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Warren Buffett: Great investor, lousy insurance salesman? (Daily Finance)

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Geico subsidiary outspends rivals on advertising by as much as 3-to-1, according SNL Financial. In 2011, the auto insurer spent $993.8 million on TV commercials. Travelers, Liberty Mutual and Progressive together spent a little over $1 billion. But it seems Geico does not have the same knack for investing that Warren Buffet himself has. State Farm spends 18% less on advertising for its 18.7% share of the auto insurance market than Geico does for its 7.7% share.  Travelers, Liberty and Progressive together hold 14.3% of the market. GEICO has been a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary for 16 years now. Geico’s customer base does grow about 7% a year, but it might be time to question the true commercial value of geckos and cavemen.