The bet was to last 10 years, and doesn't officially end until Dec. 31, but Seides has already conceded that Buffett's investment is the winner. During the 10-year period, Buffett's $1 million investment earned $854,000 while Seides funds only earned $220,000 during the same period.
In Berkshire’s 2005 annual report, I argued that active investment management by professionals – in aggregate – would over a period of years underperform the returns achieved by rank amateurs who simply sat still. I explained that the massive fees levied by a variety of “helpers” would leave their clients – again in aggregate – worse off than if the amateurs simply invested in an unmanaged low-cost index fund.
Seides acknowledged in his concession note agreed that the cost of the hedge fund management was a factor, because taking out the money doesn't allow it to compound. But in reality, the low-cost Vanguard fund that Buffett chose really performed better year on year.
At least the money goes to charity — one of Buffett's, of course — Girls Inc. of Omaha.