I just added a resource page devoted to value investor Whitney Tilson. The webpage will be a permanent page on Value Walk. The page contains Tilson’s bio, articles, hours of video interviews etc. I plan to post additional for the next few days, but this should give you some additional information on Tilson. I posted the entire page below and to view the permanent static page go to the top toolbar-Value Investors->The New Value Investors->Whitney Tilson. Or by clicking on the following link. Enjoy!
Whitney Tilson has achieved an incredible track record since he started his fund with only one million dollars in February 1999. Tilson currently manages well over $100 million. Tilson started his fund out of his apartment according to a lengthy interview I conducted with him in March 2010 (interview can be found here). Tilson’s T2 hedge fund as of October 2010 had gross returns of 268% versus 18.2% for the S&P 500.
Whitney Tilson’s portfolio can be found here.
Tilson’s latest stock picks can be found here.
Whitney Tilson’s bio from http://www.tilsonfunds.com/bio_w.html (this is a bit lengthy but there is so much to say about Tilson!)
Whitney Tilson is the founder and Managing Partner of T2 Partners LLC and the Tilson Mutual Funds. The former (http://www.T2PartnersLLC.com) manages three value-oriented private investment partnerships, T2 Accredited Fund, Tilson Offshore Fund and T2 Qualified Fund, while the latter is comprised of two value-based mutual funds, Tilson Focus Fund and Tilson Dividend Fund (www.tilsonmutualfunds.com).
Mr. Tilson is also the co-founder, Chairman and co-Editor-in-Chief of Value Investor Insight(www.valueinvestorinsight.com), an investment newsletter, and is the co-founder and Chairman of the Value Investing Congress (www.valueinvestingcongress.com), a biannual investment conference in New York City and Los Angeles.
Mr. Tilson writes a regular column on value investing for the Financial Times and Kiplinger’s, has written for the Motley Fool and TheStreet.com. He authored More Mortgage Meltdown: 6 Ways to Profit in These Bad Times, and was one of the authors of Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger, Expanded Third Edition, the definitive book on Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger, and teaches financial statement analysis and business valuation for the Dickie Group. He was one of five investors included in SmartMoney’s Power 30, was named by Institutional Investor as one of 20 Rising Stars, has appeared many times on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Fox Business Network, Lou Dobbs Moneylineand Wall $treet Week, was on the cover of the July 2007 Kiplinger’s, has been profiled by the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, and has spoken widely on value investing and behavioral finance. He served on the Board of Directors of Cutter & Buck, a public company that designs and markets upscale sportswear for two years until the company was sold in early 2007.
Prior to launching his investment career in 1999, Mr. Tilson spent five years working with Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter studying the competitiveness of inner cities and inner-city-based companies nationwide. He and Professor Porter founded the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, of which Mr. Tilson was Executive Director. Mr. Tilson also led the effort to create ICV Partners, a national for-profit private equity fund focused on minority-owned and inner-city businesses that has raised nearly $500 million.
Before business school, Mr. Tilson was a founding member of Teach for America, the national teacher corps, and then spent two years as a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group.
Mr. Tilson received an MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School, where he was elected a Baker Scholar (top 5% of class), and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, with a bachelor’s degree in Government.
Mr. Tilson’s parents are both educators and he spent much of his childhood in Tanzania and Nicaragua. Consequently, Mr. Tilson is involved with a number of charities focused on education reform and Africa. For his philanthropic work, he received the 2008 John C. Whitehead Social Enterprise Award from the Harvard Business School Club of Greater New York. He is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization. Mr. Tilson lives in Manhattan with his wife and three daughters.
Investment Philosophy: Whitney tilson’s investment startegy I have mostly from the interview I conducted with him and other online resources including previous interviews he has conducted:
We draw from every different style. Value investing is simply buying a stock at a significant discount to its intrinsic value. The closest classic value stock we own which is almost a net net is a small retailer named Delias which is trading close to cash. We also own Berkshire Hathaway which has $186 billion market cap which is more of a growth at a reasonable price. We also own General Growth Properties; the company is in bankruptcy which I would classify as a special situation. We try to find lots of different value opportunities and we try to keep an open mind.
Tilson also has a lot of experience in the restuarant sector and stated that we “have made a fortune over the years investing in McDonalds, Denny’s, Yum Brands, Jack in the Box, CKE Restaurants and others.” However, Tilson does not limit himself to any particular sector. He has invested in distressed debt such as GGP, in contrarian situations such as British Petroleum (Disclosure: As of November 24th 2010 the author is long BP). He also has a short book which as of November 2010 includes Opentable which provides restuarants with computerized reservation systems, and St. Joe which is a property developer in Florida. In addition, Tilson has invested in special situations including GrupoPrisa/Liberty Acquisition. Tilson seems to be a generalist who takes a fundamentalist approach that is not limited to any particular market cap or value style. He buys when he sees values and employs extensive fundamental research as opposed to relying on plain metrics such as P/E, or P/B, FCF. It makes no sense employing these metrics in special situations or distress investing such as General Growth Properties.
Whitney Tilson also stated that he became obsessed with the housing market as he investigated it during the bubble years. He therefore was able to find companies that would be materially effected by a downturn in the market. Tilson stated in our interview that he is a “today we are 75% bottoms-up and 25% top-down (investors)”.
Whitney Tilson’s mentors:
According to an interview in 2006 with the TheStreet.com Tilson stated: Warren Buffett has, by far, been the biggest influence on me as an investor. Beyond him, I’d cite Charlie Munger, Ben Graham, Phil Fisher, Joel Greenblatt, Seth Klarman and Bill Miller. Incidentally, one of the reasons I started the newsletter, Value Investor Insight, and the Value Investing Congress is so I could continue to learn from some of the all-time greatest money managers.
Stock Presentations By Whitney Tilson
Books By Whitney Tilson:
More Mortgage Meltdown: 6 Ways to Profit in These Bad Times. (See my positive review on the book here.)
Articles By and About Whitney Tilson