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Study finds Buffett didn't manage well

April 13, 2006

Warren Buffett, termed "the world's greatest investor" by biographer Robert Hagstrom, scored lowest in managing his own company's pension assets, according to a study by consultant Milliman Inc.

Pension plans of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. earned 4 percent on their assets in 2005, ranking last among a group of 100 U.S. companies with the largest pension plans, according to Milliman, a Seattle-based benefits consulting firm. The average return was 11.3 percent.

Buffett, who has bet the U.S. trade deficit would weaken the dollar since 2002, may have made similar foreign-currency investments with Berkshire's pension assets, said Howard Silverblatt, an analyst at Standard & Poor's in New York.

"He took a beating on the dollar, so he might have taken a beating on this if he emulated that portfolio," Silverblatt said. Last year, Berkshire had $955 million in losses as the U.S. dollar index rose 13 percent.


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