The curse of the superior ceo

Doing business as an average cow-calf operator is something to be avoided in every manner possible.

The curse of the superior ceo

He did it without an MBA, or even a college degree. A couple years later — as Arlington continued to rack up mouth-watering gains — Arends or an editor took the plunge and wrote That Headline: His clients included David Geffen and Michael Dell.

The comparison was inevitable: Its corporate edifice resembles its stores: Sears' is the kind of stock that rises on announcements of mass store closures, since such measures stave off the specter of bankruptcy. In he chopped the company up into 30 divisions and made them operate as separate businesses.

Each would hire its own executives, swelling payroll costs.

The curse of the superior ceo

When units needed to cooperate, they negotiated contracts among themselves; at one point the appliances unit, put off by the Kenmore unit's prices, favored South Korean conglomerate LG's products instead.

A little over two years later, all of those gains have been erased. The label looked less apt the following April, when Pearson was pushed out by Bill Ackman, the same investor who had compared his strategy to Buffett's. Bill Ackman Having burdened Pearson with the Next Buffett label, it is only fair that Ackman should feel its weight himself.

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Now he's quietly creating the next Berkshire Hathaway. The subhead ended in a mischevious parenthetical: Pershing Square Holdings Ltd.

NAthe Amsterdam-listed public segment of Ackman's hedge fund Pershing Square Capital, has lost over a third of its value since debuting in October HLFwhich he has maintained sincehas not panned out.

Successful bets such as a position in recovering Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. CMG have eased the pain somewhat, but Ackman's Buffettesque claim to "invest in very stable, predictable businesses" has convinced few. So far Seth Klarman has managed to escape the ravages of the "Next Buffett" curse despite years of repetition.

There are a number of potential explanations. Another possibility is that Klarman has been inoculated by Buffett's own public praise. Klarman has more than a whiff of Buffett about him.

He eschews leverage and will keep large cash positions when he feels the risks outweigh potential returns. A conservative approach hasn't inhibited performance, though.

Like Buffett, Klarman also writes, and he writes like Buffettt. Consistency and patience are crucial….

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Liberate yourself from short-term performance pressures. With luck Allan Meacham, like Seth Klarman, will shake off the bad "Next Buffett" vibes and continue to rack up impressive gains.

In his letter to investors he wrote that his AVM Ranger fund gained Suspiciously selective time period aside, that is impressive. Mecham remains realistic, however, answering his own question about whether Arlington will be able to maintain such a track record over the long run: Get a free 10 week email series that will teach you how to start investing.

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