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Please Nominate Guru of the Year 2011

December 07, 2011 | About:

The end of 2011 is near. As a tradition, we are inviting the GuruFocus community to nominate the Investment Guru of Year 2011. In the past, GuruFocus users voted Warren Buffett (2005), David Dreman (2006), Ken Heebner (2007), Prem Watsa (2008), Bruce Berkowitz (2009) and David Tepper (2010) to be the Gurus of The Year.

The process of nomination consists of two steps. In the first step, we ask our readers to nominate the candidates. Then we will set up a poll for users to vote for the investment Guru of the Year. It is a completely democratic process in which GuruFocus editors do not have control over the outcome.

Our records of nomination have been mixed. We have seen twice that our readers nominated a Guru of the Year at the peak of their Gurus’ fame, just to see their performance dither afterwards. For instance, Ken Heebner was voted the Investment Guru of the Year 2007 after his fund gained 80%. Then he gave back all of his gains and some more in 2008. Bruce Berkowitz was named Investment Guru of the Year for 2009. He continued to do well in 2010. But 2011 has been a disastrous year for him. He has since lost more than half of his fund assets to poor performances and redemptions.

We are lucky that we did not nominate John Paulson for 2010. His loss of 45% so far in 2011 has been reported everywhere in the media.

Does it mean that our readers made bad choices and Ken Heebner and Bruce Berkowitz are not good investors at all? We don’t think so. These two investors are still at the very top among all fund managers if you look at the performances of the past 10 years. We just give up completely on a good investor just because he had a bad year. Even Charlie Munger had two consecutive years of losing 31% in 1973 and in 1974. The combined loss was more than 50% for the two years.

The stock market has been tough for many investors this year, although the market itself is almost flat. More than 75% of fund managers have lost money this year, according to Barron’s. But we have seen many investors continue to do well. For instance, David Einhorn made a fortune (and fame) with his short position of Green Mountain Coffee (NASDAQ:GMCR). Concentrated in high-quality large caps such as PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) and Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), Don Yacktman’s funds continue to outperform. Our permanent Gurus Warren Buffett and Prem Watsa poured money into banks while it seems that no one wants them.

Please nominate your Investment Guru of the Year 2011 below.

About the author:

Charlie Tian, Ph.D. - Founder of GuruFocus. You can now order his book Invest Like a Guru on Amazon.

Rating: 2.4/5 (9 votes)


Superguru - 5 years ago    Report SPAM
Yams4112 - 5 years ago    Report SPAM
kyle bass

Jean-Francois Nobert
Jean-Francois Nobert - 5 years ago    Report SPAM

Prem watsa
KJHValue - 5 years ago    Report SPAM
Buffett... cliche' answer, but he makes smart investments and continues to capitalize on fear in the market. Long term approach.
Yswolinsky - 5 years ago    Report SPAM
Ray Dalio is up 25% this yr.
Tonyg34 - 5 years ago    Report SPAM
If you're judging by long term performance punctuated by this years performance I would go with the management team at

Sequoia Fund (SEQUX)

Up about 12% or so this year and a proven long term winner.
Blogging About Money
Blogging About Money - 5 years ago    Report SPAM
Prem Watsa: I believe he is very well positioned well for a completely deflationary period, while acquiring assets if a global recovery does actually happen. He continues to do well against the market.

Just for fun, I think next year is Leucadia's year - the recent additional purchases of Jefferies will prove to be shrewd investments indeed.

PS: As a long-term follower of gurufocus, are you not concerned with adding some "gurus" with very short term perfomance timeframes, or who had one or two blowout years followed by many "ho-hum" years?
Jamllc premium member - 5 years ago
Adib Motiwala
Adib Motiwala - 5 years ago    Report SPAM
Donald Yacktman.

It would be good to look at the nominees 5 and 10 year track records and then their record in 2008,2009 and 2010.

Lklevan - 5 years ago    Report SPAM

I nominate Daniel Loeb for his keen eye on the tech sector.
Mike.crew - 5 years ago    Report SPAM
Robintan premium member - 5 years ago
I nominate kyle bass for his detailed and precise analysis of macro trends

Dheumann - 5 years ago    Report SPAM

Warren Buffett is the best. I would love to have the deal he negotiated with BofA.

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