One of my favorite investing books is Invest Like A Dealmaker by Christopher Mayer. The main premise of the book is that there are two market prices for a company listed on the stock exchange. One price (the public market price) can be found using the ticker symbol on sources like Google Finance or Yahoo Finance. The other price (the private market price) is the real valuation of the company in a private market, based on its assets. liabilities, cash flow etc.

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Bruce Berkowitz

In his book Mayer makes one particular reference to an article by Bruce Berkowitz, Founder of The Fairholme Funds, that is a must read for all investors called –  Fairholme’s Maxims: A Primer to Value Investing. The article provides twenty six maxims that have been used as the cornerstone of Fairholme’s value investing framework:

1) A to Z (research all aspects of a company)

2) Back to front (dig into the minutiae)

3) Cash counts (it’s the only thing you can spend)

4) Don’t guess (know!)

5) Expanding universe (extend our competence)

6) Focus sharpens returns (only own your best ideas)

7) Get more than you give (our objective)

8) Happy is sad (you make your money in difficult times)

9) Ignore the crowd (don’t be a lemming)

10) Jam tomorrow today (the magic of compounding)

11) Keep it simple (focus on what’s important)

12) Lumpy over smooth (a lumpy 15% return beats a smooth 10)

13) Management (can’t do a good deal with a bad guy)

14) New new things (ideas taken to extremes cause pain)

15) Owners know best (“skin in the game”)

16) Price matters (buy with a margin of safety)

17) Quirky can work (consider the unusual)

18) Rip it up (try to kill ideas)

19) Surfing waves (get in front of the trends)

20) Talking and walking (we really do eat our own cooking)

21) Under our hat (it’s not in your interest for us to tell all)

22) Value is all that (…matters)

23) What they want? (understand who wants what)

24) X-ing the lines (research across disciplines)

25) You’re the one (we do what’s right for you)

26) Zero can’t grow (Don’t lose)

Article by Johnny Hopkins, The Acquirer's Multiple