"No comments on the charts?" They were the ones I was refering to. And if you look at them you will see that (as I said) through late last year the charts are very comparable. Obviously the superior performance over the last six months is going to skew all of the shorter term numbers.
Again, it was never my intent to show that BBT has a better overall record than BRKA. The point was to show that over self-defined periods of time you can make LOTS of companies look bad. If grandma had put her $1000 down on the dates quoted she wouldn't have done better in BRKA than in a CD (noticably worse in fact). Does this make Berkshire Hathaway a bad investment? Does it mean that Buffett should be replaced? The very fact that a comparison can be made between the two defeats the notion that some magical five year bubble is the end-all-be-all of stock analysis.
Sure - we've all seen that the five year number looks blah. Though (as pointed out) with reinvested dividends she would NOT have lost money (she would be up about 10%). She would also have comfortably more than in her S&P index fund and would have only done 6% better in XLF (a financial industry ETF).
And if it were four years instead of five? (41% total return verses 22% for the financial industry spiders).
Or how about ten? (550%+ total return)
Why exactly is five the magic number? Why five over four or ten? How about maybe "lets choose the dates to verify our argument"? I'll let your own analysis of that strategy speak for itself.