Legendary investor Warren Buffett says his young investment deputies — 48-year-old Todd Combs and 56-year-old Ted Weschler — are picking stocks for Berkshire Hathaways’ massive $173 billion equity portfolio that are outperforming his own.
“[As of] March 31, actually one is modestly ahead [of the S&P 500], one is modestly behind,” Buffett said. “They are extraordinary managers... It's been a tough period to beat the S&P. And like I say, one is now ahead of the S&P over that period. One's modestly behind.”
The S&P 500 had its best quarter in 21 years, gaining 13%.
Buffett, 88, went on to explain that Combs and Weschler are actively working on deals and they’ve made Berkshire “a lot of money.”
“We are enormously better off because the two are with us,” Buffett said.
Buffett gives Weschler and Combs a lot of freedom in their decision-making. Each manages $13 billion of the equity portfolio and $8 billion in pension funds and they have "total discretion,” Buffett told Yahoo Finance’s Andy Serwer in an earlier interview.
"They don't ask me. At the month end, I look and see what they did," Buffett told Yahoo Finance at the time. "They don't do a lot of trading, or anything. But I look to see what changes they made."
Back in 2017, Weschler and Combs told Yahoo Finance’s Serwer that they spend most of their days reading, which is critical for professionals in the business of buying companies. Combs said that Buffett has done “a great job of removing all the friction costs.”
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.