Where have all the cowboys gone?

Flipping out over how awesome this new post at Michael Batnick’s blog is, which presents the career arc of history’s most important investors of all time. He takes their dates of birth, advances them 22 years for a typical career starting point, and then overlays them with the future cumulative performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average to give you a sense of how much wind they had at their backs.

Looks like this (click to embiggen!):

best investors

You can get the full list of the names / birth dates here.

Mike points out that “there’s a football field of white space” after David Einhorn’s and Ken Griffin’s start in the 1990’s (they were both born in ’68). The question is, where are the new giants of the investing industry? There are only five people here who were born post-1960.

Possible answers:

  1. The new giants are too young and new in the industry to have attained the sort of provenance that the pre-1968 born investors have.
  2. Software and quant-driven funds that have been hugely successful do not have such publicly prominent people running them.
  3. The lost decade for the S&P 500 between 2000-2009 upended the normal progression of star-making.
  4. The money management field has gotten too crowded to create new superstars at the same rate.
  5. Alpha has disappeared and, with it, the potential to notably excel on a relative basis.
  6.  They went into technology and real estate instead.

I’m open to other answers to this puzzle. What do you think?


The Most Important Investors Of All Time (Irrelevant Investor) 

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