hedge Funds

Putting his money where his mouth is, Buffett recently disclosed a bet saying that a group of hedge funds, after fees, would fail to outperform the S&P 500 index. Most of you will remember Buffett's references in the 2006 annual report about all the little "helpers" in the hedge fund world that are slowly taking a piece of the pie.

Carol Loomis, long-time Buffett friend and editor of the annual reports, broke the news about this bet in Fortune. The link is below.

Expounding that weekend on the transaction and management costs borne by investors, Buffett offered to bet any taker $1 million that over 10 years and after fees, the performance of an S&P index fund would beat 10 hedge funds that any opponent might choose. Some time later he repeated the offer, adding that since he hadn't been taken up on the bet, he must be right in his thinking.

But in July 2007, Ted Seides, a principal of Protégé but speaking for himself at that point, wrote Buffett to say he'd like to make the bet - or at least some version of it.

Buffett's Big Bet

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