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Holly LaFon
Holly LaFon
Articles (9595)  | Author's Website |

Guru of the Year: Nominate Your Favorite Investor

Who did the best this year?

December 06, 2018 | About:

As the year winds down, it’s time again for GuruFocus readers to pick their favorite investing manager to be crowned Guru of the Year. In the past, readers have chosen legends such as Carl Icahn, Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway and David Einhorn. Post your vote in the comments section below and check back to see who will be 2018’s Guru of the Year.

Though value investors’ strategies often take long periods to play out, some have had a better calendar year than others. Chuck Akre (Trades, Portfolio)’s Focus Fund, for instance, soared 14.87% year to date, eclipsing the 0.55% rise in the S&P 500 index. Since inception, he has returned an annualized 16.47%, also beating the 14.61% annualized return in the benchmark. Akre has pulled off the feat by focusing on companies with “super business models, people and abundant reinvestment opportunity,” he has said.

Some of the best-performing hedge funds this year do not necessarily follow value investing principles. While many have seen outflows, assets have poured into Jim Simons (Trades, Portfolio)’ algorithm-based Renaissance Technologies and efficient markets proponent Paul Singer (Trades, Portfolio)’s Elliott Management as they outsmart the market.

Elsewhere, hedge fund stars of the active variety have in many cases seen assets plunge or returns sink, though they have waged strong campaigns that may yet have promise. Daniel Loeb (Trades, Portfolio)’s Third Point Offshore Fund has declined 5.2% through November, while David Einhorn (Trades, Portfolio)’s Greenlight Capital plunged 28%. Carl Icahn (Trades, Portfolio)’s Icahn Enterprises fared better in the first nine months with a 3.5% return.

Others were more noted for their selling than buying. Lou Simpson (Trades, Portfolio), a former manager for Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio), decreased many of his positions during the third quarter. Mohnish Pabrai (Trades, Portfolio)’s Dalal Street sold out of the U.S. market entirely.

Howard Marks (Trades, Portfolio) of Oaktree Capital delivered his new book, “Mastering the Market Cycle,” while his firm’s assets under management soared to $124 billion in September, from $114 billion in 2015. Stanley Druckenmiller (Trades, Portfolio), a former colleague of George Soros (Trades, Portfolio), has seen success with his wager on tech, with eight of his top 10 holdings up by double digits, including his largest position Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which recently overtook Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to become the world’s biggest company.

Another prominent investor, Ray Dalio (Trades, Portfolio) of Bridgewater Associates, spent much of the year promoting his own influential book, “Principles” and sharing his opinions about the markets. Dalio drew much attention for raising the possibility of war between China and the U.S. as the two superpowers figure out how to coexist and for critiquing capitalism at a conference in November.

Many investors took many other steps during a year in which it appears that the bull market has at least lost some steam. Who did the best this year? Let us know in the comments. Nominate your favorite guru of 2018 and feel free to give a few reasons. We will hold a vote once nominations are in. Thank you to our members and readers!

About the author:

Holly LaFon
I'm a financial journalist with a Master of Science in journalism from Medill at Northwestern University.

Visit Holly LaFon's Website

Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes)



Charleshook357 - 4 months ago    Report SPAM

cool article

Nhv123 - 4 months ago    Report SPAM
I just love Leon Cooperman (Trades, Portfolio) as a person and as an investor.

Jerrardino - 4 months ago    Report SPAM

That is useful, thank you!

Nicola Guida
Nicola Guida - 4 months ago    Report SPAM

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