Some phenomena happen so rarely that we'll wait years to see them, like the reappearance of Halley's Comet or the Detroit Lions winning their first Super Bowl. In the same vein, there are some visionaries who come along only once every few generations, leaving such a huge mark on business and popular culture, it's hard to imagine they could ever be matched. Think Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett.
In the business world, Buffett — affectionately known as the Oracle of Omaha — is one of the biggest names in the 21st century, with an unerring, almost psychic ability to predict the best market ventures — and a subsequently enormous net worth. As of 2016, Buffett's net worth of $60.8 billion puts him at No. 3 on Forbes' list of billionaires. Of course, that's all offset by his humble, folksy attitude toward life and money. Sure, he has his contemporaries, but nobody even comes close to mastering his investing touch.
Buffett can't hog the mantle of top investor forever, though. Industry experts and columnists point to several people who could replace Buffett as the de facto investing powerhouse, including 59-year-old Seth Klarman. Boston-based Klarman has a net worth of $1.35 billion and runs the mega-hedge fund Baupost — which currently has over $27 billion under management. Klarman is the next Warren Buffett because he shares his investing style, has a direct and down-to-earth communication style and is widely acknowledged as a value investing expert.
Klarman received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard University. Raised in a Jewish family, Klarman is an active philanthropist who has supported causes in Israel as well as science research and music causes.
Klarman also owns the digital newspaper Times of Israel and is a published author himself. In fact, his book, "Margin of Safety," is now out of print, but remains an investor cult classic that bears the hefty price tag of $4,000 on Amazon, according to Forbes. In addition, Klarman also wrote the preface to the sixth edition of the 1934 investment classic by Benjamin Graham, "Security Analysis."
See photos of Warren Buffett through the years:
Warren Buffett through the years
Warren Buffett through the years
Investor Warren Buffett answers reporters' questions during a press conference to announce that Walt Disney will buy Capital Cities/ABC July 31.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett of Omaha makes a rare public appearance during an autograph session outside Borsheim's Jewelry Store in Omaha, May 4. Buffett was signing autographs for shareholders in his company, Berkshire Hathaway, which is having its annual meeting May 5.
Billionaire businessman Warren Buffett sits with his wife Susan (R) and daughter Susie, prior to the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, May 5. This marks a rare public appearance for the reclusive Buffett.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Republican candidate for governor of California
in the October 7, 2003 recall election listens as world famous
investor, Warren Buffett (L), one of his financial advisors, speaks to
reporters after a meeting of Schwarzenegger's Economic Recovery Council
in Los Angeles August 20, 2003. REUTERS/Fred Prouser
Billionaire financier Warren Buffett looks on after a meeting with U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, at the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington June 29, 2005. Specter is the co-author of a bill seeking to create a $140 billion asbestos compensation fund. REUTERS/Shaun Heasley SH/TC
Billionaire Warren Buffett arrives at the Sun Valley Resort in Sun Valley, Idaho July 10, 2007. The world's biggest media chiefs gather this week at the 25th annual Allen & Co. conference at the resort starting today. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES)
Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, speaks at a Senate Finance Committee hearing about "Federal Estate Tax: Uncertainty in Planning Under the Current Law" on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 14, 2007. Billionaire Buffett warned of widening U.S. income disparity and endorsed the estate tax as a check on wealth accumulation, while two senior lawmakers said they want the tax repealed. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES)
Billionaire financier and Berkshire Hathaway Chief Executive Warren Buffett greets shareholders during the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska May 3, 2008. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (UNITED STATES)
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett laughs as he appears with Microsoft Corporation founder Bill Gates for a town hall style meeting with business students broadcast by financial television network CNBC at Columbia University in New York, November 12, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES BUSINESS)
Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett kisses his ukulele at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha May 1, 2010. Buffett played "I've Been Working on the Railroad." REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS TRANSPORT)
