I know it’s not the first time people are microanalyzing Buffett’s returns, but the question must be asked when you work in a dynamic, fast paced industry where yesterday’s heroes become zeroes. Going forward, does being invested in Berkshire beat a passive equity index investment?
Berkshire fell 2.4 percent from the firm’s April 30, 2011, meeting through yesterday, compared with the 2.8 percent advance in the S&P 500. (SPX) This year’s gathering, planned for May 5 in Omaha, Nebraska, concludes three years in which Berkshire climbed about 32 percent, trailing the S&P 500’s gain of around 60 percent.
Buffett beat the market between the 2008 and 2009 meetings as the financial crisis pushed the S&P 500 to a 38 percent drop, compared with a 31 percent decline at Berkshire. The equities rally since then has more than tripled broadcasting and Internet retail stocks and doubled railroad shares. Electricity producers have gained about 25 percent. Berkshire generates power through it MidAmerican Energy Holdings unit.