Sunday, February 01, 2015

How does Buffett do it?

From November 1976 to the end of 2011, Warren Buffett delivered an average annual return of 19% in excess of the Treasury bill rate, as measured by shares of his publicly traded conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), versus a 6.1% average excess return for the stock market. In addition, Berkshire’s Sharpe ratio — a measure of return per unit of risk — is higher than all U.S. stocks that have been traded for more than 30 years from 1926 to 2011, as well as all U.S. mutual funds in existence for more than three decades.

So how does he do it?

If a newly published paper is any guide, the answer is pretty straightforward. According to “Buffett’s Alpha,” authored by AQR Capital Management‘s Andrea Frazzini, David Kabiller, CFA, and Lasse Pedersen, who also teaches finance at the NYU Stern School of Business, Buffett buys low-risk, cheap, and high-quality stocks; he employs modest leverage to magnify returns; and he sticks to his investment discipline even during rough periods in the markets that would force investors with less conviction or capital “into a fire sale or a career shift,” as the authors put it.

[via Warren Buffett International Fan Club]

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