"Next up on CNBC – – an octogenerian fund manager who completely missed the boat on technology in the late 1990s and, since the early 2009 bottom, has underperformed the S&P by 50%. Stay tuned!"
So how many people do you think would stay riveted to their flat-panel Samsung to watch that? Not many, I'm guessing. But if the aforementioned gent is named Warren Buffett, the entire nation comes to a halt and hangs on to every word. A quick glance at Amazon yields 2,100 results when one does a search on his name (including the surprisingly-titled Warren Buffett Invests Like a Girl: And Why You Should, Too).
Just out of curiousity, I pulled up a chart that overlaid the plain old boring, run-of-the-mill SPY with Berkshire Hathaway Class A common stock. The results are shown below in blue and black, respectively. This is not to say Berkshire has done poorly – – it's just that the completely ordinary SPYders have offered up twice the performance as the inexplicably-but-perpetually-newsworthy Mr. Buffett.
I realize what Warren Buffett has done over the very long haul has been extraordinary and that self-made billionaires merit some attention. But can the world please stop thinking that this man is the be-all, end-all guru the mass media holds him out to be? Even with unlimited access to the highest levels of power in the government, his performance recently has been well short of spectacular.