There has been a lot of speculation over who will take over when Warren Buffett steps down. Buffett is the creator, founder, and mastermind behind the success at Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) is the highest valued stock in the stock market with a price of $116,305.00 per share. Buffett has turned early investors into multimillionaires through his shrewd investment moves.
Rumors have Li Lu taking over for the longtime Berkshire chairman when he finally does retire. Lu is a Columbia graduate and chairman of Himalaya Capital Management. Lu has made a number of smart investments including his deployment of capital in BYD Company Limited. Although Lu is a very successful investor, he will be placed in a situation where it will be impossible to duplicate the results of the investing legend.
Here are a few reasons why there will never be another Warren Buffett.
1) The stock market’s days of double digit growth are likely over.
There will always be potential in smaller stocks for double digit gains but the market as a whole will not be as robust as it once was. The 5 largest stakes in the Berkshire portfolio are Coca Cola, Wells Fargo, American Express, Proctor & Gamble, and Kraft Foods. These 5 large cap stocks represent nearly 70% of the entire $48 billion dollar public stock portfolio. These are all great companies but none are expected to grow at a double digit rate. A lot will depend on Buffett’s successor’s ability to make strategic acquisition to Berkshire Holdings. Buffett has a knack for knowing that GEICO and Dairy Queen would be great additions to the company’s holdings.
2.) Buffett’s successor will be managing a multibillion dollar portfolio.
It will be impossible with a portfolio that large to come near the past successes of Warren Buffett. Buffett has been able to generate an average return of 20% annually for over 45 years. In his 2008 annual report Buffett himself stated that “Berkshire’s past record can’t be duplicated or even approached. Our base of assets and earnings is now far too large for us to make outsized gains in the future.” An informed investor actually has a better chance of outperforming Berkshire due to their ability to take advantage of new opportunities and remain nimble in the marketplace.
3) Investors buy shares of Berkshire Hathaway for one reason and one reason only, Warren Buffett.
Everyone wants to own what Buffett owns. The disclosure of his holdings each quarter drives fund managers and investors alike to acquire shares of Buffett’s newest acquisitions. I am convinced that investors trying to mimic the moves of Buffett plays some small part in the rising prices of Buffett’s investments. When Buffett is no longer at the helm, will investors pay up for shares of Berkshire and scramble to acquire the newest Berkshire acquisition?