George Soros' investment track record has made him the equivalent of a .400 hitter in baseball.
Yet, in a decade that has been lousy for all investors, even the "Grandaddy of Hedge Fund Managers" has had it tough.
Indeed, 2010 was Soros' worst year since 2002, with his flagship fund up a mere 2.63%. The following year was even worse, with his famed Quantum fund reportedly down 15%.
And a quick glance at Warren Buffett's returns shows that the Oracle of Omaha has had a tough stretch as well. Going back to June of 1998, Berkshire Hathaway's average annual returns have hit a mere 5.57%.
Granted, that's over a span in which the S&P 500 has risen only 4.51% a year.
These anemic returns are a long way from either Soros' or Buffett's glory days.
Prior to the dotcom bust in 2000, both Soros and Buffett boasted enviable "30:30" track records: average annual returns of 30% over a period of 30 years.
Today, those long-term returns have shrunk to (at best) "20:40" track records: 20% annually over 40 years.
The last time a hedge fund manager was able to make himself a reputation by generating outsized returns was in 2008 by betting against mortgages, like John Paulson or Kyle Bass did. And both Paulson and Bass have been struggling ever since.
With consistent double-digit percentage returns a thing of the past, no wonder a lot of the original hedge fund greats have called it quits. Even Soros himself quietly returned his outside investors' money a few years ago.
Why .400 Hitters in Baseball Disappeared...
So, will any investor ever again dominate the financial markets the way Soros and Buffett did between the mid-1960s and the dotcom meltdown of 2000?
The short answer is "no"...
And here's why...