Nobody and no company since Warren Buffett has held the reins of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) has come close to the performance concerning annualized returns, which have been over 20 percent during that time period stretching over 45 years.
The key to this record is the period of time involved. While there have been an occasional investing superstar which has outperformed Buffett during spurts within that time frame, none have done it throughout his career.
Probably the only one that comes to mind is the famous Peter Lynch, who ran the Fidelity Magellan Fund, which during Lynch's tenure, has an astounding 29 percent annual return for investors.
Of course the problem there is Lynch was only at the head of Fidelity Magellan for a relatively short time in contrast to Buffett at Berkshire, and you also have to take into account what it cost Lynch, who said in his book he believed if he kept on as he did, he would have literally died from the exhaustion of keeping on top of things like he did; one of the reasons he retired.
Even today, the returns of Fidelity Magellan over a period of time are propped up by the performance enjoyed during the Lynch years at the helm. Take that away and you have very little to cheer about.
For Buffett of course, he's not only proven himself via Berkshire Hathaway, but his easy-going lifestyle lends to the fact that investing and life are similar, and those taking both in that manner are far more successful at both than those at high levels of stress and anxiety.
It still amazes me that investors, whether institutional or individual, look at the numbers put up by Buffett through Berkshire Hathaway, and still continue to do business as usual, while Buffett plods along making many investors in him, his philosophy and Berkshire, wealthy beyond their wildest dreams as they ride the Buffett wagon to financial success.
The views expressed are the subjective opinion of the article's author and not of FinancialAdvisory.com
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