Times are tough for billionaire investors. Warren Buffett's top stock picks aren't working — whether it's IBM or American Express, the Oracle can't seem to catch a break.
Buffett had his worst year since the financial crisis in 2015, and hedge fund great Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management had his worst year ever in 2015, thanks to, among other things, the dramatic fall in controversial drug company Valeant Pharmaceuticals, a top pick. David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital apologized to shareholders for a bad year and big bet gone bad on solar company SunEdison, which he failed to take profits in before the stock tanked. Though he hasn't given up on SunEdison and now has been given a board seat at the company.
The volatile markets were supposed to be a time for stock pickers to shine. But it hasn't worked out that way.
Einhorn said a few years ago, "It doesn't make sense to blindly follow me or anyone else into a stock. ... Do your own work."
Indeed, it's never been harder to be a billionaire investor, but here's the catch: It's never been easier, either.
And it's the latter that should have the attention of individual investors.