03/21/2012 04:42 EDT | Updated 05/21/2012 05:12 EDT

Buffett's S&P 500 outperformed hedge funds in 2011 but money managers lead the 10-year bet

OMAHA, Neb. - Billionaire Warren Buffett's chances of winning a bet that the S&P 500 will outperform a collection of hedge funds are improving, but Buffett still trails four years into the 10-year bet.

Buffett made the bet, which includes all investment fees, in 2008 with the money managers who own Protégé Partners LLC. The winner of the bet will be able to donate at least $1 million in the charity of their choice at the end.

The results were reported first Wednesday by Fortune magazine. Buffett did not immediately respond to a message.

Buffett's chosen low-cost S&P 500 fund gained 2.08 per cent in 2011 to beat the five portfolios of hedge funds Protégé chose.

Through four years, the hedge funds are down 5.89 per cent. Buffett's index fund is down 6.27 per cent.