Billionaire financier and Berkshire Hathaway Chief Executive Warren Buffett (L) and Microsoft founder Bill Gates gesture at the national launch ceremony for the BYD M6 vehicle in Beijing September 29, 2010. Chinese battery and car maker BYD, backed by Buffett, launched its first premium multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) in Beijing on Wednesday to tap rising demand in the world's biggest auto market. REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS)
Billionaire Warren Buffett, wearing a traditional tikka or a red mark on the forehead, speaks during a news conference in Bangalore March 22, 2011. Buffett on Tuesday said he is looking to invest in large countries like India, China and Brazil, but added that restrictions on foreign ownership in India's insurance industry could be a deterrent. Buffett also said and the U.S. economy was improving and that the devastating earthquake in Japan would not hurt global growth. REUTERS/Stringer (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS)
Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett tours the floor of the New York Stock Exchange September 30, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS)
Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem, at the start of a 5km race sponsored by Brooks Sports Inc., a Berkshire-owned company, in Omaha May 5, 2013, a day after the company's annual meeting. Buffett at the meeting on May 4, 2013 gave the most extensive comments to date about the future of Berkshire Hathaway Inc after he is gone, saying he still expects the conglomerate to be a partner of choice for distressed companies. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS SPORT ATHLETICS)
Warren Buffett, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, poses for a portrait in New York October 22, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS)
Roberta Buffett Elliott sits with her brother Warren Buffett as they attend an announcement ceremony at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, January 28, 2015. The sister of financial investor Warren Buffett has given Northwestern University more than $100 million to create the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies, the largest single gift in the school's 164-year history, the university said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS EDUCATION SOCIETY)
Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, speaks at the Fortune's Most Powerful Women's Summit in Washington October 13, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, smiles before speaking with Bill Gates (not pictured), at Columbia University in New York, U.S., January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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Seth Klarman's Investment Style
Klarman isn't shy about sharing his admiration for Buffett — as a man, an investor and a teacher. "As Warren Buffett was a student of Benjamin Graham, today we are all students of Warren Buffett," Klarman wrote in a 2015 piece for The Financial Times.
Klarman follows an investment style very similar to Buffett's: that of value investing. This refers to buying stock in good-quality companies when the price is right, with the expectation that in the long term stock price will rise.
For example, Baupost seized the opportunity to buy up energy stocks like Antero and Cheniere Energy Inc. when the price was down in 2015. As commodities rebound in 2016, Baupost is seeing gains — the first time in over three years, according to Bloomberg.
Klarman understands that sometimes running a successful hedge fund and being a top investor means making unpopular choices. "You don't become a value investor for the group hugs," Klarman told Business Insider earlier this year.
Who else might assume the Buffett throne? Well, there's Ted Weschler and Todd Combs, two of Buffett's stock pickers at Berkshire Hathaway. As Buffett employees, they've worked firsthand with the Wizard of Omaha.
There's also 47-year-old David Einhorn. Einhorn, the founder and president of Greenlight Capital, is worth 1.45 billion according to Forbes. He was raised in Wisconsin, attended Cornell University, and co-founded Greenlight Capital 20 years ago with just $900,000.
Whitney Tilson of Kase Capital takes a long-term approach to investing like Buffett, and his largest stock holding is in Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett's company.
Dr. Michael Burry, physician and value investor, made an early prediction of the subprime mortgage lending monster that not only put the average investment analyst to shame, but also gained international attention when Christian Bale played him in the Hollywood film "The Big Short."
Or maybe the next Buffett is an 11-year-old girl. Svetlana Russell is the New York winner of a nationwide essay competition called InvestWrite for students who participate in The Stock Market Game, a virtual investment game to teach investment basics. Russell's stock-picking strategy mimics that of Buffett — she chose to invest in companies she knows, like Apple, Chipotle, Google and Yahoo.
"I call investing the greatest business in the world ... because you never have to swing," Buffett said in an interview with Forbes magazine in 1974. "You stand at the plate, the pitcher throws you General Motors at 47! U.S. Steel at 39! and nobody calls a strike on you. There's no penalty except opportunity lost. All day you wait for the pitch you like; then when the fielders are asleep, you step up and hit it."
So, with all of these heavy hitters in the game, only time will tell who will become America's next investing MVP.