Buffett trumps Gross in 'great investor' poll

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It's a silly poll -- a bit like taste tests between Pepsi (PEP) and Coke (KO): Who is the most sage investor in the world?

In a survey of its terminal subscribers, Bloomberg found that Warren Buffett, chief of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) is still the world's most highly regarded investor. Longevity accounts for something; Bond king Bill Gross of PIMCO, who has been a leading investor in the fixed income markets for decades, came in second. Buffett was picked by 24 percent of respondents, and Gross by 14 percent. Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros, now in his advanced old age, finished high on the list, as did mercurial economist Nouriel Roubini.

The poll really does not say much. Buffett and Gross both have long-term track records and have built their "brands" as investors over long periods, while Roubini was unknown three years ago. And, if the poll had been conducted when Berkshire announced a string of poor earnings earlier in the year, the results might have been very different.

Perhaps the 1,452 Bloomberg terminal subscribers who participated in the survey, which was conducted between October 23rd and 27th, don't represent a very broad sample. Another result of the poll was clear cut; respondents don't think much of the Obama/Geithner/Summers administration financial management team, with two-thirds of the participants giving them poor grades. Maybe most Bloomberg terminal users are Republicans.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

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