Investors might be surprised to know that Warren Buffett, perhaps the greatest investor of all time, is a big fan of indexing. For instance, “He has already declared that 90 percent of the money he leaves to his wife will be invested in Vanguard’s S&P 500 index fund.”
But as Nir Kaissar, a Bloomberg Gadfly columnist points out, investors can glean insight into Buffett’s high quality and value portfolio at Berkshire. For example, the chart below shows that the stocks owned by Buffett trade at lower market multiple’s than the S&P and have a higher return-on-equity. Kaissar writes, “the magic lies not so much in picking the best stocks as in avoiding the worst ones”.
Investors looking to get similar value and high quality exposure may look to low costs ETFs, says Kaissar. For instance, “investors can invest equal parts in the iShares MSCI USA Value Factor ETF and the iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF”. A equal weighted portfolio in these two strategies would have “returned 11.8 percent annually from December 1975 to April 2016, with a standard deviation of 14.4 percent.” In contrast, the S&P 500 would have “returned 11.2 percent annually over the same period, with a standard deviation of 14.9 percent.”