I mean it’s just the standard education vs business gap, why are Andrew Ng or Walter Lewin not super rich? It’s not like he’s running a fund or something so how would we know if he’d outperform them.
I think it’s very important to think about the environments that Buffett and Lynch invested in, while they were certainly highly skilled in a relative sense the absolute skill of the market was significantly lower back then. There are many reasons for Berkshire’s recent underperformance (size, decreased risk-free rates etc…) but a big one that’s less commonly discussed is that the mispricings that Buffett was able to take advantage of are much rarer now - much more time, energy and cpu cycles are spent seeking out and capturing those inefficiencies.
Or as Damodaran himself puts it:
Markets have changed since Buffett started his first partnership. His greatest successes did occur in the 1960s and the 1970s, when relatively few investors had access to information about the market and institutional money management was not dominant. We think that Buffett would have difficulty replicating his success, if he were starting anew in today’s market, where information on companies and trading is widely available and dozens of money managers claim to be looking for bargains in value stocks.
In 30 years time investors will probably look at today’s unsophisticated markets and remark at how easy it must have been to generate alpha and perhaps the principles that Damodaran has taught a generation will seem outdated.
Remember that an investment’s returns are not a measure of the quality of an investment decision. Although certainly 30 years of outperformance is a clear demonstration of skill beyond luck, so that doesn’t detract from Buffett etc…