What Does It Mean to be a Value Investor?

In a piece written for Forbes.com’s “Gurus’ Guide to 2009“, John Heins and Whitney Tilson do a great job in examining just what makes an investor a value investor. While value investors come in all shapes and sizes — large-cap, small-cap, activist, non-activist, U.S.-focused, foreign-focused — Heins and Tilson list 12 similarities they share. A sampling: They focus on intrinsic company value and buy only when there is a substantial margin of safety, rather than trying to guess where the herd will go next. They understand and profit from reversion to the mean rather than projecting the recent past indefinitely […]

J. Zweig on Forecasting & Black Swans

Jason Zweig unveils some great research in his latest piece for The Wall Street Journal (“Why Market Forecasts Keep Missing The Mark”). With all sorts of pundits making predictions for where the market will head in 2009, Zweig says you should be skeptical of their forecasts — and your own — a notion that I also examine in detail in my new book, The Guru Investor. Says Zweig, “Nearly all of us try forecasting the market as if each of the past returns of every year in history had been written on a separate slip of paper and tossed into […]

‘Good to Great’ Author Collins: “Those Who Panic, Die On The Mountain”

Jim Collins, author of the top selling business books “Built to Last” and “Good to Great”, speaks with Fortune magazine about what it takes for companies to emerge from difficult periods in history. “A couple of things really jump out,” he says. “No. 1, in times of great duress, tumult, and uncertainty, you have to have moorings.” Highly successful firms have “incredible fabric of values, of underlying ideals or principles that explained why it was important that they existed.” The video below is previous interview Collins had done on the Charlie Rose show and is worth listening to if you […]

Reese on New Guru Model, Economy

In his latest Hot List newsletter, Validea CEO John Reese unveils a new guru-based stock selection model, and tells readers that continuing economic woes don’t have to mean continued trouble for the stock market. Reese’s new Guru Strategy is based on the writings of hedge fund master Joel Greenblatt. Greenblatt created quite a stir in the investment world in 2005, when he published “The Little Book that Beats The Market”, in which he explained how investors could produce outstanding long-term returns using his simple “Magic Formula”. The purely quantitative approach had just two variables: return on capital and earnings yield. […]