Warren Buffett: Lost His Touch (Again)?

Various people are wandering about saying that investor Warren Buffett has lost his touch. The gist of the argument: A combination of style drift (derivatives?!), ill-timed investments, and his "long term" refrain on declining positions demonstrate that he is, at the very least, having a hard time right now, if not outright floundering, at least a little.

Doug Kass argues this in a morning post over at RealMoney. As he would concede, this isn’t the first time Warren has been deemed ready for pasture, what with similar arguments having been made in 1999, which turned out to be premature.

Is this time different? Kass argues "Yes", with the Buffett no longer having as long a long term as he once did, and with his style drift particularly worrisome in the face of some ill-timed investments.

I’ve been arguing for some time that Buffett is feeling more pain than most people realize, but I’m also not convinced he has lost his touch either. Maybe it’s time to open this conversation up. Other thoughts?


  1. Bruce in Tennessee says:

    WB admitted during the tech bubble that he didn't invest in technology companies because he didn't understand the business model. Therefore, he missed the entire tech run, and was punished during that time period. Yes, I realize that when the bubble burst, his bread and butter investments did well while tech was imploding…my point is that someone sophisticated enough to play with derivatives, should have been able to make his stockholders money during the tech bubble…

    Bottom line: I think (now chew this over for awhile before you gasp at me) that he is intellectually lazy…probably afraid to stray far from home…not necessarily a bad thing, but unusual for the greatest investor of all time…or so some say.

  2. Shelby Scientiam says:

    Yeah. Sees Candy is an excellent investment. So is Coca Cola. In fact, just by anything habit forming. Too bad Buffett can't invest in kittens.