Soros or Buffett? (and some Bansky :)

Richest men in the world, PhotoCredit: http://www.boston.com

I just saw a piece of news on MoneyShow.com (couldn’t load their damn video); basically, they were trying to decide who’s the best investor in the world: George Soros or Warren Buffett? To keep the long story short, I don’t think MoneyShow is right in comparing Soros and Buffett. First of all cause they’re not comparing two similar people; it’s more a matter of speculation (Soros) vs investing (Buffett). And in a way, they’re both the winners, but on a different scale:
Buffett = better investor (risk averse business owner)
Soros = better speculator (well educated guesser)

Of course, if we really want to figure out (taking the absurde path of comparing) who the better investor is between them two, the real benchmark would be not their current worth but their average return per year. For example, Soros has had an average annual return of 32% since 1969. Pretty amazing. Roughly on par with Buffett. Of course, based on the current standings of the richest people in the world (Buffett is worthing about $37B, while Soros about $ 11B), people might say Buffet is the better investor, but let’s not forget that Buffett was the biggest loser during the 2009 collapse. In my opinion Soros is more of a global-scale market investor and a very predictive/insightful one too, while Buffett is more of an American-market investor; his success is most of the times uncontrolled/chaotic and not based on real predictions. To make it (very) subjective, Soros is the kind of crochety old “In my day…” guy I would want to be in charge of my money, if I had any. I have several reasons for saying that. First: Buffett never seemed to realize that every American is a free-market capitalist, however much he may have loved the Che Guevara poster on his dorm-room wall. Second: he never arbitrarily took a late-channel spot of capitalism and defended it from other economic systems, as Soros did. Third: not to mention that Soros (not Buffett) predicted long time ago our economic nuclear and in a very pretty insightful way too. In order to give you some bad news about the economy meltdown, Soros is currently saying that the financial crisis is only the beginning: a more profound economic and political restructuring is on its way. And you know what? He’s damn right. It’s enough to give a little thinking about some of the oddest facts about this crisis (you can find a few in Charles R. Morris, The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash). A random example: the US Economy is about $14 trillion. The world economy is about $54 trillion. Value of financial derivatives before this meltdown began? $500 trillion. That makes you seriously wonder. Or it should.

Non-related PS: Some of Bansky’s creative ideas in Boston.com. Bansky is my favourite British street artist and you can check his artworks here. I absolutely love people able to twist the perspective and break the panorama. Those wonderful people insanely out of the ordinary.

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