It’s hard for even Warren Buffett to outdo himself on occasion.
But, his soon to be successors Ted Weschler and Todd Combs have been doing an excellent job thus far.
Until 2014, that is, when the protégés of Warren Buffett underperformed the S&P 500’s 11.4% return by quite a wide margin, according to Fortune.
Out of the two, Ted Weschler had the better report card. He earned a gain of 6.7%. Todd Combs, on the other hand, saw a drop in his portfolio by 0.3%. This is the first time that the two of these gentlemen have fallen behind the large-cap index since joining the staff at Berkshire Hathaway, according to the calculations at Fortune.
Todd Combs joined Berkshire Hathaway in 2011 early in the year, and Ted Weschler joined the company early in 2012.
The biggest downfall in Ted Weschler’s portfolio was General Motors, which dropped 15% in 2014 due to a massive recall. In Combs portfolio, the biggest laggards were Chicago Bridge & Iron which dropped half of its value in 2014, as well as Viacom, which fell by 14%, estimates Fortune.
This drop in value is a major reversal when compared to 2013, when the pair not only beat the S&P 500, but even beat Warren Buffett, their mentor.
“In a year in which most equity managers found it impossible to outperform the S&P 500, both Todd Combs and Ted Weschler handily did so,” said Warren Buffett in February 2014 in his annual letter to shareholders.
“I must again confess that their investments outperformed mine. (Charlie says I should add “by a lot.”) If such humiliating comparisons continue, I’ll have no choice but to cease talking about them,” added Buffett.
Even so, having one bad year for Weschler and Combs will not likely cause Warren Buffett to lose any sleep at night. In the past, Buffett has even said that he’s not going to get involved in their investment decisions the majority of the time, and he doesn’t even often have an idea of what they are doing.
“They’ve bought things I wouldn’t buy, I’ve bought things that they wouldn’t,” said the 84-year-old investing magnate in 2013 at the shareholders meeting.
Investors could certainly get a bigger picture of how the two did against the broader investment holdings at Berkshire Hathaway once the 2014 corporate results are released.