The Value Investors: Walter Schloss, Irving Khan and More

The Value Investors: Walter Schloss, Irving Khan and More
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The Value Investors: Walter Schloss, Irving Khan and More

Value investing shares several attributes which are mentioned in the final chapter of this fine book:

  • Humility in portfolio construction.
  • Valuation, though difficult, is important.
  • Good value investors read widely.
  • It’s not just math, but understanding competitive advantage.
  • Having a good sell discipline.
  • Having the right attitude in investing

This book examines 12 men in 10 organizations who are value investors.  As noted above there are common elements to value investing, but in the minor aspects, there are many different ways to pursue the topic.

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Some diversify more; some less.  Some are more quantitative, some are more qualitative.

Now the fun of a book like this is that there are faces old and new, at least for me.  I knew of:

  • Walter Schloss
  • Irving Khan and his son Walter Khan
  • William Browne
  • Jean-Marie Eveillard
  • Mark Mobius
  • Shuhei Abe of SPARX Group (Japan)

But I did not know of:

  • Francisco Garcia Parames (Spain)
  • Anthony Nutt (England)
  • Teng Ngiek Lian (Singapore)
  • V-Nee Yeh & Cheah Cheng Hye (Hong Kong)

What impresses me is that among many different sub-approaches, approaching the stock market like an intelligent businessman works no matter where in the world you are, so long as it is subject to the rule of law.

I particularly enjoyed the biographical information about these men.  Many of them were good businessmen in onther industries before they began to do investing.  Their experiences in operating a business informed that way that they invest — think of stocks as fractional ownership in a business, and ask whether it is an attractive opportunity or not.



Who would benefit from this book:   All those exploring value investing would benefit from this work.  Those the know the topic well already can disregard it.  If you want to, you can buy it here: The Value Investors: Lessons from the World’s Top Fund Managers.

Full disclosure: The PR flack sent me a copy of the book after asking me if I wanted it.

If you enter Amazon through my site, and you buy anything, I get a small commission.  This is my main source of blog revenue.  I prefer this to a “tip jar” because I want you to get something you want, rather than merely giving me a tip.  Book reviews take time, particularly with the reading, which most book reviewers don’t do in full, and I typically do. (When I don’t, I mention that I scanned the book.  Also, I never use the data that the PR flacks send out.)

Most people buying at Amazon do not enter via a referring website.  Thus Amazon builds an extra 1-3% into the prices to all buyers to compensate for the commissions given to the minority that come through referring sites.  Whether you buy at Amazon directly or enter via my site, your prices don’t change.

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David J. Merkel, CFA, FSA — 2010-present, I am working on setting up my own equity asset management shop, tentatively called Aleph Investments. It is possible that I might do a joint venture with someone else if we can do more together than separately. From 2008-2010, I was the Chief Economist and Director of Research of Finacorp Securities. I did a many things for Finacorp, mainly research and analysis on a wide variety of fixed income and equity securities, and trading strategies. Until 2007, I was a senior investment analyst at Hovde Capital, responsible for analysis and valuation of investment opportunities for the FIP funds, particularly of companies in the insurance industry. I also managed the internal profit sharing and charitable endowment monies of the firm. From 2003-2007, I was a leading commentator at the investment website Back in 2003, after several years of correspondence, James Cramer invited me to write for the site, and I wrote for RealMoney on equity and bond portfolio management, macroeconomics, derivatives, quantitative strategies, insurance issues, corporate governance, etc. My specialty is looking at the interlinkages in the markets in order to understand individual markets better. I no longer contribute to RealMoney; I scaled it back because my work duties have gotten larger, and I began this blog to develop a distinct voice with a wider distribution. After three-plus year of operation, I believe I have achieved that. Prior to joining Hovde in 2003, I managed corporate bonds for Dwight Asset Management. In 1998, I joined the Mount Washington Investment Group as the Mortgage Bond and Asset Liability manager after working with Provident Mutual, AIG and Pacific Standard Life. My background as a life actuary has given me a different perspective on investing. How do you earn money without taking undue risk? How do you convey ideas about investing while showing a proper level of uncertainty on the likelihood of success? How do the various markets fit together, telling us us a broader story than any single piece? These are the themes that I will deal with in this blog. I hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University. In my spare time, I take care of our eight children with my wonderful wife Ruth.

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