Investment Lessons from Buffett’s Brave Bet
When I joined Hill Investment Group in 2015, I was still relatively new to evidence-based investing, which meant I needed a lot of flexibility as I too experienced a learning curve around the science of investing. Fortunately, a few meaningful messages went a long way toward helping me Take the Long View®. Warren Buffett’s 10-year bet against hedge funds was one such lesson that immediately made sense to me. Like some of my favorite yoga poses, or “asanas,” it has a lot to do with discovering the right perspective. (Yes, that really is me, practicing how to bend over backwards for our clients!)
Back in January 2008, Buffett made a substantial charitable wager in favor of index investing. He bet that, after ten years ending December 31, 2017, a low-cost S&P 500 index fund could outperform any selection of at least five hedge funds his competitor selected, net of fees. That’s how strongly Buffett believed in the power of keeping it simple and controlling costs – just like we emphasize here at HIG.
Buffett ended up so far ahead in the wager that his opponent graciously admitted defeat last May, months ahead of the year-end deadline. His example helped me further embrace the benefits of calm, purposeful evidence-based investing. It’s not only a less stressful way to go, it’s typically a rewarding way as well. Way to go, Warren!