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商业周刊:巴菲特与对冲基金百万美元十年对赌过  

2012-03-31 12:40:19|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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四年前,“股神”巴菲特与对冲基金经理人定下了一个为期十年的赌局,如今的结果令巴菲特春风得意。巴菲特当时表示,投资对冲基金的基金十年内业绩不可能打败股市。到目前为止,他仍占据上风。根据美国银行近日发布的一项调查,全球基金经理人3月加码买进股票类资产。

  巴菲特的这场赌局始于2008年1月1日,他的对手是一家名为Protégé的对冲基金,双方输赢的依据是,该对冲基金设置一个指数,该指数包含五档投资于对冲基金的基金;巴菲特则是以领航集团的一档追踪标普500指数的基金为指标,截至2017年12月31日,输家必须捐出100万美元给赢家指定的慈善机构。

  截至2月底,以股利再投资计算,领航集团的基金回报率为2.2%,对冲基金指数则下跌约4.5%。Alpha资本管理公司负责人布拉德·奥尔福德表示,“投资对冲基金的基金表现较差,原因在于高收费和选股欠佳。”

  巴菲特的先知先觉近日也在一些持仓数据中得到反映。美国银行近日发布的调查显示,由于预期经济增长改善,全球投资人3月增持股票,仓位创阶段新高。调查访问了212位基金经理人,旗下管理资产总计6360亿美元,有33%的受访者称在本月加码股票,高于上个月的26%。

  与此同时,一些大行也发表了“看好股市”的言论。高盛集团在周三发布的一份报告中指出,未来几年股票可能展开“稳定上涨的行情”。高盛驻伦敦首席全球股票策略师彼得·奥本海默在报告中指出,“基于目前股市的价值,我们认为长期道别债券的时候到了,应转而长期持有股票,因为我们预期未来股票将进一步上涨。”

  对冲基金经理巴顿·毕格斯也表示他愈加看多股票。毕格斯上月表示,他的股票净多仓比例从1月份的65%升至约75%。

  加拿大首屈一指的基金经理埃里克·布谢尔同样看好股市。布谢尔预测,在未来几个月内,市场会更具信心,因为私募股权企业加速买进上市公司。

  不过,富国银行策略师吉娜·亚当斯表示,大宗商品价格暗示美股今年的涨势将会消退。“当铜价涨势比油价快,美国股市往往表现特别好,”亚当斯在一份报告中写道,“但是近期多数时间状况与此相反。” 截至周二,铜价与油价比较2月6日创下的今年高点回落9%。标普500指数同期涨4.6%。 


Warren Buffett, chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., with a portrait of himself painted by Michael Israel in Omaha, Nebraska. Photographer: Chris Machian/Bloomberg

Warren Buffett, chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., with a portrait of himself painted by Michael Israel in Omaha, Nebraska. Photographer: Chris Machian/Bloomberg


Bloomberg News
Buffett Seizes Lead in Bet on Stocks Beating Hedge Funds
By Katherine Burton on March 21, 2012

Berkshire Hathaway Is Undervalued, Hagstrom Say

Warren Buffett made a friendly bet four years ago that funds that invest in hedge funds for their clients couldn’t beat the stock market over a decade. So far he’s winning.

The wager that began on Jan. 1, 2008, pits the Omaha, Nebraska, billionaire against Protégé Partners LLC, a New York fund of hedge funds co-founded by Ted Seides and Jeffrey Tarrant. Protégé built an index of five funds that invest in hedge funds to compete against a Vanguard mutual fund that tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The winner’s charity of choice gets $1 million when the bet ends on Dec. 31, 2017.

The Vanguard fund’s low-cost Admiral shares returned 2.2 percent, with dividends reinvested, from the start of the bet through Feb. 29, as stocks rebounded from a 12-year low in March 2009. The hedge funds fell about 4.5 percent, based on Protégé’s index returns for the first three years and results since then for the Dow Jones Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Index, which has roughly tracked the group of unidentified funds when adjustments are made for extra fees.

“Hedge funds of funds have underperformed because of high fees and mediocre manager selection,” said Brad Alford, head of Alpha Capital Management LLC in Atlanta, which runs a mutual fund of funds designed to replicate the performance of hedge funds with lower fees and the flexibility for clients to pull money out daily. Since 2009, his Alpha Defensive Growth (ACDEX) strategy has posted an annual average return of 8.2 percent, almost twice the return of hedge fund of funds.

Neither Buffett nor Scott Tagliarino, a spokesman for Protégé, would comment on the bet’s progress.


Assets Decline

Funds of funds have seen clients flee in the past five years. Some of the largest U.S. public pension funds, including those in Massachusetts, South Carolina and New York, started investing directly in hedge funds instead of going through an intermediary in an effort to reduce fees and boost returns.

The amount of money they control has fallen by about one- fifth to $630 billion as of the end of 2011, compared with a year-end peak of $780 billion in 2007, according to Hedge Fund Research. Funds of funds were the industry’s biggest investors in 2007, holding about 43 percent of assets.

Buffett’s argument, like the large pension funds, is that funds of hedge funds cost too much, according to a statement he posted on longbets.org, a website backed by the nonprofit Long Now Foundation that fosters “long-term thinking.” In addition to the 2 percent management fee and 20 percent performance fee that hedge funds typically charge, the funds of funds add another layer of fees, on average 1.25 percent of assets and 7.5 percent of any gains, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


Wheat From Chaff

Protégé said in its statement that because hedge funds can make bets on rising as well as falling prices of stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities, they are able to beat the S&P 500 even after fees, and that sophisticated investors such as fund- of-fund managers “with the ability to sort the wheat from the chaff” will earn returns that amply compensate for the extra costs.

The returns of Protégé’s index from 2008 through 2010, reported in Fortune magazine a year ago by long-time Buffett friend and chronicler Carol Loomis, are similar to those of the Dow Jones Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Index, after adjusting for the added fees charged by hedge fund of funds. That index fell 2.5 percent last year, and rose 4 percent in the first two months of 2012.

Protégé took the lead in the first year of the bet as its fund of funds index lost 24 percent and Vanguard’s fund declined by 37 percent. Buffett narrowed the gap in subsequent years. The S&P fund returned 27 percent in 2009, compared with a gain of 16 percent for the hedge funds, according to Fortune. The stock fund rose 15 percent in 2010 as the hedge funds advanced 8.5 percent.


Overtaking Hedge Funds

The 81-year-old Buffett, who is chairman of the holding company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), ended last year neck and neck with the Protégé funds as the Vanguard fund climbed by 2.1 percent and the Protégé hedge funds lost an estimated 3.75 percent.

The first two months of this year pushed the Vanguard fund ahead as stocks returned 9 percent, more than twice the gains of hedge funds.

Buffett, who told Loomis in 2008 he placed his chances of winning at 60 percent, had originally suggested a bet against single-manager hedge funds. Had he found a taker, he would be trailing by about 6 percentage points based on the Dow Jones Credit Suisse index.

If Buffett had bet returns of his own holding company against the performance of hedge funds, he’d be even farther behind. Berkshire Hathaway shares have slumped almost 17 percent since the end of 2007.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katherine Burton in New York at kburton@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net


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