Buffett’s Alpha

This is a paper with very good insights aided by a lot of empirical analysis. Berkshire Hathaway has realized a Sharpe ratio of 0.76, higher than any other stock or mutual fund with a history of more than 30 years, and has a significant alpha to traditional risk factors. However, authors find that the alpha becomes insignificant when controlling for exposures to Betting-Against-Beta and Quality-Minus-Junk factors. Further, they estimate that through Berkshire’s insurance operations, Buffett’s leverage is about 1.6-to-1 on average. Buffett’s returns appear to be neither luck nor magic, but, rather, reward for the use of leverage combined with a focus on cheap, safe, and quality stocks.