“How does Bill Ackman do it” is a question the investing community surely asks itself on a daily basis. Three words: Berkshire Mountains hideaway. Outsiders may figure in-depth research combined with skillful and ethical activism and a highly concentrated portfolio are the keys to Pershing Square’s success but, really, a 100-acre spread in upstate New York is the engine that drives this firm.

Specifically, the one found in Chatham, New York, that Ackman “scraped together the money” to buy in 2003, just months before his second act hedge fund launched, to arguably more success than its predecessor, Gotham Partners. Coincidence? Bill doesn’t think so. “This place has really good investing karma,” Ackman tells us. (Since buying the house, Pershing has had 21 percent compound returns. You do the math.) Is this information relevant in any way to your universe? If you’ve got $5 million to spare, a yen for sweeping views of the Berkshire mountains, and a desire to pump up lackluster returns it might be.

Despite spending many a happy (and profitable) weekend at the place over the last nine years, Ackman has with great reluctance and probably more than a few tears decided to put it on the market, having precious little time to make the (quick and painless!) trip up now that his three children have many an extracurricular commitment to tend to. According to Bill, he’s offering you “the deal of a lifetime” (and, in our professional opinions, we agree), when you consider 1) what he bought it for ($3.2 million, then put another $1.5 million in) and 2) what you’re getting. Things like:

A 75×20 foot pool and pond, where you can ice skate in the winter and row in the summer (Bill does)

A studio, for when you feeling like getting in touch with your artistic side (imagine all the portraits Bill has sat for as a model in here)

The aforementioned investing karma. Sayeth Bill: “Some of my best ideas have been hatched in this house.”

“I did the work for GGP in the room off the kitchen.”

“We had our company retreat at the house the day Wendy’s announced the spin off of Tim Horton’s.”

Your own canopy bed (Ackman is looking to sell everything)

“The furniture”

“The gym”


Not sure what more convincing you could possibly need to take advantage of this incredible opportunity. Ackman tells us he wants the house to go to “someone with a good soul” but beggars/choosers/etc (he says he’ll donate it to Harvard if he can’t find the right buyer but don’t they have enough?).  Bottom line: he’s ready to make a deal today, now. Give his broker, Deborah Kern, a ring at 212-572-3190 or get in touch with him directly. He’s standing by the phone.

44 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (44)

  1. Posted by D. Tepper | January 31, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Just looks like another tear down to me.

    ack is alllll hype

  2. Posted by MadeketMillie | January 31, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    don't you dare bring the rock into this

  3. Posted by investorcluzo | January 31, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    So the Target investment idea came to him when he was "finishing" the house. I'm still trying to see where the other $1.4 million went…

  4. Posted by Guest | January 31, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    I'll give him $5 Mill just for the investing karma.

    –John Paulson

  5. Posted by d bag | January 31, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    So if it costs $5MM or ¥1…carry the 6 divide by 3.9….what's the exchange rate again?

    -UBS MD

  6. Posted by Put_Option | January 31, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    So Pershing Square may have had a position in McDonald's, but I had it at my house.

    – Richie Rich

  7. Posted by Guest | January 31, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Chatham is a shithole.

    New Canaan forever, forever New Canaan.

  8. Posted by guest | January 31, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    you know we're talking about second homes, right? stay out of the grown-up conversation.

  9. Posted by T Webb | January 31, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Got a pool.. Pool and a pond. Pond be good for you.

  10. Posted by Bandersnatch | January 31, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    A real baller would have heating / cooling installed in the pond so you could ice skate in the summer and row in the winter. Just sayin'.

  11. Posted by Handyman Ed | January 31, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    That workshop looks like it has some Target hardware products that never got taken out of their packaging…this gives me the same woody I get watching "Storage Wars"…..

  12. Posted by pazzo83 | January 31, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    75×20 pool AND pond?? Oh, if only Bill would accept LightSquared shares…

    – Wilbur F.

  13. Posted by Teary Eyed | January 31, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    I wonder what room's his favorite for when he just needs a good cry.

  14. Posted by Kyle Bass | January 31, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Needs more guns.

  15. Posted by The Fleece | January 31, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    For year round zamboni rides…mmm…..


  16. Posted by guest | January 31, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    I'll pay 6mm if he throws in a weekend with our favorite Dealbreaker editor.

  17. Posted by guest | January 31, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    Uncalled for.

  18. Posted by guest | January 31, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    please say I'm not the only one who appreciated the "draw me like one of your French girls" tag?

    – guy who's not afraid to admit he's seen and enjoyed Titanic on more than one occasion.

  19. Posted by guest | January 31, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    I don't need a vacation house but I will take the pool table. Bill, call me.

  20. Posted by guest | January 31, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Beat me to it.

  21. Posted by guest | January 31, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    No snark, it's a beautiful house.

  22. Posted by guest | January 31, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Casa de Falcone does technically have an indoor pool.

  23. Posted by guest | January 31, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Not to mention a nice chunk of land..

  24. Posted by guest | January 31, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Do you have 5 mill to spare?

  25. Posted by Adam | January 31, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    I laughed at this.

  26. Posted by Five Eights Account | February 1, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    Does his help live in these rooms or did they just decorate them?

    Why pay to live in such a tasteless slum?

    Ackers needs a designer – nice fuckin Athenian pillars on the porch btw

  27. Posted by guest | February 1, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    totally! imagine how many charts and graphs he can draw in the studio!

    – guy who might have a different idea of who our favorite dealbreaker editor is

  28. Posted by PermaGuestII | February 1, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    "Athenian pillars"?

  29. Posted by Kim Dotcom | February 1, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Does it have ein Panic Room?

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