Buffett close to falling behind S&P 500 for first time in history

Michael Bow
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WARREN BUFFETT, the US money manager who has returned investors about 20 per cent a year for almost half century, has admitted he will underperform the US stock market for the first time this year.

The chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, which held its annual meeting in Omaha this weekend ­– a so-called Woodstock for capitalists – said he will lag the S&P 500 over a five year period for the first time since he started investing at Berkshire in 1965.

“If the stock market continues as it has so far this year, this will be the first five-year period where book value per share has fallen short of the markets and the performance of the S&P,” he said.

“That will not be a happy day, but it will not totally discourage us. We have to do better for you or we are not earning our pay.”

Buffett said yesterday that equities were still “reasonably priced” and backed the US economy to grow, saying it was moving forward at a slow pace.