WSJ: How Warren Buffett made a bundle for his shareholders by "Minimizing the skim"

{{ In the never-ending search for the next Warren Buffett, most people are lost.

Hunting for a great stock picker is necessary, but not sufficient. You also need to find a great stock picker who isn’t a pickpocket.

To do that, you need to think less about investing and more about investment management. For Buffett, his business strategy bred a structure that set him apart from other money managers—and made shareholders a bundle.

To see why, let’s ask: How would Berkshire Hathaway BRK.B 0.07%increase; green up pointing triangle

have performed if Buffett had run it like a hedge fund?

Yes, I know you know the answer is “worse.” Do you realize how much worse?

If you’d invested $1,000 in the S&P 500 in early 1965 when Buffett took over at Berkshire, you’d have a bit over $300,000 today. If you’d bought Berkshire instead, you’d have more than $42.5 million—a big reason why tens of thousands of adoring shareholders will gather in Omaha this weekend to hear Buffett hold court.

If, on the other hand, Buffett had charged hedge-fund fees, you’d have under $5 million—still far more than the market, but about 90% less than Berkshire’s actual results. }}

There is no greater macroeconomic force at work in America than the amount of skim, scam and fraud the average middle-class family loses to the bipartisan culture of political corruption in the country.

And the only reason this situation persists, is that a group of wealthy people have figured out that they can get away with it, as long as a sizable minority of the country has their attention diverted to the “fact” that black and brown people are ruining the nation.