Breakout

From Chess Master to Fund Manager, Patrick Wolff Uses Buffett as His Guide

Breakout

There's a crazy game that kids play where they try to pick which hypothetical travesty or torture would be preferable. A typical quandary might ask if you would rather "be run over by a steam roller or stung by 1,000 bees." In reality, neither choice is desirable but that's not the point of the game.

Along those lines, I posed a similar line of questions to Patrick Wolff, chief investment officer at Grandmaster Capital, on the sidelines of the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B) shareholder meeting in Omaha, where he was a spectator and performer, showing off his skills playing blindfolded chess against six players at once.

From his viewpoint, Wolff is far less concerned about the Fed extracting itself from its quantitative easing "experiment" than he is about the risks lurking within the world's second-largest economy.

"I'm no too worried about it," Wolff says in the attached video of the Fed's easy money policy; a policy that Warren Buffett refers to as a ''huge experiment." "If and when the U.S. economy really comes roaring back the Fed (will have) lots of ways to tighten appropriately."

On China, however, Wolff is blunt.

"My own view is that China's economy is in a bubble," he says, referring to the fast-growing Asian nation as "a dangerous place" to invest that is likely "to end very, very badly."

On the flip, this two-time U.S. chess grandmaster's appetite for home grown stocks is robust but measured.

"I do think in the U.S. that there are a lot of good businesses at reasonable prices," he says, describing the domestic markets as being "relatively safe" from many of the fears that concern people around the world.

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